Tag Archives: Requests for Proposal

CB7 rejects Mormon Church bid


| smosco@queenscourier.com

It’ll take a prayer.

The Mormon Church will have to re-examine its options after Community Board 7 (CB 7) unanimously rejected a request for zoning variances for a proposed church on 33rd Avenue in Flushing.

With 11 congregations in Queens, and one currently in Flushing, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints proposed building a new structure that would include a worship area and community room on the ground floor, plus classrooms and office space on an upper level.

The Church needs three variances to build a 23,000-square-foot building on the land it owns at 145-15 33rd Avenue. A 12,000-square-foot structure is allowed there under current zoning. The plan also calls for a 94-foot steeple, which would end up being one of the tallest structures in Queens.

Officials at CB 7 said that this structure would not fit the character of the neighborhood and that the variances requested by the church go against zoning laws in Flushing.

Bishop John Wu, who leads the church’s worshippers on Sanford Avenue, said his congregation has outgrown its current location and expansion is sorely needed. However, CB 7 contends that the rejection is all about size — and he believes the church wants something that is too big for the mostly residential area.

“We looked at this application with a blind eye, and we determined that it did not meet the zoning laws,” said Tyler Cassell, a member of the zoning committee and the land use committee at CB 7. “Our fear is that if these variances are granted, it would be a precedent setting case and will open the door to other large community facilities to further invade our neighborhoods protected under the current zoning.”

Residents voiced their opposition to Borough President Helen Marshall during a public hearing Thursday, February 2. Marshall will make a recommendation within 30 days to the city Board of Standards and Appeals, which has the final say.

‘Another step closer to the new Willets Point’


| smosco@queenscourier.com

The chop shop wasteland that is Willets Point continues to inch toward a rebirth.

According to published reports, major developers and the owners of the New York Mets are among the firms that submitted Requests for Proposal (RFP) for the right to develop the site adjacent to Citi Field in Flushing.

Sterling Equities, which is controlled by Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, teamed up with The Related Companies and submitted a proposal to develop phase one of the project, which covers 12.75 acres. Other bidders include Flushing-based TDC Development and Silverstein Properties – the latter of which is building three towers at the World Trade Center site.

Though the firms would not comment on the proposals, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYC EDC) said that it has received numerous proposals and that each one will get a fair review and equal consideration.

“After receiving numerous responses for the first phase of development, we are another step closer to the new Willets Point,” said EDC spokesperson Jennifer Friedberg. “This project will create thousands of jobs and allow an environmentally contaminated area to become a model center for economic growth for Queens and New York City. We are eager to continue examining the proposals and to create the blueprint for the future of Willets Point.”

The effort to redevelop Willets Point – dubbed “The Iron Triangle” – has been a long and arduous process and requires several steps before a shovel can be put in the ground. The site requires environmental remediation, infrastructure upgrades and land acquisition leading up to the project, which the city has split into three phases, covering 61.4 acres and approximately nine million square feet of development.

While the city controls a majority of the land, the remainder might have to be scooped up by Eminent Domain. The first phase, which includes housing and retail, is projected to be completed by 2016 and the entire Willets Point project is scheduled to be finished by 2022.