Developers foresee a luxury hotel, but South Ozone Park residents fear a future homeless shelter.
Community Board (CB) 12 shot down a proposal at its November meeting that would rezone a part of 135th Avenue to allow for a 13-story hotel to be built right near a residential neighborhood.
The proposal is reminiscent of a previous hotel-turned-shelter in the area. The owner of a 337-room hotel went to the Department of Homeless Services, unbeknownst to the community, and turned the site into “one of the largest shelters in the state of New York,” but has since been shut down, said Yvonne Reddick, CB 12 District Manager.
“It’s a lot for the community to swallow and it’s not easily forgotten,” she said. “I don’t think anyone can convince them, and rightfully so, that this wouldn’t happen again.”
The new proposal, which the board unanimously rejected, puts the new high rise on 135th Avenue between 140th and 142nd Streets. CB 12 additionally said there are already a number of hotels in the area, and another one is simply unnecessary.
“When it comes to so many hotels in one area, the residents in that area become leery,” Reddick said. “You have all of these hotels, what happens if they become under-utilized?”
The planned hotel has over 300 rooms, a rooftop pool, restaurant and health club. Developers Tserpes Holdings did not return a request for comment.