BSA allows six-story building in Astoria to go forward

Developer affected by rezoning claimed substantial work. In early 2010, Scott Minuta obtained a permit to demolish two low-rise buildings at 35-16 Astoria Boulevard in Astoria, Queens. On May 10, 2010, Minuta obtained a building permit to develop a six-story mixed-use building on the site. Two weeks later the City Council approved the 238-block Astoria Rezoning Plan, which replaced the site’s R6 zoning with an R6B district. 7 CityLand 71 (June 15, 2010). The rezoning rendered Minuta’s 11,798 sq.ft. project out of compliance with the new district’s maximum height and floor area regulations. Because Minuta had not completed the building’s foundation by the rezoning’s enactment date, Buildings issued a stop work order.

Minuta sought BSA approval to complete construction. At BSA, Minuta claimed to have excavated 85 percent of the site and poured 35 percent of the concrete needed for the building’s foundation. Minuta also claimed to have already spent $228,692 of the project’s total $1,686,550 budget. Further, Minuta reclaimed that a complying project would result in a building with 43 percent less floor area and lead to an estimated loss of nearly $2.5 million.

BSA granted Minuta a two-year extension to complete construction. BSA found that Minuta had performed substantial work on the project, made significant expenditures, and would suffer a serious economic loss if forced to proceed under the current zoning.

BSA: 35-16 Astoria Boulevard, Queens (77-11-A) (Sept. 13, 2011) (Jessica Loeser, for Minuta).

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