Friday, December 27, 2013

Flushing Commons runs into parking problem

From the Queens Chronicle:

Parking at the proposed Flushing Commons mixed-use development project seemed to be on the minds of officials Thursday at a meeting of the Community Board 7 District Cabinet meeting.

Michael Meyer, president of TDC Development — which is working with the Rockefeller Group to develop the five-acre project on the site of Municipal Parking Lot 1 — outlined plans at the cabinet’s monthly meeting held at the Queens Botanical Garden.

But those in attendance were more concerned about long-term parking than when the first shovel will go into the ground. Although the entire project is not expected to be completed before 2021, 1,144 parking spaces will be retained during construction.

Meyer explained that the project has been broken up into two phases so as not to disrupt parking during the conversion. The site is bounded by Union and 138th streets and 37th and 39th avenues.

He said the plan will reduce congestion and benefit merchants. But CB 7 Chairman Gene Kelty was less sanguine about the plan, which calls for extended long-term parking on the second level of the existing lot.

“We want to divert commuter parking to Citi Field to open up more parking downtown,” Kelty said. “Instead, commuters will only have to pay $16 for the maximum time.”

The chairman said the announced plan “was not what we were told” and “that’s a big problem.”

He was supported by District Manager Marilyn Bitterman and representatives of the business community.

“If it becomes a problem with commuters hogging spaces, we can control it through pricing,” Meyer said.

The developer explained that rates will be different than the city’s, but that they will be locked in by the city until a year after the project’s completion.


Jerry Rotondi said...

If CB7 had unanimously opposed Flushing Commons from the beginning, they wouldn't be getting betrayed, regarding the parking issues now.

Kissing a developer's ring is no insurance that the developer will do what's best for the community or the local businesses.

The Flushing BID fell down on the job too.

I also regret saying that Councilman Peter Koo is partially to blame, for supporting a bad idea which eliminates a public parking lot--essential to the health of the downtown hub.

I'm sorry to be so direct, C.M. Koo.

John said...

Right now, construction of the much smaller project sponsored by the Macedonia AME Church in the NE section of that parking lot has been a nightmare for parking. The police cars and vans park wherever they want, and everyone else has to fight for the leftovers. How can the Flushing Commons project, which is massive, not have the same - or even worse - parking problems during the construction?

Anonymous said...

These assholes truly didn't think this was going to be a problem when this project was proposed? What a joke.

Anonymous said...

Parking there prior to any construction was a nightmare.

Let's sell all municipal parking lots for the betterment of what???

When Flushing was heading down the wrong path many years ago and you couldn't walk safety through that parking facility at night, where were the developers then???

Anonymous said...

The few blocks surrounding Main and Roosevelt are hell, traffic wise. It will only get worse

Back to back buses circling those few blocks, who planned that?

The ball was dropped so badly in that area regarding planning, it's become a free for all.

The developers state that the majority of the cars that utilize those spots are commuters, bs. The city (which agency) uses quite a few spots on the ground level, why? Those spots are rarely filled with those agency cars.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like all of spots will be diverted about 5 blocks west and local politicians will eventually agree. Temporary spots will be diverted from place to place until they disappear.

Bringing a vehicle to that area will eventually cost $15 an hour compared to 25 cents for 10 or 15 minutes at a meter. Once that development starts, they will be closing most sidewalks that surround it for years. That business area will lose many ON STREET spots as well.

The loss of available street parking will really effect the small businesses in that immediate area.

Why are people under the impression that most people walk down there for shopping and or eating?

Why are people under the impression that non Asians don't converge to that area from other neighborhoods?

Anonymous said...

It appears that wool no longer needs to be quickly pulled over our eyes, it can be done slowly with breaks in between.

Let's have a round for apathy, it's becoming the most common of emotions.

Local politicians, city politicians just wait for that apathy so they can quickly move along with developers.

Anonymous said...

"The developer explained that rates will be different than the city’s"

Translating from capitalist B.S.: You are going to be screwed by "full market" parking fees.

Anonymous said...

People don't take buses and trains to get to that area for shopping or eating.

If you cut down on available parking, people won't bother.

The little crappy mall on Roosevelt and College Point Blvd. is worthless. The parking there is the most poorly designed facility I've been to.

I guess if it all looks good on paper, it must be good in reality, at least that's what the civic minded local politicians think, they love to to schmooze with these big developers, makes them feel big as well until they wake up and remember WHO they actually represent, US!

Anonymous said...

Flushing has hundreds of bus routes over're better off taking the bus there anyway! The people down there cant drive anyway!

Anonymous said...

The ball was dropped so badly in that area regarding planning, it's become a free for all.

Not really, when you consider what the area was planned for in the first place. The local node for shopping and dining for nearby residents of one and two family homes. not skyscrapers and hotels.

Don't blame planning. Blame those who let the original plan get sold out.

Flushing as a population of 213,000 people (well, the ones on the books, anyway).

Thats bigger then Des Moines, Montgomery, Little Rock, Salt Lake City, Knoxville, Tallahassee, Providence, etc.

Planned cities. Hell, some are state capitols. Flushing was never supposed to be a city.

John said...

The loss of available street parking will really effect the small businesses in that immediate area.

Yes, a lot of Korean-owned businesses on Union St, between Roosevelt and Northern, already moved out over the past year, in anticipation of the horror that will come from Flushing Commons.

Anonymous said...

Who will eventually get the parking lot concession? will the City still run it, or will some private parking entity run it at market rate?

Anonymous said...

I remember the trolley and cobblestones at Main and Northern.

Anyway, there are no concessions, whoever agrees to the terms of a lease with the Mgmnt. Company will own the right to have a parking facility there.

What is promised now will change dramatically regarding how many spots for public use will be offered.

Residential part will have "x" amount, promised amount for the public means that full price parking will be available .

Not one municipal spot will be left at that location.

How many public spots will be lost? The area needed more, now a few thousand are gone.

Anonymous said...

That site was sold under certain conditions, those conditions are very flexible being that the seller is the entity that governs those conditions.

The answer is yes, it will be private parking at market rate.

Anonymous said...

Kelty And Bitterman have been in the pocket since day one. Myers could give a rats ass about Queens. Until the Community Boards are abolished for the waste of tax money and corruption that they are, Newspapers like the Chronicle will continue to bore us with what they call news.

Anonymous said...

What? A parking problem in Flushing? Why don't we just sell what ever land is left to developers and build a few hundred more apartments and keep over building until Flushing just breaks off and sinks. The electeds have been prostituting flushing for decades. It is ruined.