Saturday, September 17, 2011
Avella eyes open space in Whitestone & landmarking in College Point
From the Times Ledger:
Over the past week, state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) has taken steps both to bring new recreation options to Whitestone and preserve a historic building in College Point.
Support is growing within the Whitestone community for a proposal to convert six vacant acres there into a community space with possible features such as a sports field and a clubhouse.
Avella convened a meeting Monday evening with Alfredo Centola, president of the Malba Gardens Civic Association; Marlene Cody, a vice president of the Greater Whitestone Taxpayers Association; and Debra Markell, president of the Waterside Estates at Cresthaven Homeowners Association in Whitestone, in order to gauge their opinions on the possible plan and to discuss their next steps.
Avella’s office is working to determine who owns the site, which is in foreclosure and bounded by Powells Cove Boulevard, 6th Avenue, 150th Street and Waterside Estates.
Centola said the meeting was short but constructive.
In an unrelated matter, Avella took the rare step of writing the city Landmarks Preservation Commission Sept. 9 to implore the group to grant landmark status to a five-story College Point building currently being converted by a developer into a mixed-use project.
Architect Raymond Chan has plans to redevelop the site of the former Gelmart building, at 20-07 127th Street, to include a boutique hotel, restaurants, retail stores and a rooftop cafe. Slated to be completed early next year, the development will cost more than $7 million, Chan said.
But Avella wrote that it was constructed by the 19th century’s noted German immigrant and resident Conrad Poppenhusen as the first manufacturing building in the College Point area and therefore should be protected.