From the Queens Chronicle:
When Community Board 7 OK’d the massive $850 million Flushing Commons mixed-use development project in April, it was with several recommendations. Now with the plan fully approved, the board is trying to hold the city’s and the developer’s feet to the fire.
“We wanted concessions and now is the time to work them out,” said CB 7 Chairman Gene Kelty, “but we don’t want to be rushed into it.”
Kelty was referring to a Queens Borough Board meeting set for Sept. 20, which has on its agenda a vote on the Flushing Commons business arrangements. The board consists of all 14 Queens City Council members, community board chairpersons and the borough president.
Although the project was approved by the City Council last month, the specifics have to be approved by the Borough Board. “It’s not part of the land use public review process,” Kelty said. “It’s a technicality with no public comment and only the affected community board chairman votes on it.”
He wants the meeting moved to October, giving his community board time to discuss the issues.
Topics to be covered include the time frame of the project, interim parking during construction, the funding stream and stipulations if the developer fails to get full finances.
“These are just some of the subjects that have to be addressed,” Kelty said. “We want to see the plans in writing.”
Other issues include where 109th Precinct officers will park patrol cars during construction, bus changes and traffic rerouting.
“We also want to negotiate concessions,” Kelty added. “We asked that the old YMCA building become a public school and want the developer to put in a small movie theater in the project.”