From the Queens Gazette:
Officials at the Dutch Kills Civic Association this week said they need answers to a number of questions regarding plans for a proposed 19-story building located at 30-30 Northern Blvd. before the community can approve of the plans.
Building owner North 30 Associates LLC is seeking a variance from the city Board of Standards and Appeals to permit use of the proposed site as a dormitory for city college students, along with as-of-right convenience retail and mini storage facilities.
In a request for the variance, attorneys Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel said the proposed building would be 19 stories in height with an accessory parking garage for 100 vehicles.
In a Statement of Facts outlining plans for the building, the attorneys cite a 2003 study into the housing needs of college students in New York City that estimated a demand for more than 5,000 beds in Queens for students from four CUNY institutions: Baruch College, Hunter College, CUNY Graduate Center and John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
After studying the financial feasibility of two alternative development plans, i.e. a new, 16-story office building or a new, 26-story mixed office/hotel building, the owner decided to proceed with the proposal for student dormitories and retail use at the site, the attorneys state.
Dutch Kills Civic Association president Gerald Walsh and Executive Director George Stamatiades, both members of Community Board 1, said questions remain regarding future use of the proposed building.
Walsh and Stamatiades said their members need some sort of guarantee from the building owner that the site will not be “flipped” for future use as a homeless shelter or similar facility.
In a joint statement Walsh and Stamatiades said the Dutch Kills community would welcome students in the proposed dormitory setting with a written guarantee by the building owner that the building will continue to serve as a student dormitory.
“We are greatly concerned that approval of a variance for dormitory use of this building could lead to the future establishment of a homeless shelter at the site,” Walsh said.
“We need answers to a number of questions and a guarantee by the building owner that the site will remain a student dormitory before our community can sign off on this request for a variance.”
Do they really think grad students will want to live next to a train? Does the owner have a contract with CUNY? Would CUNY students living next to a subway own cars? How would you enforce this ban on homeless shelters if the property is sold?
Doesn't this all sound extremely shady?