Saturday, June 26, 2010
Flushing: Build! Build! Build!
From the Queens Chronicle:
Chris and George Xu want to change the face of Flushing on the less developed north side of Northern Boulevard.
The two brothers, who run Century Construction Group Corp., discussed some of their plans at a luncheon meeting of the Flushing Chamber of Commerce on Friday and were later interviewed for more detailed information.
The closest to realization is the proposed 11-story New Millenium Building at 134-03 35th Ave., which was approved by Community Board 7 in April. The project calls for 98 condominium units, two levels of underground parking for at least 189 cars, ground-level shops, some offices and one or two senior centers.
One Xu project was rejected by CB 7 earlier this year, but the brothers have listened to the criticism and will not include a ground-floor supermarket with a hotel on top of it. “They didn’t like the idea of a grocery store there, so we took it out and will add a restaurant,” George Xu said.
The site is the location of the former Master Grill restaurant at 34-09 College Point Blvd. The brothers want to build a 250-room Sheraton hotel. “It’s at the Board of Standards and Appeals and we don’t expect a decision for another year,” he said.
Further down the road are plans for the old Sears site at 137-61 Northern Blvd., near Flushing Town Hall. It is occupied now by GW Supermarket. Chris Xu said the location needs to be rezoned and that it will take some time.
Meanwhile, the supermarket has a seven-year lease. The brothers envision an 18-story building with a 30-room hotel, 100 condo units, two floors of commercial space and adequate parking.
They are also trying to build two hotels on the Horace Harding Expressway and 18 two-family houses in Fresh Meadows. An environmental cleanup took longer than expected and the owners are trying to complete the foundations before area rezoning takes effect.
Just how much density can Flushing absorb? According to CB 7 Land Use Chairman and board Vice Chairman Chuck Apelian, it seems the sky’s the limit. “I don’t know what will happen in Flushing,” Apelian. “Every time I think we’re done, I’m surprised by something new.”