It looks like a construction zone right now but this empty storefront in Forest Hills is undergoing a transformation.
Soon it will be the new home of the Masbia Soup Kitchen of Queens
"We're very excited about the new location,” said Alexander Rapaport, the executive director of the Masbia Soup Kitchen Network. "We're also very excited about the fact that it has more space."
Masbia is currently operating out of this location in Rego Park on Queens Boulevard, where they've handed out more than a million kosher meals since 2009.
Rapaport says they've always known the lease at that location was temporary.
Back in December, the landlord did decide to move forward with plans to develop the building.
So, after an extensive search, Rapaport says the new location off 108th Street on 64th Road is perfect.
"We like to be very accessible, so kind of after all the headache of finding a space; we kind of found the very pefect sweet spot," said Rapaport.
Project consultant Bobby Jacobs says they plan to keep the layout similar to the old location on Queens Boulevard which felt more like a restaurant than a soup kitchen.
"It gives the people a little bit of a sense of privacy, they can maintain their dignity," said Jacobs.
With the new location, comes about three thousand square feet of storage space.
Rapaport says it will allow them to help even more people.
"Because if you have space to storage stuff, you can buy stuff at a better rate," said said Rapaport.
The new location is named after its biggest donors, Henry and Susie Orenstein, who pay the rent and purchase a lot of the food.
If all goes according to plan, the new kitchen will open mid-summer, without any service interruptions at the Rego Park location.