Council Subcommittee Approves Flushing Mixed-Use Building

Proposal praised as valuable for Flushing’s commercial growth.  On March 24, 2015 the City Council Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises voted to approve a zoning map amendment facilitation construction of an eleven-story mixed-use building at 137-61 Northern Boulevard in Flushing, Queens.  The proposal was recently approved by the City Planning Commission, and would offer commercial retail, residential, hotel, community facility, and parking space.

Eric Palatnik, counsel for the applicant CG & J Realty, testified before the Subcommittee on the project.  Mr. Palatnik emphasized the total floor area of the proposal was consistent with what is permitted in the district’s existing R6 zoning designation, and the amendment request for a C4-3 overlay was strictly to permit the hotel use on floors two through eight.  Mr. Palatnik testified while the development was geared to the booming commercial community in Flushing, the building be open to anyone who wanted to live there.  “[The apartments] have been designed as studios, but can be enlarged and combined as needed…we’re anticipating that the clientele [for the residential units] will for the most part be businesspeople that are doing business in Flushing and traveling to and from Flushing often enough times that it’s worthwhile to them to have a residence within Flushing.”  Mr. Palatnik also thanked Queens Community Board 7 and Flushing Town Hall for their assistance in studying and consulting on the proposed development.

Councilmember Peter Koo, who represents Flushing, gave a statement at the hearing supporting the project.  The Councilmember also praised the applicant and the project architect Raymond Chan for their cooperation with CB 7 and the Councilmember’s office in addressing community concerns.  “Sensitive to the fact that they will be building next to the historic Flushing Town Hall, the developers agreed to reduce the height of the building where it abuts the Town Hall garden, setting back the second and higher floors for privacy, eliminating any public use of the first- and second-floor terraces overlooking the garden, and curving the architecture to allow greater visibility of Flushing Town Hall from Northern Boulevard.”

The Subcommittee voted 8-0 to approve the proposal, and it is expected to be taken up by the Land Use Committee later this week.

City Council:  Public Hearing LU 0188-2015 (Mar. 24, 2015).

By:  Michael Twomey (Michael is the CityLaw Fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2014).

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