The proposed rezoning will allow for the facilitation of a new physical cultural establishment and the promotion of vibrancy and public engagement. On July 28, 2021, the City Planning Commission approved a zoning map amendment proposed by Beach 116th Associates LLC to facilitate the development of a gym located at 133 Beach 116th Street in Rockaway Beach. To facilitate the creation of the gym, the applicant requested a zoning map amendment to change the present residential district that allows for a local retail space to a residential area that allows for more diverse businesses like gyms, theatres, and more.
The rezoning is proposed to take place in a section of buildings on Beach 116th Street that are between Rockaway Beach Boulevard and the Ocean Promenade and seeks to rezone parts of tax block 16226 lots 25 and 23 from a R7A/C1-3 to a R7A/C2-4. The change will allow more groups to apply for permits like a Board of Standards and Appeals Special Permit for Physical Cultural Establishment uses and spaces like gyms, theatres, and art studios. The area currently features various restaurants, supply and sporting goods stores, and single and multi-family housing. The hope is to promote the vibrancy and diverse the commercial businesses in the area.
The rezoning will also facilitate the construction of two new mixed-use buildings: Building A and Building B. Building A will be eight stories and Building B will be four stories and both would contain residential space and commercial retail space. Combined, the buildings will have 127,799 square feet of space, 110,707 square feet of that will be reserved for residential space and 17,092 square feet of it will be reserved for ground floor commercial space. There will also be 20,947 square feet of seller parking for residential accessory uses and with 108 off street parking spaces.
One of the buildings has already been constructed. There will be a total of 86 units between the two buildings: 78 in Building A and 8 in Building B. Thirty-three of the constructed units have already been sold. The development site can currently be viewed on Beach 116th Street. The site of the buildings’ construction was once a catering hall that was demolished in 2016.
On June 23, 2021, a hearing was held by the New York City Planning Commission where the rezoning amendment was presented by Elyse Foladare. The Commission had no questions or concerns regarding the rezoning. One individual business owner testified in support of the rezoning in hopes of opening a gym and seeing more business brought to the area.
The application has undergone environmental review pursuant to the New York State Environmental Quality Act and SEQRA regulations. The application was also reviewed by the Department of City Planning and deemed to be consistent with the policies of the New York City Waterfront Revitalization Act.
Community Board 14 held a public hearing about the rezoning application where the vote resulted in 38 in favor and one opposed with none abstaining. The Queens Borough President also held a hearing regarding the matter and issued a recommendation to approve the application. After the most recent City Planning Commission hearing, the Commission approved the amendment and believes the amendment to be appropriate.
The applicant will next be sent to the City Council for review.
By: Patrick McNeill (Patrick is the CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2022.)