Oct. 20, 2023 By Rachel Butler
The temple serves as a place of worship for the Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist community on the east coast and the expansion was completed ahead of the Temple’s 800th year celebration.
BR Construction Group is an affiliate of Forte Construction Corp. and undertook the significant renovation project, along with architecture partner TMH Architect NYC.
The Queens Chamber of Commerce honored the firm as part of their 2023 Building Awards at its annual gala, which took place on Thursday Oct. 12.
Located in the heart of Flushing, this Nichiren Shoshu Temple serves worshipers of the faith from as far north as eastern Canada to as far south as Philadelphia and the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. The 40-year-old structure needed to be expanded and modernized ahead of the 800th anniversary of Nichiren Shoshu.
The team at BR Construction was tasked with adding a new second floor for use as a main hall and gathering space, modernizing interior spaces, bathrooms and conference areas and adding an elevator to serve those with limited mobility. New HVAC, electrical systems and structural steel framing were also installed.
However, there was more to be done, as the exterior also needed an upgrade.
BR Construction dressed the building with a new stucco façade, slate roofing, architectural copper trim, architectural windows and glass doors — all with an aesthetic faithful to and inclusive of many elements of the religion’s Japanese origins.
Evros Kavazis, director of Business Development at BR Construction Group, said that despite some obvious challenges, they were able to bring the project to completion.
“While this important project presented logistical challenges due to the pandemic and its location in the middle of one of Queens’ busiest residential and commercial neighborhoods, it was an honor for BR Construction to be selected to lead the project and now to be selected by the Queens Chamber for excellence in construction,” Kavazis said. “It is a testament to the skill and professionalism of our entire team that we were able to design a grand structure worthy of marking the 800th year of this important faith.”
The project began in May of 2019 and took just under two-and-a-half years to complete.
President and CEO of the Queens Chamber of Commerce Tom Grech spoke about the importance of real estate and community in the borough of Queens during the gala.
“Over the years, our borough has evolved and changed, but it continues to flourish thanks in large part to the real estate and development community, who continue to bring new and exciting projects to Queens,” he said.