Construction wrapping up at Sun Valley Towers

Blink gym could open earlier than rentals, village says


The Sun Valley Towers apartment building on Sunrise Highway and Rockaway Avenue is going through the final phases of construction before it can begin renting, and the gym on its ground floor could be operational sooner than the rest of the building.

The 72 apartments are all but finished, according to Chris Giovanis, the project manager for the developer, Alma Realty Corp. of Long Island City, Queens. Work was delayed at times during the winter because drywall requires a minimum temperature for it to be worked with, he said. The connecting of utilities was also delayed, Giovanis said, which was out of the developer’s hands.

“Utilities are a timely process,” he said, adding that once they are all connected, the final step is to run tests of all the building’s systems.

Construction of the Blink Fitness gym took as long as it did because the floor plan had to be redone, having originally been designed for multiple retail locations, according to Building Superintendent Tom McAleer. The 15,000-square-foot gym required an entirely different plan, as well as installation of plumbing for bathrooms and showers.

Giovanis said he could not provide a projected date that the gym would be open, but McAleer said at a May 18 meeting of the village Board of Trustees that it is expected to be operational within the next two months.

The building was made with “gold standard construction,” meaning that the entire structure was built using non-combustible material, Giovanis said. It has 18 apartments on each floor, ranging from one to three bedrooms in each. Giovanis addressed rumors that the building might accept Section 8 housing vouchers, saying that his company doesn’t develop or own any Section 8 properties. The intention is to charge market-rate prices, he said, though specific numbers will be set once cost studies are finished.

Giovanis said a local realtor would be chosen to set up a rental office in the building, which would begin a review process for applicants that would take up to two weeks. He said the developer anticipates a quick response. “With the vicinity of the building to the train, it’s a no-brainer for those commuting to the city,” he said.

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