Here's a larger photo of the hotel that Heskel "Mr. Forest Hills" Elias is proposing. You're going to hear a lot about this on this site since it would change the neighborhood so dramatically. I really like Elias. He bought a building you probably didn't even know about called "The Bristol" on Austin East and put in an Ann Taylor which is the nicest storefront on the block. He also improved the apartments inside adding wireless Internet, stainless steel appliances, and Kohler sinks/faucets. I've been in those apartments before the improvements - they were disgraceful. He also did the Staples which actually looks really good from Continental. If it's a new development and it looks like it's old, it's probably Elias.
I don't mind the hotel part, but Heskel mentioned possible tenants as Morton's, Cheesecake Factory, and J. Crew. Is there one Forest Hills resident that would ever go to these places? It sounds a little Queens Center Mall to me, and anyone who's been there doesn't want it to come to Forest Hills. I mean, I like tinted windows and silver Maximas as much as the next guy, and I'm always up for a rear windshield decal of a guy urinating and giving me the finger, but tourists might not get the joke.
If I had a vote, keep it Ann Taylor Loft. Build the hotel where the Century 21/Kohl's is going in Rego Park.