Saturday, December 1, 2012
Property owners seek questionable rezoning
From the Times Ledger:
Flushing’s community board blasted a controversial rezoning of an industrial block Monday over concerns that 300,000 to 600,000 square feet of commercial property could potentially be built without providing any parking spaces, but the proposal may still get the green light from the city.
A group of property owners have been seeking for years to rezone the block between Fowler and Avery avenues and College Point Boulevard and the Van Wyck Expressway from a manufacturing zone to one that could transform the largely one- and two-story industrial businesses into five- and six-story structures that may house residential units, commercial units or a combination of both.
“The approved zone allows for opportunities that we can’t pin down,” said Chuck Apelian, vice chairman of Community Board 7. The board voted to disapprove the application, but it moves on to Borough President Helen Marshall and the City Planning Commission, which also make recommendations, before the City Council votes whether or not to go through with the change.
A group of five owners who control 85 percent of the area in question told CB 7 if the block is rezoned, the most likely result would be five new buildings with 148,100 square feet of commercial space on the first floor and approximately 378 residential units, some affordable, on the five to six floors above. Under that scenario, about 190 parking spaces would be required, although lawyer Patrick Jones, who spoke on behalf of the group, said they would likely build more.
But none of the property owners are developers, Apelian countered, leaving board members wondering if some of the plots would simply go on the auction block once the rezoning is approved.