Thursday, February 15, 2007

Forest Hills Hotel Plan

If you want to build something that will cause problems in a neighborhood, apply for a zoning change. The city and your community board will help you do it:

Forest Hills Hotel Still Planned, But In Limbo

Some revealing comments from this developer:

“My goal is to turn this (neighborhood) into a mini Manhattan.”

“The city told me they were no longer in the business of municipal parking.”


Aren't zoning changes supposed to be done to benefit the community as a whole and not simply to allow developers to make a profit?

Photo from Queens Chronicle

26 comments:

Poor homeowner said...

Move over Pinky. This monstrosity is in Malinger Katz' lap!

What's the kickback formula? The more $$ for the developer, the more $$ for the local elected grifter?

Now, a developer gets to decide the future of a community? A mini-Manhattan?

Remember Manhattan's Nadler describing his "Cross Harbor Tunnel"? He said that the residents of Maspeth should simply look at a future in transportation.

So he could collect his multi-millions in kickbacks. Katz can't think that big yet, but, this hotel is a great start! Who the hell do homeowners think they are to want a simple, peaceful, community suitable for raising a family? And to want this at the expense of developers and grifters who need money?

Anonymous said...

Another building for the "Katz Litter Box"!

Anonymous said...

“My goal is to turn this (neighborhood) into a mini Manhattan.”

Did anyone bother to discuss this with the VOTERS and TAXPAYERS who live here?

Whose district is this? Any newspapers want to get the opinion in the man on the street?

Anonymous said...

“The city told me they were no longer in the business of municipal parking.”

Anyone discuss this with the merchants and professional offices in the area?

Anonymous said...

All this thing needs is glittering pinwheels and plastic banners steaming in the wind.

A calliope playing from the lobby wouldn't hurt, either.

Fits in nicely with the Gardens.

Anonymous said...

This is a Disneyesque mock Tudor monster out of scale with the rest of its surroundings

mazeartist said...

Consider the benefits- the developer seeks to have public parking facilities within this hotel tower. This may result in more shoppers for Austin Street, benefitting the community. The hotel is located within a commercial district anyway, so as a local resident I don't feel threatened at all.

Maybe Ms. Katz can use the extra tax revenue from the hotel to make the Continental Avenue subway station accessible to the handicapped. It's a win-win for the community.
Besides, the Tudor-bethan hotel looks a lot better than the Windosr condo tower two blocks nearly.

Anonymous said...

I think that Mazeartist is really on the PR staff of the developer.....or C.M. Katz....maybe even a local bussiness group! What do you all think? It's not a "win win" situation but "lose lose" one for the community old friend! H-m-m-m, always seem to be supporting overdevelopment....in your posts.

Anonymous said...

"Aren't zoning changes supposed to be done to benefit the community as a whole and not simply to allow developers to make a profit?"

Why is it that the author of this blog always assumes that every new development has no benefit to the community? I live in Forest Hills and I am totally in support of the proposed hotel. As Mazeartist points out, the proposed location is in a commercial district--on Austin Street surrounded by stores and restaurants. The proposed location is also in close proximity to several high-rise apartment buildings that are over 20 stories high (Gerard Towers, Lane Towers and the new Windsor building). This area is not a low-density neighborhood as most of the commenters here seem to think. I can only assume they have never been to Forest Hills.

I understand that a lot of development proposed in Queens is in low-density, single-family neighborhoods and is not appropriate, but this is not the case here. This hotel would have huge benefits for Forest Hills by creating jobs, attracting high-quality stores and restaurants, and raising the profile of Queens among NYC residents and tourists.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the previous poster can explain what infrastructure improvements have been implemented in anticipation of large scale development projects like this. Subways, electricity, etc. And the Crapper is right - a zoning change of one block is what is called "spotzoning," and that, my friend, is illegal in just about every community throughout the country. Ah, but this being NYC, with a "benevolent dictator" as mayor, they don't have to play by any rules.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, some people just don't get the fact that because you can build big doesn't mean you should. At least not before you adequately prepare for the consequences.

Anonymous said...

The guy says he wants to turn Forest Hills into a mini-Manhattan and the people who live there think that's a great idea? Wait until you are paying more for everything and see if you still are in favor of such a plan. Of course, by then, it will be too late.

Anonymous said...

"Perhaps the previous poster can explain what infrastructure improvements have been implemented in anticipation of large scale development projects like this."

As a resident of Forest Hills, I can tell you that the current infrastructure is more than adequate for this hotel project. This is not Atlantic Yards. This is a 150 room hotel proposed in a commercial district that already has many high-rise buildings. The existing subway lines and other infrastructure can handle another few hundred people a day. There is also a LIRR station a few blocks from the proposed hotel. In my experience, the LIRR is underutilized in the city on the weekends. It is on the weekend when the hotel and the new restaurants and stores within it would get the most business.

Anonymous said...

Great! The infrastructure is adequate because some anonymous person who says they live there says it is! That should be good enough for the Bloomberg administration. Let the building proceed. To hell with increased traffic flow. Pack em in!

Anonymous said...

I like how an extra 150 people won't overburden the subway. Add that to the overdevelopment of LIC, and the plan for Jamaica, and I would like to see how our Forest Hills friend squeezes his/her way onto the E train in the morning.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone really believe that a hotel in Forest Hills is going to improve the local economy? Do you think tourists will spend their money in F.H., or spend the day (and their money) shopping on Madison Avenue? The E train does go to 53rd & 5th as well as 7th Avenue!

Anonymous said...

I can envision people staying in this hotel and spending their entire vacation in Forest Hills. I can also envision a day when donkeys fly.

Anonymous said...

If 150 is not a strain on the infrastructure because it is so low a number, then it will also likely not have that much of a positive impact on area businesses.

Anonymous said...

The yuppies moving into Forest Hills need a place to store the folks when they come for a visit from Colorado, dontcha know?

Anonymous said...

so what happened to the kew inn, the forest hills hotel, etc? if hotels were a good thing why did they go under?

does austin steet need even more traffic?

besides, is not taste subjective? that thing is butt ass ugly!

FH Guy said...

Take it easy people.

I know my support of a new development is not popular on this blog, but I think everyone here who is so reflexively anit-development needs to get some perspective.

I'm just trying to point out that people should look at the actual site and neighborhood characteristics where development is proposed before jumping on the bandwagon to oppose it.

One of great things about NYC that people love is that it is constantly changing. If you all have your way, there will be no possiblity of positive changes that actually benefit communities.

Anonymous said...

I'm fully familiar with the commercial Austin St. (and Forest Hills) area and its existing density and character. I've been seeing it, walking it and shopping there for many years, despite what a previous poster may have tried to state to the contrary! Please don't try to jerk my chain!

My opinion as a design proffessional, (shared by many of my collegues) is simply this: The hotel is still still out of scale and will severely impact the area's infrastructure, no matter how much this issue is avoided.

However you cut it or present it, it's just it's a patent piece of tripe !

Anonymous said...

As someone who lives a mere five minute walk from the proposed site, I cannot wait for the hotel to be built. Looking at the photo, I see that it will replace that horrible black mini-mall thing that's there now. I don't care if the developer wants a mini-Manhattan. No wait. I do. I want a mini-Manhattan. I moved here because FH was already like Manhattan. Stores, movies, yellow cabs, subway. All those who want to know what the voting public think can count my vote in favor of the hotel.

Anonymous said...

Yes, and your vote means everyone is in favor of it. OK.

Anonymous said...

Oh, THAT's why you moved to Forest Hills. And here we thought it was because you couldn't afford to live in Murray Hill anymore.

Anonymous said...

No, a 150-unit hotel is not a big deal. Then there will be 2, 5, 10, 20...when will enough be enough?