"Take a look at these two future piles of crap. In red is 31-23 31st Street, a former plastic wrap factory. In the yellow is 31-70 31st Street, a former gas station. The gas station has been demolished and the factory gutted. Both are right in front of the elevated subway, too. 7 stories are planned for each, the factory will house 91 units while 65 are planned for the other. The plans for the factory state that there is to be a 6 story addition - last time I checked only the outer walls were left, the foundation was gone. This seems to be a scam used by the developers to get approval, since plans for a new building have been disapproved for the gas station. So as long as they leave an original wall they are free to do as they please. The plans for the factory are built in acordance with the Quality Housing Program, which states it "encourages development consistent with the character of many established neighborhoods." They expect us to buy this crap? How do two buildings which are bigger than any in their surroundings comply with neigborhood character? This adds up to at least 156 new people and two enormous eyesores for the community. We can only wait to see how ugly these turn out." - Astoria guy
Astoria guy, getting an alteration permit when you plan to build a new building is also a way to save money on permits.