April 6, 2021 By Christian Murray
About 10 stores on Roosevelt Avenue are in jeopardy of being bulldozed to make way for a 13-story, 213-unit complex.
A developer has filed an application with the Department of City Planning to rezone a series of parcels on Roosevelt Avenue–between 62nd and 63rd Streets–to put up a large mixed-use building. The plans were certified Monday and the public review process has begun.
The plans involve rezoning a series of lots—62-02 through 62-26 Roosevelt Avenue– from a R6 and R6/C1-4 district– to a C4-4 district.
Woodside 63 Management LLC., which is led by the Astoria-based real estate firm EJ Stevens Group, is behind the application.
The development would require the demolition of approximately 10 storefronts, occupied by an eclectic array of businesses– including a carpet store, laundromat, furniture store, restaurant, barber shop and 99-cent store.
The 13-story building would consist of apartment units on floors three through 13. The ground floor would be dedicated to retail, with office space on the second floor.
A community facility would be located on the cellar level. The developer is working with Mare Nostrom Elements on an arts/dance facility in that space.
The sub-cellar would include 156 parking spaces, accessible from 63rd Street.
The plans call for 54 of the 213 dwelling units to be “affordable,” which would be set aside for households earning an average of 60 percent area median income (about $68,220 for a family of four).
The developer is required to provide affordable housing in accordance with the city’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing guidelines—since a rezoning is required.
The developers presented their plans to Community Board 2’s Land Use Committee last month.
“The general consensus right now is it’s too big for the site,” said Lisa Deller, co-chair of the Land Use Committee and chair of Community Board 2.
“It will impact low rise residential homes to the north. At this point it would require significant community support for us to vote for it. The Land Use Committee has been very critical of this proposal.”
Without a zoning change, Deller said, the developer is permitted to build a 9-story building and would not be required to set aside units for affordable housing or space for the arts.
Deller said that the Community Board will be holding a public hearing on the development in coming weeks. The plans will be going before Community Board 2 for a non-binding vote within 60 days.
The City Planning Commission and the Borough President will also get to weigh in.
The approval, however, is ultimately determined by the city council. The whole public review process is expected to take about seven months.