Wednesday, March 5, 2008

LIC to become dorm town

L.I.C. strife over CUNY dorm plans
BY BRENDAN BROSH
DAILY NEWS WRITER

A developer is looking to build a dormitory and mixed-use building that will bring some 200 CUNY students to Long Island City.

The initial proposal, which called for a 13-story residential building on Fifth St. with 169 apartments, ground-floor retail and 220 grad-student dormitory units, was unanimously rejected by Community Board 2's land use committee in November.

Now the owner, OCA LIC, plans to reintroduce the plan this spring, and has offered space to the Queens Council on the Arts to sweeten the deal, sources told the Queens News.

"We think we weren't as sensitive as we should have been in the past presentation," said Sid Davidoff, a spokesman for OCA. "We're going to spend millions of dollars to clean up the contaminated site. We're adding to the community, not taking away."

But some locals are still unhappy about the proposal, noting the neighborhood shouldn't become a "bedroom community" for transient residents.

"We don't need a dorm here," said Terri Mona Adams of the Hunters Point Community Development Corp. "We need people who want to build a future here."

Some locals said they were also troubled by the magnitude of the project in a neighborhood where condos have already proliferated in recent years.

"There's a dumptruck going down our block every five minutes. The scope and size of the project is out of whack," said William Garrett, a father of three and head of the 47 to 47 Residents Group in Hunters Point.

A CUNY spokesman said the building will house doctoral candidates, some of whom will be living with their families.

"These are not undergraduate or even master's level students," said Michael Arena, a spokesman for CUNY. "They're Ph.D. candidates. They generally spend more than four years living, studying and preparing for their doctoral theses."

Community Board 2 Chairman Joe Conley wrote in November that the initial proposal "does not conform to current zoning and will do nothing to enhance the community."

The development takes advantage of a loophole that allows them to skirt zoning restrictions as long as the building has a "community use."

Councilman Tony Avella, an outspoken critic of the provision, said he is disturbed with the number of dormitories slated to be built in Queens.

"There are so many loopholes that allow developers to build whatever they want," said Avella. "Everywhere you turn around there's another institution that wants to expand at the expense of a community."

Community groups have vowed to fight the project.

"We don't need people coming here and dictating to us," said Adams. "The neighborhood doesn't want it."

A new hearing for the proposal is expected sometime in the spring, according to the city Board of Standards and Appeals.


Does anyone think BSA is going to vote against CUNY? I mean, come on. I like how it will be for doctoral students. Who's to say it won't change to undergrads after a year?

Photo from Curbed

67 comments:

Anonymous said...

As a current CUNY Graduate Center Graduate Student, I fully recognize the potential that a dorm for our grad students offers. As CUNY is facing budget cuts currently, we students are desperate for financial relief. You may not know, but our fine institution does not offer us health insurance (which our SUNY counterparts do receive). Despite being my main employer as I teach at one of the CUNY senior colleges, my salary and lack of benefits are fairly despicable. The dorm offered a unique way for us to reduce the rising costs that we face trying to live and go to graduate school in New York City, but also could increase the status of our institution. While the Graduate Center will never be Columbia or NYU, the faculty that we have is really quite astonishing and our prestigious alumni demonstrate the excellent education we are receiving. I desperately hope that the developer can help convince LIC that this dorm would benefit the community, not only by providing a home for emerging scholars, but by also encouraging the development of an important public institution such as The Graduate Center.

Anonymous said...

I dormitory for NEW YORK CITY STUDENTS (i.e. residents of YOUR own community) is a great idea!!!
It's about time.

Anonymous said...

We don't need a dorm here," said Terri Mona Adams of the Hunters Point Community Development Corp. "We need people who want to build a future here."

_____

Sorry Terri, but Hunters Point the community no longer exists. You now have insular towers and no steet life.

Anonymous said...

We don't need people coming here and dictating to us," said Adams. "The neighborhood doesn't want it."

------

Wait to those church groups with 'affordable housing' starts to truck in all those immigrants so the machine does not lose the community to yuppies.

You are looking at thousands.

I'd save my ammunition for them. The newspapers omonously report them rumbling at some mysterious meeting always held in LIC everytime the Olympics site or Sunnyside Yards get mentioned.

Funny, the press never asks questions.

Anonymous said...

How about all those buildings (like Standard Motor) on Northern that are rumored to become dorms.

Eleven story 'dorms' in the middle of nowhere.

Guess who will be filling them.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the the 'dorms' are close to train stations and just minutes from awaiting brooms and dishwashers and and contractors and scrawling kids in Manhattan.

Anonymous said...

With the voters of Astoria
asleep at the wheel for decades,
swallowing that swill the Vallones
have been pouring out.

It's no wonder that they're being
dumped upon one more time....
being inundated with college "students"
sleeping quarters.

Well....
now you can all "dorme vous".

Although I sincerely doubt it.

Just you wait until those frat boys
start throwing their weekend beer blasts!

It'll be ear plugs or the moving van .

Anonymous said...

Thanks for cutting and pasting your comment on multiple blogs, current CUNY Graduate Student.

Anonymous said...

"I dormitory for NEW YORK CITY STUDENTS (i.e. residents of YOUR own community) is a great idea!!!
It's about time."

Who said this was for NYC students?

Anonymous said...

CUNY IS New York City, so yes, they will be New York City students.
How could you people not want New York City students living in dormitories in what was an industrialized area?
and you wonder why there is a stigma about people from Queens.

Anonymous said...

From the looks of that picture, the local CB should be thrilled that CUNY would want to build on that site.

Anonymous said...

CUNY was founded as a "poor man's Harvard". City residents will not be dorming here. They could live at home.

Anonymous said...

"CUNY IS New York City, so yes, they will be New York City students."

They will be students from other parts of the country who will take the seats of city students who the university was founded to serve.

Anonymous said...

How could you people not want New York City students living in dormitories

Ask the guys fighting the dorms at St Johns, or is this another tiresome eastern vs western Queens thing. What is good for us is not good for them.

Anonymous said...

If dorms are so great, why are the people around Columbia and NYU fighting them.

Hey student posters, who taught you that the opinion of Queens residents are not important, especially when it comes to their own communities.

Suspiciously fast learners, arn't you?

Anonymous said...

I am from Queens, I am a proud alum of CUNY and all the students in the limited dorms are from New York City or are honor students who bring credit and prestige to CUNY.
This is not St. Johns nor NYU this is CUNY. peple who are not New York State residents have to pay more than double the amount that state residents do.
Get over yourselves, this is good for your community and the people around you. Wake up already.

Anonymous said...

Get over yourselves, this is good for your community and the people around you. Wake up already

========

Not only do you insult the people of Hunters Point ('wake up already') but its our right to want what WE WANT for our community. To many outsiders like you have come in here and dictated to us. People like you have all but ruined western Queens.

Enough already. Respect us.

Anonymous said...

No one is explaining how this is good for the community? More traffic, more people congestion, an even noisier neighborhood, etc. I'm not following how this is beneficial? NO one is spending money in the neighborhood, except maybe in the bars and the convenience stores–not helping me out in any way. So if somebody has an answer, please do tell.

Anonymous said...

Queens Council on the Arts - started by Melinda Katz's parents and run by those doeyns of Queens, Terri Osborn and Mrs Krakauer.

Well thats a done deal.

The really funny thing is there is not a more inappropiate place for that institution.

I cannot think of any community that is less Queens then Manhattan East (sorry Queens West)

Watch, all those high rises on the East River will capture Queens institutions one by one - letting the great hinterland rot.

Anonymous said...

How about building a supermarket there? That would benefit the community.

Anonymous said...

And when has western Queens ever been run for the benefit of the community. With the exception of a handful of hotheads up near Ditmars, this part of Queens is run like we don't exist.

Take a look at the waterfront. Everyone else gets parks. We get developers talking about property rights. Their property rights.

Anonymous said...

"Not only do you insult the people of Hunter Point"

First of all, I am from western Queens as well, so how am I an outsider?
None of you were so inspired to clean up your neighborhood when every single corner in "Hunters Point" during the 80's was crowded with drunks sitting on milk crates drinking beer out of brown paper bags.
Where was all your civic virtue then?
Or maybe you are not from Hunter Point after all.

Brandon said...

Hey, Queens Crap readers. I'm calling your crap right now. Funny how the comments over on LIQCity about this are so opposite.

I'm tired of the wall-to-wall yuppie towers in LIC. A residence hall for graduate students is a WELCOME alternative. There is nothing on this site. If it wasn't a CUNY dorm for PhD students, you can damned well bet it'd be another luxe condo tower. Grad students don't make a ton of money, but are educated and are scholars who research interesting topics, and I'd like to run into them at the bar and the cafe instead of more of the usual. It seems like a lot of my LIC neighbors feel the same, and seem to think our "community leaders" are way off-base here. So we'll allow lots of luxury condos and even luxury rentals (oh yeah, so much neighborhood stability... also, hello, this is New York, people move a lot in general)... but students, oh my lord, are the end of the earth? These are CUNY students for heck's sake, even, not posh Columbia or NYU ones. Public university grad students. Consider the alternatives. They aren't going to build nothing there. This will add some neighborhood diversity and be good for local culture and businesses.

What is the better realistic alternative? I agree that a lot of new development is, indeed, Queens Crap, but the ire directed toward this development seems wayyyy off-base.

Queens Crapper said...

Are you upset that Queens Crap readers are not posting on LIQCity?

Anonymous said...

This tuition thing is one of the weakest arguments I have heard. There are out-of-staters paying big bucks to go to Columbia and NYU. Why wouldn't they pay double the in state rate if it's still less than those other schools?

Anonymous said...

"this is New York, people move a lot in general"

That may have always been Manhattan, but families tended to settle in Queens for generations. This wasn't a dorm town, but a permanent one.

Anonymous said...

And to put all end to discussion about who will live there:

"Brooklyn College is joining the ranks of other New York academic establishments by adding a dorm next spring (something they've already started, and stopped, work on). The school has a little over 15,000 grads and undergrads, with about 99% hailing from New York and 77% from Brooklyn. The school hopes that by adding a dorm, some out-of-staters will flock to Midwood."

Why would we think CUNY would do differently in LIC?

Brandon said...

"Are you upset that Queens Crap readers are not posting on LIQCity?"

(I think some are... and I don't really care either way, it was just interesting that the tone here was so COMPLETELY opposite)

No, I'm just saying I read it there first, and most of the readers there are LIC residents like myself (I rent in an old rownhouse on 23rd St) and it seems like a lot of us would like a grad student building rather than more luxury condos.

Queens Crapper said...

In all honesty, I think I would prefer a dorm over luxury condos too. But something that provides services to the community would be better. A dorm is considered to be a "community facility" even though it doesn't provide service to the community at all.

Anonymous said...

As a recent CCNY alum, I can testify that CUNY students do not have time to party like their Columbia and NYU counterparts, we go to class and work. We are a serious bunch. On campus, we cared more about job fairs and internships than fraternity pledges.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Queens Crap readers. I'm calling your crap right now. Funny how the comments over on LIQCity about this are so opposite.
-----------

Oh, here we have the new swells in town about to tell us whats hip and whats not -- in our own community!

BTW, any of you kids old enough to have children - do they attend public school?

Been to an emmergency room at a local hospital?

How often do you venture forth from your building (no not bruch at Cafe Hanri) for stuff - you know, the kinds of things that a normal neighborhood has that Hunters Point doesn't?

Anonymous said...

Some "prof "at CUNY
must be giving out course credit for his students
to post on "Queens Crap"!

How else can one explain the proliferation
of pro dorm comments here....h-m-m-m ?

Don't forget to do your homework,
all of you "hard working" (non-partying)
CUNY lads and lasses!

We're looking forward
to reading your doctoral dissertations.

I hope they're more lucid and carefully researched
than the sophomoric drivel you've posted here!

So far you've earned a C+ grade....
but you've also scored an "A" for effort.

Good try!

Anonymous said...

Maybe there are so many pro-dorm comments because many CUNY students and others like the idea.

This is like saying "I dont want a police precinct in my neighborhood because the cars take up too many parking spaces."

Anonymous said...

Hey, Queens Crap readers. I'm calling your crap right now. Funny how the comments over on LIQCity about this are so opposite.
-----------
Just because LIQCity kiddies sleep in LIC does not equal them being Queens residents.

Put them at the corner of Woodhaven and Myrtle and they would be lost.

Hell, put them only a few blocks away at the corner of 36th Ave and 21st St and they would be lost.

Brandon said...

Hey, jerk-wads.

I'm not a condo yuppie. I eat at Court Square diner, not Cafe Henri. I walk and bike all over western Queens. I spent Saturday in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, downtown Flushing, Jackson Heights, and Astoria. I go on runs to places like Blissville and Ravenswood. I like the old industrial buildings and houses and not the "commute like a rocket / live like a star" marketing BS. I'm sorry you think I have no valid opinions and am not a "Queens resident." Do you feel that the 50% of the borough's population that is foreign-born aren't "Queens residents" either?

Sometimes I feel like everyone who comments on this blog are older white homeowners who are opposed to anyone different living in "their" borough.

You readers have a pretty warped view of PhD students, by the way... these people tend to be 25-35 years old, often married and even with kids.

Just sayin'. I like Queens. I don't like glitzy pet spas. Its too bad we can't find any common ground... ya'll want to hang out and be cranky about the world changing around you in any way, that's fine, but it's not realistic. They are going to be building buildings in LIC. Biggish ones. More of them. It's too late. I just want to see things that aren't for super-rich people included. I want to keep liking my neighborhood (and be able to afford my rent).

Anonymous said...

ya'll want to hang out and be cranky about the world changing around you in any way, that's fine, but it's not realistic. They are going to be building buildings in LIC. Biggish ones. More of them. It's too late. I just want to see things that aren't for super-rich people included. I want to keep liking my neighborhood (and be able to afford my rent).

_______________________

It's not about being cranky about the world changing. The big point here is what Crappy wrote at the bottom of the article. Sure, the developers are going to tell us that the dorm is for post-graduates. But what about 2, 3, 10 years from now when the stipulations (THAT HAVE BEEN HIDDEN FROM THE PUBLIC) from the contract kicks in and we have a dorm of undergrads in our community, pissing on people's buildings (which happens to my house all the time now–I live down the block from the RockRose building and the New Avalon builing), and adding to the noise and congestion?
And no one has answered my previous question: HOW IS THIS BENEFITING THE COMMUNITY?

We LIC residents that were born and raised here realize that buildings are going up–we're not idiots. And we haven't been sitting idly doing nothing about it either. The reason why people who are not from here think we haven't done anything is because we've been STEAMROLLED by the local officials and the developers that line their pockets.

And if you think that things "that aren't for super-rich people" are included in any of these deals, you my friend, are the jerkwad. Where's the 20% worth of affordable housing that was to be included in all these "luxury condos" that went up? Or am I the only one who remembers that empty promise at the community meetings? You can bet your ass your rent will go up, so start looking elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

You readers have a pretty warped view of PhD students, by the way... these people tend to be 25-35 years old, often married and even with kids.

Just sayin'. I like Queens. I don't like glitzy pet spas. Its too bad we can't find any common ground... ya'll want to hang out and be cranky about the world changing around you in any way, that's fine, but it's not realistic. They are going to be building buildings in LIC. Biggish ones. More of them. It's too late. I just want to see things that aren't for super-rich people included. I want to keep liking my neighborhood (and be able to afford my rent).
----------

1. I was a grad student at Columbia. Suspicion of others often arises from a knowledge of one's self.

2. If you did learn anything in school, its to think. Nothing, not even massive housing for western Queens is engraved in stone. A true scholar knows that.

Anonymous said...

Well....37 comments....
I think we must have heard from
the entire class by now.

Maybe some of you high school students
really work for CUNY management....h-m-m-m?

By the by....
we're well aware that doctoral students are 25-35 years of age....
just pullin' yer leg to see if you're fully awake.
(I thought that I heard some snoring in the back of the lecture hall).

Anonymous said...

If you pro CUNY posters think this is such a pissy
no count site, why are you trying so damn hard
to shoot such a big wad here?

Maybe it's because of the number of hits this site gets!

It's a smart media buy. You can't afford to ignore us!

Anonymous said...

Someone asked:

HOW IS THIS BENEFITING THE COMMUNITY?

---

1) A polluted site is being cleaned up. Good for anyone who lives or walks past the place.
2) Vacant lots do not generate much tax reveune for the City. completed buildings do.
3) A center for the arts is being included.

Anonymous said...

1) A polluted site is being cleaned up. Good for anyone who lives or walks past the place.

and good for the people living on it?


2) Vacant lots do not generate much tax reveune for the City. completed buildings do.

so how about a supermarket. we can use that, its extra people that are worthless.

3) A center for the arts is being included.

Queens Council on the Arts. I will not say it gives us a chance to say Osborn and Katz and Krakauer in one sentence, but they do have some explaining on why they want something that represents Queens in such a place that is so unQueens. Saw a map of the boro showing immigration, and that area around the new development is positivily cleansing the area of immigrants.

So much for the mantra of the boro of diversity.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the pro-dorm posters can explain the rabid anti-dorm protests around St John, NYU, and Colombia.

Until they do, we should just ignore them and focus on things that are good for the community.

We dont run the local areas for the benefit of them.

Anonymous said...

Cheesy CUNY crash pads....
just what this part of town needs.

How about building some new schools and fire houses
to accommodate the rapid growth thats going on here?

Anonymous said...

If you dont support CUNY students, who do you support? Where would you want your children to go to school?
Is CUNY not the best representation of the borough of Queens you could possibly have?

Anonymous said...

And I repeat:

And to put all end to discussion about who will live there:

"Brooklyn College is joining the ranks of other New York academic establishments by adding a dorm next spring (something they've already started, and stopped, work on). The school has a little over 15,000 grads and undergrads, with about 99% hailing from New York and 77% from Brooklyn. The school hopes that by adding a dorm, some out-of-staters will flock to Midwood."

Why would we think CUNY would do differently in LIC? This is for people from out of state who do not currently live in NYC.

Brandon said...

"Why would we think CUNY would do differently in LIC? This is for people from out of state who do not currently live in NYC."

Holy effing hell. Obviously most doctoral students come from places that aren't the same place as they study... they choose programs based on their interests and the faculty/facilties that might work best for them.

What is wrong with graduate students from out-of-state living there? Many will be from out of the country, too. HALF of Queens residents are from outside of the country, let alone state... why is this any different/worse?

Anonymous said...

This was written in response to the argument that these dorms would be for our kids. (Second comment.) They won't be. And your argument that many will be from outside the state and country only furthers the proof that this in no way is a community facility.

Anonymous said...

Maybe because CUNY is so cheap because it's heavily subsidized by the state and I would rather have the money go towards native kids than someone from Wisconsin?

Anonymous said...

You people should have went to college yourselves, maybe then you would not be so closed minded.

Anonymous said...

"You people should have went to college yourselves, maybe then you would not be so closed minded."

"You should have gone" is the proper grammar here. If you had graduated from high school, maybe you would know that.

Anonymous said...

Democratic Dictionary: close minded.

Someone who thinks for themselves.

Anonymous said...

people who haven't gone to college are usually better off than those who have, anyway. They're more upfront and honest, unlike over-educated people who hide behind a whole bunch of big words.

Anonymous said...

Democratic Dictionary : Closed minded

Someone who thinks for themselves.

Correction:
Someone who thinks only of themselves.

Anonymous said...

There is no such thing as being "over-educated".

I feel sorry for those of you that did not have the oppurtunity to attend college. I truly do.

Yuppie said...

Put them at the corner of Woodhaven and Myrtle and they would be lost.

----

We have GPS in our BMWs. We will figure it out.

Anonymous said...

How about building some new schools and fire houses
to accommodate the rapid growth thats going on here?

----

There is a firehouse one block from this location. Do you want another? The are plans for a school one block from this location in one of the new buildings. This is in addition to the one two blocks in another new building as well as the ones planned for Queens West South.

Any other requests?

Anonymous said...

Not sure what the snark was for in the last comment. Just because there is a firehouse a block away doesn't mean the area will have coverage when it needs it because everyone knows that fire companies often have to cover for other houses (like the ones that were permanently closed in the vicinity). Now that you have high-rises in the area, you're going to need special firefighting equipment, so I can't see how you feel content or safe having only the quaint little firehouse a block away. And the schools currently in existence are not large enough to handle the students in them now. We will be in perpetual catch up mode if we keep pushing for the building of housing units without first providing the services that people already living in the community need. And the people in the community don't need a dorm.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry if I'm being dense, but if this fire house is covering for other houses that were permanently closed then isn't the need in those areas not this one?

Regarding schools I just mentioned plans for two new schools within a five block radius of this site. This is in addition to the one the was already built in Queens West. What more do you want?

The community might not *need* a dorm, but it certainly make a positive contibution to the community overall.

Anonymous said...

If this firehouse is covering for other areas, then you lack coverage, period. And that pesky high-rise issue...

We need schools on all levels. High schools, middle schools, grammar schools...thousands of seats are needed. The ones recently built barely put a dent in what is needed NOW. Wait til the other condos fill up.

Anonymous said...

Opposition to a CUNY grad student residence strikes as garden variety NIMBYism. If you don't like this on that site, you wouldn't like anything on any site.

Anonymous said...

Democratic Dictionary : Closed minded

Some one who thinks.

Anonymous said...

Democratic Diction....


Apparently someone who does not think too much.

CJ said...

"There is no such thing as being "over-educated".

I feel sorry for those of you that did not have the oppurtunity to attend college. I truly do."

I feel sorry for those who feel by virtue of attending college think they are always more intelligent than the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

No one thinks because they went to college that they are more intelligent.
College does not make you intelligent, it makes you educated.
Unfortunatly you cannot understand the benefits of being educated until you become educated yourself.
It is never too late.

Anonymous said...

If this is the best all you CUNY management staffers
can post.....it doesn't speak so well for the quality
your institution will be offering to the 21st century!

Did somebody call CUNY the poor man's Harvard?

You guys sound more like TCI, Touro College
or the rest of the trade schools!

At least they have a better record with job placement.

Anonymous said...

to the poster who wrote about the school currently in Queens West and the other ones going up:

1} Where did you get you information about more schools being built/ I'd seriously like to know.

2} the school in the Queens West building is currently pre-K to 5th. We parents have been petitioining for the school to become pre-K-8th, but so far...

Also, unless you are on line at 5am with more than 20 other parents, trying to get your children into that school, up against many undocumented immigrants who live in Corona, but use an LIC address to get their kids in the school, thus creating overcrowding, and BREAKING the LAW, then shut your yap about it.

Anonymous said...

Trying to defend yoursleves in this regard makes you sound even more pitiful.
It is OK that you did not go to college, no one is criticizing you.