Tag Archives: Community Board 2

Astoria Cove criticizers hosting another City Hall rally ahead of Council meeting


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of STUDIO V Architecture

Opposition to the Astoria Cove development isn’t going down without a fight as a City Council meeting for the project draws near.

Build Up NYC, which advocates for building service workers union 32BJ, is hosting a rally against the development outside City Hall on Wednesday at 4 p.m.

Hundreds of construction and building maintenance workers and Astoria residents are expected to turn out, hoping to urge the Council to vote against the land-use application for the project as it currently stands.

The Council is set to hold a review session on the project on Monday, Oct. 20, in the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises.

The advocacy organization believes the plan does not offer enough affordable housing and is also fighting for more jobs for unionized workers. The project calls for 345 units or 20 percent of the 1,723 dwellings to be affordable housing.

Despite Community Board 2 and Borough President Melinda Katz also opposing the project because of the lack of affordable housing, the City Planning Commission gave the project the green light last month with a majority vote.

Councilman Costa Constantinides reportedly agrees the project needs more affordable housing and that some of the low-income apartments are too expensive.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Real estate roundup: Councilman Van Bramer against Sunnyside Yards development, converted factories prosper in LIC


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Map courtesy of Bing Maps

Van Bramer differs with Community Board Chair over the development of Sunnyside Yards

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said today that he is firmly opposed to building over the Sunnyside Yards. Van Bramer made the statement in response to Community Board 2 Chairman Joe Conley’s call last Thursday for a study to determine whether it would be feasible to build over a section of the yards, which consists of acres of land covered by railroad tracks.” Read more [LIC Post]

Transformed Factories Prosper in LIC’s Development Boom

“The renowned Scalamandre Silks company once dyed silks for the Kennedy White House and the Hearst Castle where Scott Kushner and his 10 employees now produce videos and reality shows. At the start of this year, after working out of Manhattan for 20 years, Mr. Kushner moved MediaPlace into a section of the bottom floor of the industrial warehouse developer Time Equities has fashioned into today’s Silks Building in Long Island City.” Read more [Commercial Observer]

Far Rockaway Job Fair Brings Sandy Rebuilding Work to Area

“A job fair will look to connect residents with Hurricane Sandy-related rebuilding and resiliency work. The Oct. 15 fair in Far Rockaway is organized by the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Recovery Operations, Workforce1 and other city agencies to help get residents hired on rebuilding projects.” Read more [DNAinfo]

Sunnyside Yards development back in discussion with possible study


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Jim Henderson/ Wikipedia Commons

The space above the Sunnyside Yards railroad complex could contain a hospital, affordable housing buildings, a school, a public space or some combination of those to form a new community.

At this point, Community Board 2 isn’t sure what could be built, but members approved urging Borough President Melinda Katz to begin a feasibility study regarding “decking,” or building a platform above the railroad tracks, in a public meeting Thursday — a plan that has long been floated around by top city officials.

Board chair Joseph Conley brought the matter up in the meeting for a vote, even though he wasn’t sure how much square footage of space the area would create and couldn’t pinpoint future challenges.

However, he suggested the project would cover just the Long Island City end of the yards —the southwest portion from about Jackson Avenue and 21st Street eastward to either the Thomson Avenue or Queens Boulevard walk-overs.

Photo courtesy of Bing Maps

Photo courtesy of Bing Maps

Some members complained that creating more housing in the area would increase the need for public services and infrastructure.

But Conley reasoned that it would be good to explore the ability to use the space, especially for affordable housing, as land prices continue to shoot upward in nearby communities such as Long Island City.

“There are a lot of things that have to be discussed: transportation of course, traffic, schools, all the things that we live with… but at least it starts the dialogue to say what if,” Conley said. “And that’s exactly what we did on Hunter’s Point South.

The 167-acre Sunnyside Yards is owned by Amtrak and shared with the LIRR and NJ Transit. The MTA is working on its East Side Access project at the railroad complex, which will connect the LIRR to a new station beneath Grand Central Terminal.

Plans concerning decking over the yards for development have been discussed in the past. The site was included in New York City’s Olympic bid in 1997, according to the Regional Planning Association, an urban research group.

Also, Daniel Doctoroff, former deputy mayor for economic development and rebuilding under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, had a city planning team conduct an analysis of the possibility for decking and development over Sunnyside Yards.

But whether this new study will lead to a development is still up in the air.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Community board approves Silvercup Studios expansion permits


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners LLP

The delayed Silvercup Studios expansion made the cut at the community board level, and is moving to an audition with the Department of City Planning.

Community Board 2 voted almost unanimously to grant approval of special permits for Silvercup West, the planned $1 billion expansion of the Long Island City film studio and mixed-use development just south of the Queensboro Bridge, although it made some recommendations.

The permits, which include one for a 1,400-space off-street parking garage and another for a Silvercup sign on the waterfront, were approved in 2006, and renewed in 2011.

When the plan first debuted about eight years ago, developers agreed to set aside 10 percent of the proposed 1,000 residential units for affordable housing, but the board now recommends at least 20 percent. It is also urging developers to use original and not modern materials when constructing the Silvercup sign to preserve the historic nature.

The project also includes eight new soundstage studios as a part of a larger 2.2 million-square-foot complex containing an office tower, retail space, a catering hall and cultural space.

The community board, the borough president, City Planning and the City Council all gave their blessings for the land use case of the project in 2006, and it was supposed to be completed by 2010, according to published reports.

However, the project is being held up by New York Power Authority (NYPA) generators sitting on three acres of land on the site, which have to be decommissioned and removed.

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

Community Board 2 to vote on Silvercup Studios expansion Thursday night


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners LLP

Silvercup Studios will be the star of the evening for Thursday’s Community Board 2 monthly meeting.

The board will vote on renewing the film studio’s special permits for its proposed Silvercup West development, a planned $1 billion expansion of Silvercup Studios in Long Island City.

The permits are for various design elements in the project, including a proposed 1,400-space parking garage, which was granted three years ago, but has expired since that time.

The Silvercup West plan first debuted about eight years ago with tons of media coverage. The project includes eight new soundstage studios as part of a larger 2.2 million-square-foot complex containing an office tower, high-rise apartment towers with 1,000 residences, retail space, a catering hall and cultural space.

The community board, the borough president, City Planning and the City Council all gave their blessings for the land use case of the project in 2006, and it was supposed to be completed by 2010, according to published reports.

However, the project is being held up by New York Power Authority (NYPA) generators on the site, which need to be decommissioned and removed. The generators, which have 150-foot smoke stacks on each one, are sitting on three acres of land.

If the permits are renewed by CB 2, the application moves to City Planning for review.

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

Big turnout at first Hunter’s Point South affordable housing forum


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYC EDC

Judging from the turnout of the first Hunter’s Point South affordable housing forum on Monday, apartments in the Long Island City waterfront properties are likely to be filled quickly.

More than 200 people packed the Sunnyside Community Services room on 39th Street, seeking information about apartments in the buildings, which will start accepting applications on Oct. 15 for 60 days, leading officials to close the doors because of a potential fire hazard — a good sign, they said.

Dozens of people, who formed a line outside the building, were turned away and told about upcoming affordable housing forums.

“This speaks to how many people want to live in this community, they want to stay in this community, but the affordable housing piece is really important to them,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said. “This [project] is going to allow a lot of folks to stay in this community. I’m really happy with this turnout.”

The Forum

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Of the more than 900 units that will be available in the first two buildings of the development — 32-story Hunter’s Point South Crossing and 37-story Hunter’s Point South Commons — 186 units, or about 20 percent, will be low-income housing, and 738 apartments will be moderate- and middle-income housing.

HUNTERS POINT INCOME SLIDE

Brand-new studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments will be available for all of those income levels.

Low-income rental prices start from $494 for a studio and max out at $959 per month for a three-bedroom, while eligible incomes range from about $19,000 to approximately $49,000 annually.

Rents for middle- and moderate-income units range from $1,561 to $4,346 per month for household incomes of $55,200 to $224,020 annually.

HUNTERS POINT RENTS

Most apartments will be reserved for residents already in the neighborhood, city workers or people with disabilities.

The buildings will give 50 percent preference to applications living within Community Board 2, 7 percent preference to those with mobility or hearing disabilities or those who are visually impaired, and 5 percent for city employees.

 

Pets are allowed in the buildings. However, they are limited to 75 pounds each.

Potential residents should register with NYC Housing Connect as soon as possible to create an application profile and visit the Hunter’s Point South website for more information. Following the 60-day period during which residents can apply, a lottery of applications received through Housing Connect will be held and prospective residents will be notified in early 2015. The buildings expect to start placing residents next year.

Charts

The apartments feature views of the Manhattan skyline and various amenities, including a 24-hour attended lobby, on-site manager and staff, a party room, an outdoor terrace, a fitness center, a playroom, a bike room and an outdoor community garden. There will be 250 parking spaces on a first-come, first-served basis for an additional fee.

Two more affordable housing forums will be held on Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. at Big Six Towers, and Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. at Academy for Careers in Film & TV.

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

Astoria Cove gets green light from City Planning Commission


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of STUDIO V Architecture

Despite opposition from residents, the community board and Borough President Melinda Katz, the Astoria Cove development won over the City Planning Commission.

The 2.2-million-square-foot project along the Astoria waterfront cleared a major hurdle Monday as the commission voted to approve its land-use application despite the push back from community members with a majority vote of 10 yes, two abstentions and one partial no.

“We are pleased by the outcome. And we are looking forward to working with Councilman Constantinides and the City Council and going forward with the process,” said Howard Weiss of Davidoff Hutcher & Citron, which represents 2030 Astoria Developers, the team behind the project. “This project heralds a new era in affordable housing. It’s a great step forward in terms of the mayor’s 10-year housing plan.”

The partial no-vote centered on claims of insufficiency of affordable housing in the application. Community Board 2, Katz and others that opposed the project also called for more affordable housing to be included in the buildings, while developers are proposing 345 units or 20 percent of the 1,723 dwellings.

Members of the building services union 32BJ were displeased by the result and pledged to fight at the City Council level for more affordable housing and unionized jobs.

“Alma Realty should not be granted permission to develop Astoria Cove until they commit to responsible development,” said Lenore Friedlaender, executive director of Build Up NYC, a coalition of organizations that includes 32BJ. “We will continue to fight for the good jobs and affordable housing working families in Astoria need to grow and strengthen the middle class, and we look forward to engaging the entire City Council to make sure this gets done right.”

Astoria Cove will consist of five buildings, three on the waterfront ranging from 26 to 32 stories and two on the upland portion of the site, including a six-story residential building.

The project, which is expected to take more than 10 years to complete in four different phases, will also include about 84,000 square feet of publicly accessible open space.

Recently 2030 Astoria Developers purchased the remaining land needed for the project for more than $43 million.

The City Council has 50 days to vote on the application, and affordable housing will be one of the main subjects reviewed.

“While the new housing stock is sorely needed, the development must work for all Astorians,” Constantinides said. “When the project comes before the City Council, we will work with the developer and focus on providing ample affordable housing, dramatically increasing public transportation capacity on and off of the peninsula, and keeping the development within the fabric of the community.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Silvercup Studios seeking permit approvals again for delayed expansion


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Renderings courtesy Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners LLP

The stalled Silvercup West development, a planned $1 billion expansion of Silvercup Studios in Long Island City just south of the Queensboro Bridge, is back in the spotlight — for special permit renewals.

The land use committee of Community Board 2 is reviewing the application and is expected to bring the matter to a full board vote in the next public meeting on Oct. 2.

The permits are for various design elements in the project, including a proposed 1,400-space parking garage, which was granted three years ago, but has expired since.

A representative for Silvercup at a recent community board committee meeting said they expect to get the approvals quickly without issues, because of past consents.

The Silvercup West plan first debuted about eight years ago with tons of media coverage. The project includes eight new soundstage studios as part of a larger 2.2 million-square-foot complex containing an office tower, high-rise apartment towers with 1,000 residences, retail space, a catering hall and cultural space.

The community board, the borough president, City Planning and the City Council all gave their blessings for the land use case of the project in 2006, and it was supposed to be completed by 2010, according to published reports.

However, the project is being held up by New York Power Authority (NYPA) generators on the site, which have to be decommissioned and removed. The generators, which have 150-foot smoke stacks on each one, are sitting on three acres of land.

3940_0010_1_w

Silvercups’ plan to restore the near century-old landmarked terracotta building at 42-10 Vernon Blvd. have been proceeding well, according to a spokesman, and other plans are seeing movement as well, but the generators are stopping progression.

“We have worked with DEC on getting plans approved for remediation, and have gotten Army Corps approval to install a new bulkhead,” spokesman Russ Colchamiro said. “However, we cannot proceed with the project unitl the NYPA generators are removed.”

If the permits are renewed by the board, the application moves to City Planning for review.

View more renderings and information for the project here.

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

Plans for proposed Sunnyside, Woodside slow zones revealed


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Images courtesy of Department of Transportation

More streets in western Queens will soon be slower and safer.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) presented its plans for two proposed slow zones in Sunnyside Gardens, Woodside and Sunnyside, south of Queens Boulevard, before Community Board 2 (CB 2) during a public hearing on Wednesday night.

The slow zones were designed through input from the community, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and CB 2.

As part of the city’s Vision Zero initiative, the neighborhoods that will be included in these two slow zones were selected based on the transportation agency’s evaluation on crash history, traffic fatalities, community support, and the closeness of schools and senior and day care centers.

THE COURIER/File Photo

THE COURIER/File Photo

Slow zones are marked with high-visibility blue signs that warn drivers at all streets entering the zones. Each area has a speed limit of 20 mph and includes speed bumps and eight-foot-high letters on the road that read “20 MPH.”

The first proposed area, which would be called the Sunnyside Gardens-Woodside Slow Zone, would be bordered by 43rd Street, 38th Avenue, Barnett Avenue, 58th Street, Queens Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue. There are three schools and three daycare/pre-K centers in the area.

SG-W SZ

According to the DOT, since 2007 there has been one death in the proposed zone and three severe pedestrian injuries.

The Sunnyside Gardens-Woodside Slow Zone would include 18 proposed speed bumps, added to the already existing 12 bumps, and 19 neighborhood slow zone gateways.

In the proposed Sunnyside Slow Zone, which has four schools in the area, the borders would be 36th Street, Queens Boulevard, 51st Street and part of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. The area is split diagonally by Greenpoint Avenue, which is not part of the slow zone, according to the DOT.

Since 2007 there have been four fatalities in the proposed zone and since 2008 three severe pedestrian injuries and five severe injuries involving vehicle occupants.

The Sunnyside Slow Zone would include 20 speed bumps, in addition to the current eight bumps, and 31 neighborhood slow zone gateways.

CB 2 will vote on the proposal during its next monthly meeting.

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

Former Community Board 2 district manager Dolores Rizzotto passes away


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Rizzotto family

Dolores Rizzotto, former district manager of Community Board 2 for more than 15 years, died Thursday after a battle with cancer, according to CB2 chair Joseph Conley.

Rizzotto, who chaired CB2 for more than 15 years, was 70.

“Dolores served the City of New York in many capacities but none so important as her role in our community as district manager,” Conley said. “Dolores worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life for so many. Dolores will be sorely missed for her wisdom, compassion, sense of humor and leadership. Dolores was a true friend to all and an expert in helping so many.”

Rizzotto, a lifelong Corona resident who recently moved to Florida, retired in 2006 from CB2, which serves Long Island City, Woodside and Sunnyside. Rizzotto would travel back and forth between Queens and Florida visiting family and friends.

She is survived by her two sons, Michael and Robert, and two grandchildren, Anthony and Thomas.

A wake will be held at Edward Guida Funeral Home, located at 47-20 104th St. in Corona. Visitations hours will be Sept. 18 from 7 to 9 p.m., and Sept. 19 from 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. The funeral mass will be on Sept. 20 at 10:45 a.m. at St. Leo’s Roman Catholic Church, located at 104-05 49th Ave. Rizzotto will be buried at Mount Saint Mary Cemetery in Flushing.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Woodside street renamed after former Councilman Walter McCaffrey


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photos by Angy Altamirano

Woodside came together Saturday to honor a man who officials call the “great son” of the western Queens neighborhood.

Local politicians, community leaders and residents celebrated the life of former Councilman Walter McCaffrey during a ceremony in which 61st Street on Woodside Avenue was renamed “Walter McCaffrey Place.”

“The late Walter McCaffrey will never be forgotten,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who introduced legislation into the City Council to rename the Woodside street, where McCaffrey once had his district office. “A Woodsider till the end, Walter never stopped advocating for his neighborhood and this district, setting a high bar for all elected officials who followed him in office.”

McCaffrey, who passed away last July at 64 years old, was born and raised in Woodside, and served as councilman of the 26th District from 1985 to 2001. Before being elected to the Council, McCaffrey served as chair of Community Board (CB) 2.

“Here we are to honor the life and legacy of [Walter], the person who did so much for our city, so much for our community,” said Joseph Conley, chair of CB 2, during the renaming dedication. “And as Walter taught me and many people here today, there was no greater exercise in life than to reach out your hand and help somebody.

While in the City Council McCaffrey also served as chair of the Zoning and Franchises subcommittee, and was on the Land Use, Finance, Public Safety and Transportation committee.

Friends, colleagues and others who were at the street renaming ceremony remembered the late councilman for his sense of humor and devotion to serving the residents of western Queens.

“The dedication of Walter McCaffrey Place is a fitting tribute to a selfless public servant who was synonymous with the Woodside community,” Congressman Joseph Crowley said. “Walter fought for the people of Queens with great passion, leaving behind a legacy of advocacy and accomplishment that improved the lives of middle class families across the city.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Landmarks Preservation Commission rules against Aluminaire House move to Sunnyside Gardens


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Rendering Courtesy of Campani and Schwarting Architects

Sunnyside Gardens residents and local officials have won the battle against the aluminum exhibition house and residential development looking for a new site to call home.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) ruled last week against the application to relocate the Aluminaire House – an all-aluminum, historic home built in 1931 for a New York City exhibition- to the corner of 39th Avenue and 50th Street in the landmarked district of Sunnyside Gardens.

“After a careful review of the proposal the Commissioners concluded that the relocation of the Aluminaire House to the proposed site within the historic district was not appropriate,” said the LPC in a statement. “The applicant will have the opportunity to present a revised application to the Commissioners.”

Under the proposal,the house, currently dismantled and in storage, would be surrounded by an eight-unit apartment building. Property owner Harry Otterman, who hoped to construct the building, could not be reached for comment as of press time.

Many residents and local officials have been opposed to the home because they said the structure is out of character with the landmarked neighborhood’s brick homes. 

Both the City’s Historic District Council and Community Board 2 voted against the proposal in September.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Star of Queens: Christian Amez, Business Enterprise instructor, Woodside on the Move


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Amez

COMMUNITY SERVICE: Christian Amez has worked with Woodside on the Move for about five years, starting as an aide in the afterschool program. He ultimately created his own year-long class, the “Business Enterprise” program. It teaches children, in grades four and above, various financial literacy and math skills. From learning how to create a budget, to understanding credit and loans, these students ultimately create their own business plans and professionally pitch them to community leaders.

Woodside on the Move has served the Community Board 2 district for over 30 years, providing youth and cultural development programs all across Woodside and its surrounding neighborhoods.

BACKGROUND:  “I’m a first-generation American born in Queens. My family moved from Peru to Woodside, then finally Sunnyside,” said Amez. “Having grown up attending public schools in both neighborhoods (I.S. 125 and P.S. 150, respectively), the two are synonymous with home to me, so I spend a great deal of time getting to know my neighbors and participating in community outreach.”

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “My biggest challenge here had to be one I shared with Woodside on the Move, and that was our rally in May 2012 to restore funding for the afterschool and summer programs we host at P.S. 11 and 152,” said Amez.

During this time he said he had never seen so many students, parents, and community members engaged in what was a collective time of need.

FAVORITE MEMORY: The outpouring of support during the 2012 rally became Amez’s favorite memory at the organization.

“Soon after, due to the efforts of our executive director, Adrian Bordoni, all our staff, and Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, we succeeded in temporarily restoring funding. In the following months, even more support came from Congressmember Joseph Crowley, who donated hundreds of school supplies for the children to prepare for their upcoming school year,” said Amez.

INSPIRATION: “I went through a very transformational time while studying finance. A lot of businessmen and women dream of becoming CEOs or billionaires, but why create one success story when you can create many,” asked Amez. That is what inspired him to work at Woodside on the Move, where the organization can improve the future of the city locally from the ground up, starting with the children.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

5Pointz to become apartment complex after final vote


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

File Photo

Developers have reached the final step in seeing the Long Island City graffiti mecca, known as 5Pointz, become two apartment towers.

The City Council voted on Wednesday, October 9 to approve the land use application that would allow the Wolkoff family, owners of the property on Jackson Avenue and Davis Street, and developer G&M Realty to build apartment towers to larger dimensions than allowed by current zoning rules.

One tower would reach 47 stories and the other 41 stories, with close to 1,000 rental apartments, 32,000 square feet of outdoor public space and 50,000 square feet of retail space between them.

According to Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, developers agreed to build and staff the two buildings with 100 percent union workers, bringing more than 1,000 jobs to Long Island City, and also increase the number of affordable housing units from 75 to 210.

“The concessions provided under the compromise will give Western Queens residents as well as artists a wide variety of interactive amenities future generations will benefit from,” said Van Bramer.

As a “commitment to the arts in this building,” Van Bramer said the developers agreed to keep the altered plans they made in July after listening to comments from Community Board 2, which voted against the application.

G&M Realty’s plan will now include an addition of 10,000 square feet to the initial 2,000 square feet planned for artists’ studios. Borough President Helen Marshall approved the application in July.

Van Bramer said the Wolkoffs have also given a written agreement to offer Jonathan Cohen, widely known as Meres and curator of 5Pointz, the chance to select art on the new building’s walls and panels.

“It was important for me to honor the history of the building over the last 20 years and to recognize what it had become to the graffiti and aerosol art world,” said Van Bramer.

However, according to Marie Cecile Flageul, 5Pointz artists are furious a second hearing, previously promised by Van Bramer, never happened and although 40 speakers stood up to speak at the October 2 public hearing, no one really listened.

“It was a beautiful horse and pony show,” said Flageul. “About half way through the testimonies, almost every council person had left the room. Every single person that took the day off to come and speak, wasted their time because there has been no follow up.”

Flageul also said to date no 5Pointz artists have been contacted or offered to work within the art studios or be featured on the art panels. There have also been no commitments in writing stating everything promised would actually take place once the towers come up.

“[The artists] feel disrespected, they feel profiled,” said Flageul. “We’re all volunteers. We all work our butts off.”
Although the artists have until December 1 to leave the property, Flageul said business will continue as usual with artists from around the world currently putting up their work and more making the trip to the borough.

“We’re going to continue doing what we’re doing. That’s the beauty of art, no matter how much corruption or unfairness there might be, right now we’re continuing what we have been doing for 11 years. We are going to continue the beautification of Long Island City,” said Flageul. “We’re never making the move. We’re here till the end.”

City Planning Commission approves 5Pointz land use application


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

File photo

5Pointz, the graffiti covered warehouses in Long Island City, are one step closer to becoming two high-rise apartment buildings.

On Wednesday the City Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the land use application that would allow the Wolkoff family, owners of the property on Jackson Avenue and Davis Street, to build apartment towers to larger dimensions than allowed by current zoning rules.

One tower would reach 47 stories and the other 41 stories, with close to 1,000 rental apartments, 30,000 square feet of outdoor public space and 50,000 square feet of retail space between them.

In July, the developers altered the initial plan after listening to comments from Community Board 2 (CB2). G&M Realty’s plan includes about 78 affordable housing units, an addition of 10,000 square feet to the initial 2,000 square feet planned for artists’ studios and community use of the parking garage for below-market rates.

The plan also includes the installation of art panels on the street to continue to display artists’ works. There will also be a program to curate the works and establish a community advisory group to work with CB 2 before, during and after construction.

CB 2 voted against the owners’ land use application in June. However, constructing the towers is within their rights.

In July, Borough President Helen Marshall announced she approved the Wolkoff’s land use application.

The application still needs to be approved by the City Council, followed by the mayor.

“Once City Planning delivers the application to the New York City Council, which we anticipate to be sometime next week, I will call the matter up,” said Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer. “By calling it up we will trigger a 50 day window in which the City Council must vote on this application. Once this happens there will be two public City Council hearings at which the public will be invited to comment and testify. I will review the application at City Planning’s recommendation.”

Van Bramer said he will take part in the public meetings and also meet with stakeholders to make the decision based on what he believes “is best for Long Island City.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES