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Application Filed to Rezone 52nd Street in Woodside, Plans for 8-Story Development

Projected development stemming from 52nd Street rezoning (Zoning Application)

Oct. 22, 2019 By Christian Murray

A development team has filed plans to rezone a strip of 52nd Street in Woodside by the 52nd Street 7-train station.

The applicants, Steven and Roy Pomeranz, are looking to rezone a number of parcels on 52nd Street—between Queens Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue—in order to move forward with plans to build an 8-story, 61-unit apartment complex.

The official public review process—known as ULURP—started Oct. 15 with the plans being certified by the Department of City Planning. Community Board 2 will have 60 days to weigh in on the rezoning application as it makes its way to the City Council for a vote over the next seven months.

The Pomeranz family, who are behind the application, have owned the development sites (43-13 to 43-21 52nd St.) for nearly 60 years, when they founded Baby King and operated a warehouse from 1962 to 1996 along the strip.

Their warehouse has been vacant for more than 20 years, since the family moved their Baby King facilities out of Woodside to Jamaica Queens.

“The area is appropriate for additional development,” said Richard Lobel, a landuse attorney with Sheldon Lobel, at a Community Board 2 Land Use committee meeting in September. “Replacing a warehouse with a productive residential building was something City Planning encouraged us to proceed with.”

Vacated warehouse on 52nd Street (Google)

The property, despite being a warehouse, is zoned for low density residential use—a R5B.

The family need the property rezoned in order to build their 60-plus units. Without a rezoning, they would be limited to no more than 18 units—likely consisting of six, three-story town houses.

The application, which is to upzone the parcels to R7A with a C2/3 commercial overlay, would also allow them to build about 5,500 square feet of ground floor retail space.

The pair, however, would be required to include about 18-20 units of affordable housing in according to the City’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing requirements.

The Pomeranz sites are located on the east side of 52nd Street between Roosevelt Avenue and Queens Boulevard.

City Planning wants the east side of 52nd—all the way from Roosevelt Avenue through Queens Boulevard to be upzoned from R5B to R7A—to ensure zoning uniformity. The corner sites on Queens Boulevard and Roosevelt have already been zoned for high-density residential development.

The Pomeranz application includes sites, as per City Planning’s request, beyond its boundaries. The sites that would be upzoned from R5B to R7A are home to El Renuevo Church at 43-25 52nd St., Alpha auto shop at 43-27, and a three-story apartment building at 43-09.

According to the application, these non Pomeranz sites could potentially yield an additional 76 apartments. Therefore, the rezoning could lead to the development of 136 units.

Many buildings have risen in the immediate area in recent times.

The sites are adjacent to a 9-story 66-unit building—called Icon52—on the north east corner of Queens Boulevard and 52nd Street that was completed in 2014. On the south west corner of 52nd and Roosevelt Avenue a seven-story mixed use building—consisting of 40 apartments, offices and stores—is currently being built.

At the corner of 51st and Roosevelt, a 17-story building is slated to go up.

The rezoning Area. The Pomerantz sites are represented by Projected Development Site 1; the church by Site 2; an existing three-story residential building by Site 3; and auto repair shop by Site 4




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Comments about development always get flooded by wackos who only want low density housing for the very rich built.

The housing people are suggesting in the comments here would cost over $1 million per unit! That’s completely unaffordable.

We need good, modern, dense, multi-family construction. If you want to live in a single family neighborhood go move upstate or something and stop ruining the city.


These buildings are too big. They will block the sky and make the neighborhood dark. If anyone thinks this weird block has a chance of becoming a “shopping destination,” that person is living in a dreamworld. It’s not like there is a dearth of retail space.

Make small attached houses, like there are on the other side of Roosevelt: fitting with the neighborhood. This would be in keeping with the goal of neighborhood planning. We don’t need to jam thousands more people into this block. The subway is overcrowded as it is. Local schools are already at capacity. There’s no upside to jamming more people in (aside from the developers money grab). GAG is probably working for the real estate companies.

Look at how Long Island City has completely lost its personality with all those huge rectangular buildings. There is no community there, just a bunch of strangers commuting into Manhattan.

The great thing about Sunnyside and Woodside is COMMUNITY. People here know each other. That is because there aren’t thousands of people jammed into high rises pushing each other on the sidewalk.

I’m fine with building housing but keep it in scale with the community. Developers don’t want to put in anything unless they can fit as many people into a square foot base as possible. They don’t concern themselves with upkeep or fitting into the neighborhood. They don’t care about the current residents.

Save us Jimmy.

David Garmendia

Sad to see, money grubbing land owners, building 8 story buildings on a small street. Digging near the subway el isn’t a safe idea. Hope everyone that moves into theNew buildings doesn’t own a car. parking is already at a premium. LIC has thousands of new residential buildings going up and renovation of old warehouses to lofts continue. The poor 7 train can’t handle all the ridership. Glad I’m retired and can take subway at non rush hour hours.


Everyone is so concerned about new building and developments but not worried about the Hotel/Motels that operate as homeless shelters. get real, these “shelters” house low income wackos from not NY, but other states with criminal backgrounds. instead of bringing the neighborhood up, it drops the status down. Mayor DeBlasio has made our city a festering cesspool of scum and crime, and our boy JVB is not fair behind. and its all no thanks to the Leftwing wackos.


‘What happened to duane reade though’
Walgreens owns both Duane Reade and Rite Aid, I’m assuming they were consolidating locations. They recently switched the Rite Aid on 43rd to a normal Walgreens.

I really hope they redevelop that ugly building though, it’s probably the ugliest building in the entire neighborhood.


I hope cb2 does the right thing and allows this.

We have an affordability crisis and residential units on this street would make the community a lot nicer too. Also, additional retail will make this a destination location. More restaurants and shops are a good thing people!

There is really no reason for anyone to oppose this. If you…

Rent: The increase in supply should either decrease your rent or reduce the rate in which your rent increases.

Own: The improvement to the neighborhood will increase your property values.

Care about safety: Industrial areas are notoriously more dangerous than residential ones, this change will make the area safer.

This kind of density is the norm in Sunnyside.. I love Jimmy as our councilperson, but he needs take a stronger stance on getting more units built in our community. The fact that this will be built on a vacant lot also ensures that there is zero displacement. It’s a great deal!

Mrs Woodside

I thought the 17 story building was NOT approved to go through . Now it is. What is going on here . I called Community Board 2 and they are not aware of it . Yeah just like the homeless shelter that is being built near Boston Market . Can we get a the truth here.
Woodside is getting very crowded .

You can't take your money to the grave.

Be thoughtful forward thinking neighbors. Build the town houses instead.


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