Sunday, April 1, 2012

Unholy parking mess in Flushing

From the Times Ledger:

The 14-story affordable housing building proposed by Macedonia AME Church will begin its rise over downtown Flushing next month, but parking provisions did not go according to plan.

On April 5, the construction company BRP Cos. that is building the church is set to erect a fence around the project site and stick a shovel in the ground two to three weeks later.

The project will go up on a 30,140-square-foot section of Municipal Lot 1 directly north of the church. The lot will be sold to the church at what city officials called a “nominal price,” while community leaders said that lot is being given to the church.

Macedonia Plaza will be home to 143 units of affordable housing, retail space on the ground floor along Union Street, a day care center and gated green space, according to the city Department of Housing, which is giving a property tax break to the developer as part of a city initiative to spur economic revival.

The structure, being built by BRP and Macedonia AME Development Corp., was initially supposed to be started after another, larger development got off the ground.

Flushing Commons, an $850 million proposed mixed-use project that would take up the rest of Municipal Lot 1, was set to be developed before Macedonia Plaza, according to the Rev. Richard McEachern, of the church.

“The intent was for Flushing Commons to start first, then the AME go second,” McEachern said at a meeting. “But if I may, as God would have it, Macedonia Plaza is now going first.”

But the switch negates the way parking was supposed to be provided.

In a City Planning report, the agency addressed CB 7’s concerns by saying the area is well-served by mass transit and that “the adjacent proposed Flushing Commons development will provide a total of 1,600 public parking spaces, which will replace the 1,101 parking spaces presently in the municipal lot.”

Yet Flushing Commons was not built first and does not currently have the funding to start. Instead of additional parking spaces, the area will lose about 50 of them, according to CB 7 Vice Chairman Chuck Apelian, who said that the Macedonia Plaza phase was supposed to go second.


Anonymous said...

Of course, anyone who speaks up against the impact of the Macedonia project will be immediately branded "ANTI AFRICAN AMERICAN".

Well at least, for a change, the usual knee jerk anti Asian rant won't be raised.

Emigre said...

Let the downtown hub choke upon its own over development.

I saw this coming 35 years ago and knew enough to move miles away from the mess.

Bypassing it each morning on the LIRR gives me the greatest of pleasure.

Anonymous said...

So many folks who currently drive will no longer go there. I won't why spend an 1 hour or more on a bus or subway when it takes me 10 minutes to drive & park.

Anonymous said...

What a hot mess that's going to be. I already avoid the area, now I will never ever find reason to go there.

The 1600 spaces that were to be available with Flushing Common would have been garage style, pay by the hour expensive parking like that in Skyview. I refuse to pay these vultures for parking because they chose to obliterate what was there already. I also choose not to shop at Queens Center Mall for the parking reason.

Anonymous said...

The Korean business owners along Union Street are already in exodus.

No parking business!

Anonymous said...

wasnt Muni-Lot #1 taken from the AME church way back in the 40's or 50's? I don't remember if it was their cemetery. Were they paid a fair price back then? If they were why is the lot being returned to them for free?

Anonymous said...

The plans that were first presented to CB7 called for a total of 2,000 parking spaces.

Anonymous said...

Why is a church in the housing development business?

Anonymous said...

Wow, a highly dense urban area loses some car parking spaces. Sounds like it's returning to its original, functional design.

Queens Crapper said...

Flushing never had a functional design.

Anonymous said...

Until the 1950s, most of what is now considered downtown Flushing was a mix of small apartment buildings, single and two-family houses and mansions on significant acreage. All of this sat on a street grid designed between 1650 and 1700.

That's right, kids. Downtown Flushing is really, really old. Pretty much older than any other surviving street grid besides downtown Manhattan, its contemporary.

During the orgy of building in post-World War II Flushing, the centuries-old African-American neighborhood that is now the Municipal Lot and Macedonia was razed, except for the church. Originally, this was to have been part of the LARGEST MALL IN AMERICA, to be built by Webb & Knapp, the shell company for Robert Moses and his developer pals.

It didn't happen, and downtown Flushing remained a fairly low-density commercial district surrounded by higher-density residential apartment blocks.

This has all changed dramatically in the last decade, with seriously negative consequences, and Flushing Commons/Macedonia Plaza will be the lynchpin to the complete paralyzation of downtown Flushing.

Too many people, buildings and cars sitting on a 350-year old street grid that essentially hasn't been upgraded since the time of the Flushing Remonstrance is a recipe for disaster.

You can tip your hat to John Liu, Peter Koo and the Economic Development Corporation for creating a truly ugly, overcrowded and chaotic mess in downtown Flushing, aided and abetted by Bloomberg and his refusal to put in a one-way traffic flow scheme that was supposed to be in tandem with approval of all of these new projects.

Thanks for destroying our town, guys! :)

Anonymous said...

The asians have destroyed it. Only way out would be to carpet-bomb the place and start over.

Anyone got any napalm? (I'm sure a few of those current "residents" there remember what that was like!!!).

Anonymous said...

If I'm not mistaken, the area on the north side of the church is all reserved parking for the 109th NYPD precinct employees on the other side of Union Street. That means that other spots will immediately be taken for the the NYPD to compensate for the loss of these spaces.

Anonymous said...

More fug-ugly shit
(whoever is building it) and less sky to see in the downtown dump!

Glad I live miles away from all of this crap

The MTA had better rebuild the #7 line to accommodate the balloning population.

Otherwise it's the sardine express during the morning cush!

Anonymous said...

All i can see are negative comments. These people dont know anything. The parking area that the building will go up have restriction and no one can park there except police. There wont be any change of the parking spots. duh !!