Tuesday, December 25, 2012

EDC encourages developer to use loophole

From the Times Ledger:

A Bayside developer was selected Monday to breathe new life into a downtown Flushing eyesore.

A company called Success 88, headed by Betsy Mak, won a bidding process to develop a vacant building on 40th Road that had once housed city offices, according to the city Economic Development Corp. Mak paid $1.5 million for the property.

“Today’s announcement will lead to the complete revitalization of this currently vacant site, creating new retail and commercial space, as well as space that will be specifically developed for community use,” said Seth Pinsky, president of EDC. “In this way, the project will ensure the continued growth and success of this critical Queens neighborhood and the borough as a whole.”

The new building, which will replace the current one at 135-15 40th Road, is set to contain retail on the ground floor and commercial uses above. Those uses typically require parking spaces, but Mak will likely apply for a waiver to bend at least some of those regulations, according to EDC.

A clause in the contract between the city and Success 88 stipulates that at least one floor of the building, or no less than 1,000 square feet, must be dedicated to space for the community. And Mak will work with the neighborhood to decide the occupant of that space, EDC said.

That community space also allows Mak to tack on a maximum of 3,500 extra square feet to the structure.

Space for community facilities falls into a special category of the city’s zoning laws, and including it in a building’s plans typically allows a developer to build bigger.

In this case, the zoning laws would normally allow a maximum of 8,500 square feet of retail and commercial development.

But because the structure will have this extra use, Mak has the option to add up to 3,500 square feet of space to house it.


Anonymous said...

Someone should tell Seth that revitalization does not mean cramming more density into an area that is already an over stressed ghetto.

There, we have said it. Flushing is a ghetto. You saw if first here. Start using it liberally.

Would be nice if some of the schools that teach urban studies would take Seth to task, but they just encourage this thinking and behavior.

Something else we should start to look at and discuss.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Seth could do something useful for a change by looking into the proposal to revitalize the area around the Steinway Mansion - instead of letting Vallone's suggestion to turn it into a club as the only thing on the table.