May 16, 2018 By Tara Law
A Jackson Heights Islamic congregation is planning to demolish its current mosque and replace it with a 3-story house of worship.
The Islamic Center of Jackson Heights, also known as Masjid Abu Huraira, filed permits to demolish its existing 2-story building at 78-04 31st Ave. yesterday.
The center will demolish the current building, which is a residential-style structure, in order to make way for a more traditional mosque that can accommodate the center’s growing congregation, according to Nobi Hossain, mosque secretary.
The mosque also filed a demolition permit for a 1-story garage on the property.
The congregation includes many members of the Bangladeshi community. The mosque is near 74th Street in Jackson Heights, which is often referred to as “Little Bangladesh.”
Bangladeshis are one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in New York. In 2015, more than 40,000 lived in Queens compared to about 20,000 in 2009, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
This growth has played a part in the surge in new congregants–resulting in a shortage of space.
People are often forced to pray outside of the mosque during services due to overcrowding, Hossain said.
“It’s very small,” Hossain said of the current building. “We do not have enough accommodation.”
Many people have also moved to the area to be close to the mosque, Hossain said.
Hossain was not sure when the mosque will be constructed, but that the project is “in process.”