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NYC neighbors fighting to save historic Ohr Natan Synagogue

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Queens residents are up in arms over a plan to tear down a historic synagogue and diner and replace them with a 15-story mixed-use condo building, according to neighbors.

More than 3,500 residents have signed a petition to save the beloved Ohr Natan Synagogue — housed in an Art Deco-style building with an iconic clock tower — and the Trylon Theater & Tower Diner in Rego Park, according to a change.org petition.

The project is also expected to be hotly debated at a Community Board 6 meeting Wednesday evening.

“This is one of the most cultural, social, significant, historical, and architectural sites of the community,” the petition proclaims. “The redevelopment plan would not only demolish historic buildings, but uproot a synagogue providing religious & humanitarian services, and likely pose an economic hardship on all the small businesses in the area.”

The plan by developers RJ Capital Holdings calls for 158 apartments and 18,000 square feet of commercial space to replace the religious institution and restaurant, according to foresthillspost.com

More than 3,500 residents have signed a petition to save the Ohr Natan Synagogue and the Trylon Theater & Tower Diner in Rego Park.
More than 3,500 residents have signed a petition to save the Ohr Natan Synagogue and the Trylon Theater & Tower Diner in Rego Park.
Matthew McDermott

Rudolf Abramov, the company’s head of development, has previously said he hopes to break ground in 2022.

But the project requires a zoning change that must be approved by the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Process, and is first subject to a public hearing, which will be held by the community board at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Built in 1939, the World Trade-inspired building housing the synagogue was once a movie theater showing classics such as “The Wizard of Oz” and “Gone with the Wind” before becoming a Jewish house of worship.

 RJ Capital Holdings has said they plan to turn the Synagogue into a 15-story mixed-use condo building.
RJ Capital Holdings has said they plan to turn the Synagogue into a 15-story mixed-use condo building.
Matthew McDermott
 Built in 1939, the building housing the synagogue was once a movie theater showing classics such as "The Wizard of Oz" and "Gone with the Wind" before becoming a place of worship.
Built in 1939, the building housing the synagogue was once a movie theater showing classics such as “The Wizard of Oz” and “Gone with the Wind” before becoming a place of worship.
Matthew McDermott

The diner is a neighborhood mainstay that serves Greek-American grub such as chicken souvlaki, spinach pies and turkey burgers and was once the home of the Emigrant Savings Bank.

“A new development would also increase congestion, kill trees, block sunlight, and would lead to a domino effect of demolition & over development in nearby communities,” the petition states. “We strongly call on the developer RJ Capital Holdings … and all city agencies and elected officials to be team players and listen to the concerns of the public.”

Reps for the synagogue and diner didn’t immediately return The Post’s calls Wednesday. RJ Capital Holdings also didn’t return a request for comment.

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