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.