Sunday, October 25, 2009
Hotel and supermarket proposal for industrial Flushing
From the Queens Gazette:
At public land use hearings on Thursday, October 15, at Queens Borough Hall, real estate developer Chris Xu submitted an application for constructing a hotel and supermarket in an area of Flushing that is zoned for industrialized and commercial use.
During the hearing, Xu explained the details of the construction of the hotel and grocery store at 34-08 Collins Place (a/k/a 34-07 College Point Blvd.). Xu currently owns the land and had originally considered building a 500-car parking garage at the site. When an environmental assessment was done of the space, the results of the review stated that a parking garage would create more traffic for the area and, therefore, have a detrimental affect upon the community.
Xu’s application proposed building a nine story hotel with a supermarket constructed at the ground and lower levels of the facility, where there would also be 250 parking spaces. While customers could access the supermarket on College Point Boulevard, guests could enter the hotel on Collins Place. At least 100 employees would be needed over a three-year period to build the supermarket, hotel and parking garage.
Xu has already been in discussions with prospective clients such as Marriott to develop a three-star hotel at the site. The hotel would also house a swimming pool for guests and would provide 120 jobs with various eight-hour shifts. Xu said he hoped the 24-hour operation of a hotel would make the area safer for residents to walk through during the evening. Marshall noted, too, that the industrialized neighborhood was a “dreary area” and that a hotel and grocery store could possibly help “gentrify” it.
Can someone explain to me why a manufacturing district would need to be "gentrified"? Also, if a parking garage creates more traffic, wouldn't a supermarket-hotel be expected to cause the same problem?