From the Times Ledger:
The architect behind a plan to redevelop an aging manufacturing building into a massive mixed-use edifice appeared before members of Community Board 7 and area civic leaders last week to present the details of the project, which is currently under construction at the site of the former Gelmart plant.
The architect, Raymond Chan, says the work is being done as-of-right, but Chuck Apelian, vice chairman of CB 7 and president of the board’s College Point Corporate Task Force committee, told Chan at the meeting that he needs to respect the community’s wishes if he wants the support of the board and task force.
“You have a lot of uses that are going to bulk up the parking and the traffic,” Apelian told Chan. “You’re going to need a lot of help on this project, you’re going to need curb-cut help, you’re going to need one-way help .... If you want our help, I want your help now. I want you to keep in mind now, while you’re working on the project, to keep in mind the impacts this project will have on the surrounding community.”
Chan said he would take the concerns expressed by Apelian and other task force members — which include representatives of groups including the College Point Civic/Taxpayers Association and the Greater Whitestone Taxpayers Association — to his partners in the $7 million to $8 million plan to redevelop the site at 20-07 127th St. But the groups have no power to force the architect to make any changes.
Chan said the L-shaped, 140,000-square-foot building will also include an organic farmer’s market, supermarket, 200-person conference center, home center, Laundromat, office space, food court and probably a Denny’s restaurant as well as more than a dozen retail shops to include a florist, pizzeria, tea house, clothier, Mexican restaurant, souvenir shop and more.