Developer wins right to complete Queens hotel

Developer claimed that reduction in hotel rooms due to rezoning would jeopardize franchise agreement. Developer HBC Corona LLC received a foundation permit on July 9, 2008 for its proposed seven-story, mixed-use development providing 100 transient hotel rooms and 63 hotel suites, located at 112-15 Northern Boulevard in Queens. Nearly nine months later the City Council approved the North Corona 2 rezoning plan, changing the site’s C2-4 (R6) zoning to C2-4 (R6A), and putting the proposed 97,112 sq.ft. building nearly 38,000 sq.ft. over the maximum permitted floor area. Without the full foundation completed, Buildings issued a stop-work order.

Applying to BSA, HBC argued that it should be granted a common law right to complete the hotel. It had completed 64 percent of the foundation, including 1,109 cubic yards of an estimated total of 1,735 cubic yards of concrete. If required to construct the building under the current zoning, HBC would have to eliminate 47 hotel rooms. HBC also submitted an appraisal showing that the value of the hotel would decrease by $10 million. It claimed that a reduction in hotel rooms could result in losing its franchise agreement with Marriot International and that Marriot could hold HBC in default, making it liable for money damages.

BSA found that HBC had substantially completed the foundation. It also recognized that redesigning the building to meet current zoning requirements would lead to a serious financial loss for HBC. BSA reinstated HBC’s permit, giving it two years to complete construction.

BSA: 112-15 Northern Boulevard, Queens (160-09-A) (June 23, 2009) (Eric Palatnik, for HBC). CITYADMIN

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