Monday, July 19, 2010

Here comes the concrete jungle

From the Daily News:

Civic leaders hoping to transform the former site of St. Saviour's Church in Maspeth into parkland had their hopes dashed this week when the owner unveiled plans to build warehouses on the site.

Maspeth Development LLC applied for city permits to construct four buildings on a portion of the 1.5-acre property at 57th Road and 58th St.

"I'm willing to work with anyone, but we're moving forward," said developer Scott Kushnick. "The city cannot come up with the money, and I have my back against the wall."

The company had hoped to build residential units when it purchased the land several years ago. But the community rallied against the project and the zoning change needed to make it happen.

Queens Borough President Helen Marshall has set aside $1 million to acquire the land. City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley added $500,000 to the pot.

Kushnick declined to say how much he is asking for but admitted "nobody's come up with anything near a reasonable number."

He said he has little choice but to build warehouses that he can sell or rent to recoup some of the money he has spent on the site.

The permits have yet to be approved by the city.

Civic activist Christina Wilkinson pointed out that the Buildings Department has issued three violations and a partial stop-work order against the developer because of conditions at the site.

She called on elected officials to come up with funds for the land "or else their enduring legacy will be that of a concrete jungle where there should have been a green oasis."


See also: City Officials Dragging Their Feet On St. Saviour's Church Park Site

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ugh, they raised $1.5M toward this and the owner is building? He really thinks someone is going to rent his little warehouses when there are empty ones all over the city? He'll be throwing more money away.

Anonymous said...

Bloomburg should match the money that has been set aside like he does for all the other parks.

Anonymous said...

Maspeth Mom says...

The politicians we have today do not care about their enduring legacy. They are shallow, money grabbing individuals with no integrity.

Anonymous said...

This is a disaster. Warehouses - this is a bluff as the previous poster wrote there are empty warehouses renting for songs everywhere else.

Bloomberg - do the right thing and have the city buy it or eminent domain the property.

Anonymous said...

You go girl!

Christina is an inspiration to us all.

-Joe said...

Warehouses, where else you gonna store all the rice and Paki noodles for the mayors constituents
You would think with all the Queens taxpayer $$ the city could give the people something back.
The Mayor must really hate those Maspeth people.
Not long ago the city blew 50 million dollars on a new baby sitting wing at the Hall of Science. No science --the rooms are packed with arts & crafts and paint. Its a friggan joke

Chuckles said...

Why would an acre and a half in Maspeth cost 1.5 Million?

You could buy a mansion in Old Westbury on two acres for that amount.

Old Westbury is a lot nicer than Maspeth.

Anonymous said...

That land is worth much more than 1.5 million. Don't kid yourself.
At $125.00 a square foot it comes to $8,125,000. This is still NYC and land has value.

Anonymous said...

There are homes in Old Westbury that cost more than 8 million. The slums of Old Westbury cost 2 or 3 million and they will probably be bought to knock them down and build a real house.

Anonymous said...

Christina and all the others who didn't know how to act like adults made a mess of this whole thing. Well now they are getting what everyone said they would- instead of houses and maintaining the church building, they get warehouses.

Anonymous said...

There are 14 houses currently listed on MLS in Old Westbury for under 1.5 Million, all 1 acre or more.

Maybe the developer is dreaming this little lot is worth 8 million but then why was he able to buy it in the first place for practically nothing a few short years ago?

Anonymous said...

The developer (and some pols we know) should be put into concrete overshoes then air lifted into some remote jungle for the wild beasts to feast upon.

Burp!
Mmaybe they're indigestible!

Christina said...

Christina and the others advocated for what the people who live by St. Saviour's wanted. They requested a park, and if not that, then warehouses rather than houses. They live in a mixed use district, warehouses do not bother them. They provide jobs, and when the workers go home, there's plenty of parking. They don't want more people packed into an area that is underserved by city services.

No one is walking around with regrets. Well, except for Scott and Tommy. It must suck to be them.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Mr. Gallagher threatened noxious factories, not warehouses. Which would have been prohibited by zoning. He also said the rezoning was a "done deal."

A liar, that guy was.

Queens Crapper said...

They're offering $125/sq ft to the Willets Point landowners, and they're zoned M3. This is zoned M1, it's worth a lot less.

Anonymous said...

The city always underpays. The land at Willets Point is worth more than $125.00 per sq. ft.

Anonymous said...

Public records show that the developer paid 6 million for the land in 2005. Add to that taxes, insurance,upkeep and soft costs for 5 years and I'm sure if they sell it at 10 million they will still lose money

bored observer said...

Why on earth a developer would pay 6 million dollars for an acre and a half parcel of land in a simple working class area is beyond me.

He must have been counting on zoning changes to let him build big there.

If there was a way to build profitably there under current zoning he probably would have started already.

Sounds like Dennis Gallagher was expected to finesse new zoning rules for him and those plans were wrecked when Gallagher suddenly had to leave office.

Now it looks like he wants a taxpayer funded bail out.

Anonymous said...

What's going on with the church? Why isn't it rebuilt yet? I hope they change their mind and put it back where they took it from. In fact if they make this one project, they'll have double the money on hand to put toward the land and they can raise money later for the rebuilding.

Anonymous said...

A fragment of the orginal fabric remains. I mean, come on, day laborers were used.

Now after being in a dumpster for a few years ...

Anonymous said...

So rebuild it from scratch with new materials, like they did for Fraunces Tavern. At least there are plans available for this one.