Tag Archives: construction

Flushing firm awarded $282M to repair Sandy-damaged Hugh L. Carey Tunnel


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of MTA Bridges and Tunnels

A third-generation Flushing construction firm was awarded a contract worth $282.5 million to repair the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel from damage it suffered during Superstorm Sandy.

Tully Construction beat out 24 companies for the contract to work on the former Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel. The contract is the largest ever awarded to a construction company from the MTA Bridges and Tunnels division, the organization announced Monday.

The project is expected to take four years.

“We learned just how vital the HLC Tunnel is to the region in 2012 after Superstorm Sandy flooded the tunnel with approximately 60 million gallons of brackish water, compromising the life safety systems in the tunnel,” MTA Bridges and Tunnels President James Ferrara said. “This project will increase the level of resiliency against future weather events.”

Tully Construction will replace the traffic control and communications systems, add new lighting, replace the drainage system, do concrete repairs, add new wall titles, rehabilitate the Brooklyn toll plaza, repave the tunnel, and conduct a clean-up of salt, oil and other contaminants from Sandy flooding.

Parks Department postpones decade-long Whitestone project


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Parks Department

The completion of Little Bay Park’s comfort station is being postponed yet again, officials said.

The Parks Department said the most recent delay was due to a harsh winter and an unusually high amount of soil that had to be removed from the construction site.

The new deadline for completion is set for next spring and, once finished, it will end a project that has sputtered along for a decade.

State Sen. Tony Avella and former U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman secured millions of dollars in 2004 to install bathrooms and expand the parking lot.

As of now, visitors to the park and Fort Totten must use portable toilets.

The department finally broke ground last year and announced that the whole project would be finished this fall.

But that deadline is going to be missed, according to a spokesman for the Parks Department.

While the bathrooms won’t be completed until next year, the Parks Department plans to complete a 100-space parking lot and install bioswales to absorb stormwater runoff this fall.

The current budget for everything is $6.659 million, a higher amount than Avella and Ackerman collected in 2004.

As construction continues, the majority of the park, which is named after the bay it faces, is fenced off.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Two Queens-bound lanes of Throgs Neck Bridge to close overnight this weekend


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Marisa Baldeo

BY ASHA MAHADEVAN

Two of the three Queens-bound lanes on the Throgs Neck Bridge will be closed during overnight hours this weekend, while one lane will be closed during the day.

From Friday, Aug. 22 at 10 p.m. through Monday, Aug. 25, at 5 a.m., one lane to Queens will be closed due to construction. One additional lane will stay closed between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. on all three days.

According to the MTA, these closures can cause delays in traffic movement, so motorists should use the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge or Robert F. Kennedy Bridge as an alternative.

This is the fourth of the seven non-consecutive weekends that the MTA needs to replace 90,000 square feet of binder and asphalt overlay to deliver on its promise of a smoother riding experience, according to the agency. All work is heavily dependent on good weather.

For up-to-date information on MTA service status visit www.mta.info.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Mount Sinai Queens ‘tops off’ steel construction phase of $125M expansion


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photos by Angy Altamirano

Mount Sinai Queens is one step closer to becoming the hospital of the future.

The Astoria hospital’s $125 million expansion and modernization project reached the completion of the steel construction phase on Thursday as a structural steel beam – signed by hospital, community and elected officials – was lifted into place, topping off the building’s frame.

DSC_0371

“Mount Sinai Queens is transforming, and leading, health care in the 21st Century, and our new building represents the model hospital for the future of medicine,” said Dr. David Reich, president and COO of The Mount Sinai Hospital. “We are seeing the gold standard rise here before our eyes, and it is fantastic to see.”

The expansion, which broke ground last year and is expected to be completed in 2016, will feature a new, five-story building, an enlarged Emergency Department, new operating suites and multispecialty outpatient care.

DSC_0404

New windows will be installed in the existing building and central air conditioning will be provided to all patient rooms.

“It is fitting that today we are creating a new chapter in Mount Sinai’s history right here in Queens,” said Dr. Kenneth L. Davis, CEO and president of the Mount Sinai Health System. “This area – where the hospital stands today – has been a healing ground and has provided healthcare services to the community for over 120 years.”

The entrance area to the Ambulatory Care Pavilion will be named after George S. Kaufman and Kaufman Astoria Studios, who made a major donation to the hospital.

“Kaufman Astoria Studios has long been a community neighbor since 1980,” said Kaufman, chairman of Kaufman Organization and Kaufman Astoria Studios. “When you are a member of a community you help your neighbors.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

The Parc Hotel in Flushing set for March opening


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo rendering courtesy of Real Hospitality Group

A chic hotel nearing completion in Flushing is slated to open next month, officials announced last week.

The Parc Hotel, operated by Real Hospitality Group, is in its final construction stage and will open in March at 39-16 College Point Blvd., the Maryland-based company said.

The luxury hotel will have 96 guest rooms and suites, a private rooftop lounge that is 13 stories above street level, and even a dog spa.

Located near Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue, it is one of the many hotels currently being built in booming downtown Flushing.

An 18-story Westin Element hotel at 42-31 Union Street is almost complete.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is looking to build a dual-hotel complex Flushing at 35th Avenue and 114th Street by September 2015.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

EXCLUSIVE: Fire, flood stalls completion of College Point police academy


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo renderings courtesy of NYPD

Completion of the new police academy in College Point has been pushed back three months due to fire and flood damage, The Courier has learned.

The majority of construction on the new $656 million police academy at 128-11 28th Avenue will be finished in March, instead of this month as originally planned, according to the NYPD.

Deputy Chief Kim Royster, a Police Department spokesperson, said the project was first stalled when flood waters from last year’s Superstorm Sandy damaged custom air handlers in storage.

A fire in April also melted the building’s exterior glass atrium, scorching a number of outside panels at the north side of the building and destroying portions of its façade, Royster said.

It was accidentally caused by a blow torch used during construction, according to FDNY spokesperson Frank Dwyer.

“Together these events resulted in substantial completion being delayed by three to four months,” Royster said.

But plans are still on track to have the new academy’s first recruit class enter the new training digs by July 2014, law enforcement officials said.

The 700,000-square-foot building, in the project’s first phase, is projected to accommodate one tour of 1,640 recruits during their first six months of training, according to Inspector Terrence Riley of the NYPD.

In addition to classrooms and gyms, the new space for the city’s finest-to-be also includes a quarter-mile outdoor running track and a mock-up small city with banks, stores, apartments and streetscapes for simulated scenario-based training, Riley said.

The total 30-acre site is bordered by College Point Boulevard, 28th Avenue and Ulmer Street.

A new target date for the west campus is slated for March, while the east campus is expected to near completion in April, Royster said.

The delay was welcomed by Andrew Rocco, president of the College Point Civic and Taxpayers Association.

“Unfortunately, whether it opens tomorrow or three months from now, it’s going to create additional traffic regardless,” he said. “This should give the NYPD an extra three months to figure out how they’re going to support College Point.”

Rocco wants the city to extend Linden Place and fix the neighborhood roads, among other things on his wish list.

“They’re putting this citywide institution in our backyard,” he said. “We want to see some support from that, some visible police presence and support for local businesses.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

 

New modern library opens in Glen Oaks this May


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Queens Public Library

Glen Oaks is getting a sleek new library that opens in the third week of May, officials said.

The $17 million facility at 256-04 Union Turnpike is 18,000 square feet­­—nearly double the size of the neighborhood’s temporary library at 255-01 Union Turnpike. The new, three-story building will have more customer service features including computer workstations, an outdoor reading space and separate areas for adults, teens and children.

The library will also have a sweeping interior staircase, a sky-lit reading lounge and a partial glass exterior.

As construction wraps up, the temporary branch will close on May 3, officials said.

Bookworms can visit nearby libraries in Bellerose or Windsor Park until the grand opening. Materials can be renewed online at www.queenslibrary.org or by phone at 718-990-8508.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Court rules in favor of St. Mary’s construction


| RubenMuniz@queenscourier.com

The chronicle of controversial construction at St. Mary’s added an additional chapter to its touchy tale.

On May 31, the New York State First Division Appellate Court voted three to two in opposition of the Weeks Woodlands Association’s appeal to block expansion at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children.

The heated litigation has been ongoing for several years between the Weeks Woodlands Association, a community group in Bayside, and St. Mary’s. The community group has argued that St. Mary’s violated zoning laws with its current construction project.

St. Mary’s treats children with serious illnesses or injuries, providing rehabilitation and specialized medical care to over 4,000 children every day. The original building, constructed in the late 1950s, caters to children suffering from diseases prevalent during that time period.

According to St. Mary’s spokesperson Leslie Johnson, the space is in dire need of an update, coinciding with technological advances. While the new pavilion will not add patient rooms to the facility, Johnson feels the expansion will “right size” the space. Because patients’ stays average between three to five months, Johnson believes the upgraded 90,000-square-foot center will allow parents to rest by their children’s bedside and give patients a suitable amount of space to heal.

“We are pleased with the court’s decision to dismiss the case,” Johnson said. “This favorable decision brings us one step closer to the realization of a total-healing environment for children with complex medical needs.”

The court’s ruling rendered the case as moot, citing that “petitioners sought no injunctive relief from this Court upon the instant appeal.” The court also said the project is well on its way to completion, with “the excavation, foundation walls, steel superstructure, concrete slabs, metal stud frames and duct work” already finished.

Civic group awaits decision in lawsuit against St. Mary’s


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Photo by Bob Doda

The Weeks Woodlands civic group is awaiting a decision from the appellate court as it proceeds in its lawsuit to halt the expansion of St. Mary’s Hospital for Children.
Construction on the Bayside facility began in October of 2010, despite opposition from Weeks Woodlands. Predominantly taking issue with surrounding zoning laws and the size of the project, Weeks Woodlands vice president Tim Vance argued there is a limited right to expand St. Mary’s and its construction team overstepped its bounds.

St. Mary’s treats children with serious illnesses or injuries, providing rehabilitation and specialized medical care to over 4,000 children every day. The original building, constructed in the late 1950s, caters to children suffering from diseases prevalent during that time period. According to St. Mary’s spokesperson Leslie Johnson, the space is in dire need of an update, coinciding with technological advances.

While the new pavilion will not add patient rooms to the 97-bed facility, Johnson feels the expansion will “right size” the space. Because patients’ stays average between three to five months, Johnson believes the upgraded 90,000-square-foot center will allow parents to rest by their children’s bedside and give patients a suitable amount of space to heal.

Construction crews are expected to complete the first phase of the project by October of this year. The second phase, commencing shortly thereafter, will refurbish and upgrade the hospital’s already existing structure.

Weeks Woodlands first went to court in early August of 2010 following a meeting with the vice president of Turner Construction — the company building the extension. According to Vance, the executive addressed him, saying, “We are going to make your lives miserable.” Vance alleged the VP alerted him Turner’s team would be working before hours, after hours and on the weekends. When Vance asked for quiet Sundays, the executive declined.

Vance said the construction team has lived up to the assertions, but calls to Turner went unanswered when The Courier attempted to verify Vances’ claims.
With the help of contributions from 120 families, Weeks Woodlands accrued funds to assist with its legal fees, which according to Vance have amassed to $100,000.
“We’re in it because it’s our neighborhood,” said Vance. “We want to prevent this problem in our neighborhood and other neighborhoods that are nearby.”
Vance believes that St. Mary’s has the right to expand, just not to the proposed degree.

“[St. Mary’s does] amazing work,” said Vance. “[Weeks Woodlands has] never hesitated to say that.”
According to Vance, the case has four defendants – St. Mary’s, the Department of Buildings (DOB), the New York State Department of Health (DOH) and the New York State Dormitory Authority (DASNY). He alleged that the DOB granted the building permit, the DOH approved the building plans and the DASNY assisted with the loan package for the construction.
Vance alleged that a decision from appellate court would be returned in the near future.
The DOH claimed they are a respondent in the litigation, but could not provide any more information.
The DOB and DASNY could not be reached as of press time.

RKO Keith’s to rise: FAA approval means 17-story development will fly


| mchan@queenscourier.com

122107_RKO_cam_1_Final

While the curtain has long come down on a historic former movie house in Flushing, recent approval by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has green lighted RKO Keith’s Theatre for Act 2.

The proposed 17-story development will be built approximately 7,000 feet from the runway at LaGuardia Airport, which raised concerns in the past as to whether its height would pose a hazard to airline traffic.

Property owner and developer Patrick Thompson had to resubmit his proposal to the FAA after a previous approval expired. The site’s last owner, Shaya Boymelgreen, received FAA clearance for the same proposal submitted in 2003, said Thompson’s spokesperson Michael Nussbaum, who added that plans for the tower’s height have not changed for the past six years.

An “unofficial preliminary determination” made by the FAA in January said the building would not disrupt flight patterns, but one day before the end of the allotted public hearing time frame, a Virginia resident, Christian Kellberg, filed objections against the $160 million project, Nussbaum said.

The federal agency overruled the petitions late last week, giving Thompson the go-ahead to proceed with his plans to preserve RKO’s landmark lobby and build 357 rental apartments, stores and a community center around it.

“I am now free to finalize and complete the financing with the current partners and banks and will begin constructing in the very near future,” Thompson said in a statement.
In March, Nussbaum said Thompson garnered additional support of “interested parties,” but he said developers were still not ready to identify the new financial backers.

The project’s start date was set back by the single detractor, but Nussbaum said the team will have a better idea of when construction will begin and end in a few weeks. He said the total construction period will still take approximately two and a half years.

The developers, Nussbaum said, are currently conducting a review with the design team. He said they will soon apply for a demolition license at the same time they erect a steel shell to encase and protect the landmark lobby during construction.

This Morning’s Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens jurors lead city in no-shows

Looks like Queens needs a boroughwide civics class. More than one-third, or 35 percent, of Queens residents ignore their jury-duty notices — the highest in the five boroughs. “We’re dealing with thousands of people, and we just don’t have the staff,” said Queens County Clerk Audrey Pheffer, who acts as the commissioner of jurors. In fact, Pheffer, a former assemblywoman, said the office stopped bothering to impose fines as it upgrades its jury-selection system. Read More: New York Post

Queens deli destroyed by early morning fire, explosion

A Queens deli was destroyed by an overnight fire — and an explosion at the store could be felt two blocks away. The fire was reported at 3:30 a.m. at the corner of Hempstead Avenue and 220th Street. Firefighters used ladder trucks to spray the building, as the fire was too strong to fight from the inside. The business, Deli Grocery & Grill, is relatively new — only about two months old. No injuries were reported, and there’s no word on the cause of the fire. Read More: New York Post

 

Deliberations To Begin This Week In Queens Terror Trial

A jury could start deliberations as early as Monday in the case of a Queens man accused of plotting to blow up the city’s subways. Adis Medunjanin is accused of conspiring with admitted terrorist Najibullah Zazi to detonate suicide bombs on Manhattan subway lines in 2009. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction against the United States and receiving terrorist training from al-Qaida. Medunjanin faces life in prison if convicted on conspiracy and terror charges. Read More: NY1

 

Hundreds Of Union Job Applicants Camp Out In Woodside

Hundreds of applicants vying for a job with the ironworkers’ union waited outside the union’s office in Woodside, Queens for nearly a week, leaving some neighbors upset about the camp-out. Read More: NY1

Historic Forest Park Greenhouse gets $3.8 million upgrade, replacing century-old structures with high-tech ones

The historic Forest Park Greenhouse, which grows plants and flowers that liven up concrete stretches in Queens and Brooklyn, is moving beyond its early 20th century roots. A section of the greenhouse has just undergone a $3.8 million reconstruction that will increase its capacity and make it more environmentally-friendly. The first stage of the renovation focused on two of the houses that were built in 1905 and designed by greenhouse experts of the time, Lord and Burnham. Read More: Daily News

 

1 WTC to vault past Empire State Building today and become tallest tower in city

ONE WORLD Trade Center is set to eclipse the Empire State Building as New York’s tallest building Monday afternoon, officials said. As long as the weather cooperates, the tower will surpass the 1,250-foot Empire State Building at 2 p.m. on its way to a final height of 1,776 feet. “It’s wonderful,” Mayor Bloomberg said Sunday. “It’s taken a long time. This is probably the most complex construction site in any place ever. I think what we’ve shown is that democracy works.” Read More: Daily News

Tudor Park’s $1M upgrades ready for their close-up


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Batter up!

The city’s renovations to the Tudor Park ball field have reached completion, although residents may have to wait until spring to plant their feet on the new grounds.

“Tudor Park is always a very active area, and it’s always very full. When you have a park that people use, it needs to be upgraded,” said Frank Dardani, president of the Ozone Tudor Civic Association. “I think this is great. Any time that the city wants to do some work and upgrade things, I’m very happy about it.”

According to Dardani, the original field suffered huge draining problems along with damages from constant overuse.

“The field was not in great shape. It was pretty beat up,” Dardani said. “It was just so old that something needed to be done.”

Now, thanks to the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation, newly-planted trees and bushes line the perimeters of the new two-sport dual baseball and cricket field, which has been laid down with new and natural grass. Dardani also said the park now has three pieces of exercise equipment for seniors in place of old, concrete bleachers that have been removed from the site.

“We’re a small, tight-knit community. We want to get our seniors out of the house and give them something to do, and we want our young families to come out with their children, too,” said Dardani. “It’s very important to have a very safe environment for everyone to come to.”

Dardani said he hopes the upgrades will draw more community members to the park, ultimately cutting down neighborhood crime and gang activity.

“If more good and responsible people are in the park, just their presence alone will be a deterrent for these people. There will be eyes and ears watching,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dardani said he’s working on securing a sprinkler system in the park to make sure the $1 million spent on the project — provided by Borough President Helen Marshall — doesn’t go down the drain.

“That grass will get beat up pretty quick in the heat of the summer,” Dardani said. “We’re more than happy with what they gave us. We wanted to thank the borough president, but we also wanted to make her aware if at all possible to put in a sprinkler system to finish the job and have it last longer than it probably would without it.”

Construction on the new field began in September of 2011 and was completed this winter. It is slated to open in the late spring when the new sod properly “attaches” itself to the ground underneath, said a Parks Department spokesperson.

 

JFK Terminal 4 expansion on schedule


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo Rendering by JFKIAT Terminal 4

After a smooth takeoff, the $1.2 billion project to expand a terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFKIAT) is on track — with no foreseeable delays to its arrival destination date.

Improvements to Terminal 4 — the Delta Airlines terminal, which officials say serves 10 million international passengers a year — have been underway for the past year.

Upon completion in May 2013, fliers can expect to see a new mechanized baggage screening system — which officials say will expedite the process — a centralized security system on the terminal’s new fourth floor, as well as nine additional gates and a 1,500 linear foot passenger bridge to connect Terminals 2 and 4.

“This is one of the region’s — if not the country’s — largest airport construction project underway and one that will continue to benefit our airport and our city for years to come,” said Alain Maca, president of JFKIAT Terminal 4. “Terminal 4 is already the largest international terminal in the New York area, and with the expansion, it’ll become one of the largest in North America.”

The construction period, transit officials said, is expected to generate 6,400 jobs in the area, $360 million in wages and close to $1.8 billion in economic activity.

“As this vision takes shape before our eyes, it’s bringing tremendous benefits to the people of the greater New York area,” said Jos Nijhuis, CEO of the Schiphol Group — the parent company of JFKIAT, which operates Terminal 4. “There is still plenty to do, but it appears remarkable progress has already been made in such a short time frame.”

Nijhuis said the project is “almost halfway there” and is right on schedule.

Officials also anticipate the expansion will stimulate a growth of four million passengers.

“This is a game-changing project for our customers and the entire regional aviation system,” said Susan Baer, the director of the aviation department of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. “By expanding terminal facilities, we’re taking a critical step toward meeting future demands and securing JFK’s legacy as the premier global gateway.”

The terminal will undergo two more phases of construction after 2013, Maca said.

Ground broken at Willets Point


| brennison@queenscourier.com

WilletsPt-20w

After years of planning, protests and public hearings, ground was broken at Willets Point — marking the first physical step in the area’s redevelopment.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg was joined at the Thursday, December 1 ground breaking by New York City Economic Development President Seth W. Pinsky, New York City Department of Environmental Protection Deputy Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, Councilmembers Julissa Ferreras and Karen Koslowitz, Borough President Helen Marshall and State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky.

“The development of Willets Point and the benefits that it will provide for the entire city cannot become realities without a multimillion dollar investment in infrastructure improvements that have been needed for many years,” said Marshall.  “Expanding the city’s sewer network and increasing storm water drainage in the area will address longstanding issues and put new development on a firm foundation for the future.”

The infrastructure work is estimated to cost $50 million and will include construction of a sanitary sewer main and reconstruction of a storm sewer and outfall. This phase should be completed in 2013.  The construction will mostly occur between October and March, so as not to interfere during the baseball season with Citi Field which sits next door to Willets Point.

Bloomberg called Willets Point “New York City’s next great neighborhood.”

A plan for the redevelopment of Willets Point was announced by Bloomberg in 2007.  Since that time, the city has been able to acquire nearly 90 percent of the land.  Nine private property owners remain in the projects Phase 1 area, according to the city.

The plan for Phase 1 includes up to 680,000 square feet of retail, up to 400 units of housing — 35 percent of which will be affordable — a hotel, two acres of open space and parking.

Astoria construction project draws community ire


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

doc4e8cb4b5035b1364131794

Astoria’s community leaders are outraged over a 50-unit condominium development for mentally challenged, homeless people that is currently being constructed in the area.

Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. has campaigned against the project, which is located at 27th Avenue and 2nd Street, since it was initially proposed in 2008.

“For years I have advocated for better resources in this community,” said Vallone. “A supermarket, grocery store, bank or even book store would have been appropriate and helpful. We can’t sustain the additional strain of a 50-unit development for homeless people with special needs. Astoria’s waterfront is one of the most beautiful stretches in the five boroughs. We should be helping our existing residents with more facilities rather than using state funds for a new development that will only hinder the community.”

The condominium project is being developed by Urban Pathways, an organization aimed at providing homeless New Yorkers with the assistance necessary to become stable and move into permanent housing.

Vallone believes that the project’s location contradicts Urban Pathways’ objectives due to the lack of services available in the surrounding community, which the councilmember calls “largely underdeveloped” and “an isolated area.”

Repeated calls to Urban Pathways went unreturned as of press time.

Community Board 1, which represents Astoria, voted against the project on December 16, 2008.

“The immediate community is lacking the necessary services to accommodate the new residents,” said Lucille Hartmann, district manager of Community Board 1. “Currently, the community supports Goodwill Industries, which is about one block east of the new development and contains 202 units for approximately 350 residents. The New York City Housing Authority is also across the street from the development and they house approximately 8,000 residents. The amenities available to the community, such as affordable supermarkets, banks and hospitals, are a minimum of a mile away. Public transportation is also very limited, with only buses.”

Vallone claims that “every community group in Astoria opposes” the plan. He also says that he has made numerous efforts to negotiate with the developers, but that his requests have fallen on deaf ears.

“As the state prepares for massive layoffs, millions of dollars are now being used for an unwanted project in a struggling neighborhood,” Vallone said. “We attempted to discuss a compromise with them – a 15-person community-living residence similar to those that exist everywhere else in Queens – but the state refused to even respond.”

The councilmember estimates that the monetary difference between a 15-person and 50-person development could be as high as $20 million in state funds.

The New York State Office of Mental Health declined to comment regarding the project.

Members of the community appear divided on the issue, with some insisting their neighborhood is not the appropriate setting for the development.

“I’m not happy about it,” said Vanessa Finch, a 40-year-old resident of Astoria Houses, which is located directly across the street from the site. “Nobody is happy to have that in their neighborhood, but what can we do?”

Others appear more accepting of the project and hope the center will help the less fortunate by providing them with shelter.

“We are all humans,” said 25-year-old Alan Hughes, another resident of Astoria Houses. “Everyone has to have a place to live. Who are we to say they can’t live here?”

Additional reporting by Alana Manning.