April 5, 2016 By Michael Florio
A local bar and music venue will be forced to close its doors at the end of the year to make way for a new mixed-used retail and residential building.
Terraza 7, a bar that hosts live music, has operated at 40-19 Gleane St. since 2002. The establishment will be forced to move after its lease expires so that the property owner can tear down the building.
Property owner Charles Guo said the building that currently houses the bar will be demolished in 2017. A mixed-use building with retail shops on the first floor and residential units above it will be constructed in its place.
He said he expects this building to take a couple of years to construct.
Terraza 7 owner Freddy Castiblanco is looking for a new location for his bar. However, keeping it in the neighborhood may be tough, due to the rising rents in Jackson Heights and Elmhurst.
According to a post on the bar’s Facebook page, Castiblanco checked out the vacant space at 37-47 82nd St. – formerly the women’s accessory and jewelry store Prima Donna – and found that its rent is $27,000 per month for 2,000 square feet and a basement.
The broker in charge of the 37-47 82nd St. vacant space did not immediately respond to messages left at his office.
A petition launched last week to support the bar’s relocation. The petition reads: “Based on Castiblanco’s current estimates, the rent for a similar space in Jackson Heights will cost him four times as much as he currently is paying.”
The petition hopes to show potential landlords how much the community values Terraza 7.
More than 900 people have already signed.
“Terraza is a critical arts space in this community and has been an important resource for so many of us over the years,” one signee, Soniya Munshi, wrote. “At Terraza, I’ve seen amazing musicians, heard wonderful stories, learned about current events and spent long hours with friends—there is no other place like it in Jackson Heights.”
Others echoed that sentiment.
“Terraza 7 is Jackson Heights,” Kate Adams wrote. “We can’t lose this very special place.”
Castiblanco could not be reached for comment on this story.