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Developer’s Plan to Build 17-Story Building by 52nd Street Subway Station Gets Pushback

51-22 Roosevelt Ave. (Photo: Queens Post)

Sept. 27, 2019 By Christian Murray

A 17-story, 90-unit apartment complex is planned to go up on Roosevelt Avenue and members of Community Board 2’s Land Use Committee oppose it—saying the building would be out of character with the area and put additional pressure on nearby infrastructure.

The developer, Peng Li of HW LIC One LLC., plans to build two structures on the corner of 51st Street and Roosevelt Avenue—with one being a 17-story mixed-use building and another a four-story school building.

The development is slated to go where the blue-colored J & Sons Supply building once stood, flush against the elevated 7 line. The building was recently demolished.

Li needs the Board of Standards & Appeals to grant him a special permit before he can move forward with the project. The site is located in the flight path of LaGuardia Airport and the proposed building is 190 feet tall—exceeding the permitted height in the flight path by 50 feet.

The community board gets to weigh in on Li’s application with a non-binding recommendation.

The 17-story building would be located on the eastern portion of the site and would include commercial space on the ground floor, recreational and mechanical space on the second floor, with the remaining floors consisting of residential units.

The four-story school would be on the western section of the site. Li is in talks with an operator of a private school, although the negotiations are on hold until the BSA renders its decision.

The development meets all City Planning zoning requirements—in terms of height, bulk and property use. The only area where it does not comply is in terms of the flight path.

A 17-story, 90-unit building is proposed to go up on the former J&J Supply site. A four-story school is planned to accompany it (Google)

However, Li has received a declaration from the Federal Aviation Administration saying the building would not pose a danger.

Members acknowledged that given the FAA’s declaration and the fact that the plans comply with city zoning, it was very unlikely that their opinion would matter. Furthermore, the BSA has a long history of approving applications, despite the objections of community boards.

The board’s biggest concern dealt with the height of the building, which conformed with city planning in any case.

“This is a very tall building for that corridor and that is why we are pushing back,” said Lisa Deller, chair of the Land Use Committee, during Wednesday’s committee meeting. “I am sure that if you go to the Community Board meeting [Oct. 3] there will be a number of people who will testify saying that it is too big for our neighborhood.”

The committee asked the development team why they didn’t come up with a shorter, more-compact building. The members noted that the area consists of three to six story buildings.

The architect, Wilson Chao of Studio C Architects in College Point, said that they designed a 17 story structure in order to maximize the amount of square footage permitted by City Planning. They could not yield, he said, the same square footage with a shorter building and comply with zoning code.

The committee members were unsure whether their recommendation would carry much weight since their concerns had nothing to do with the building’s impact on the LaGuardia Airport flight path.

“They are asking for a special permit and we have the ability to say we don’t want it for what ever reason,” said Stephen Cooper, a committee member. “It is a recommendation back to the city and they can ignore it or accept it. We will most likely be overruled but we can do it.”

The committee unanimously rejected the application and their decision is likely to guide the board’s recommendation when the entire board votes Oct. 3.

The public will be able to able to weigh in on the application at the Oct. 3 meeting prior to the vote. The meeting will take place at Sunnyside Community Services at 6:30 p.m.

The recommendation will then be sent to the BSA, which will then make a ruling.

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33 Comments

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I donno

Why are there rules set, and then the contractor can get a ordinance to get around it? Whats the sense?

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Please build!

Build it with parking for bicycles & electric scooters. Include a roof top garden restaurant for everyone to enjoy. Not sure if we need schools.

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Don't Build It

Not sure if we need schools? You obviously don’t have children. We need options when it comes to schools ,the public school system is failing our kids. How would a roof top restaurant be enjoyed by everyone with the noise of the 7 train going by?

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Enormous ham fan

Cancel this immediately! It’s already impossible to get on the train at 52nd Street because of the kids riding the local to 33rd. Adding an ENORMOUS NEW BUILDING RIGHT NEXT TO IT will make it much worse.

If canceling is not possible, the comprise is at a bare minimum, eliminate all express trains and run same number of trains but all local. It’s insane you get to the city faster from Flushing than Woodside, especially when you have to wait for 2-3 trains!

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ASensibleMan

New York will be a Chinese dominated city in less than 20 years. We’re only at the start of it. There’s good and bad to that, but mostly bad. This kind of bug-man housing will be the norm. Right now, the low-hanging fruit is being torn down, like old warehouses. But in the not-too-distant future, more and more beautiful old buildings will get razed and replaced with cheaply built, tacky ant hives.

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LIC Direct

Build it and they will come…. and Jimmy Van Bramer will fill his war chest with more Bank of China $$$ for the next run as Queens Borough President.

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barf

Honestly, every single lot in the city should allow 10 story buildings, with 20 story buildings being allowed within a block of a train station.

The population of the city increased by nearly 500,000 and we’ve barely built any housing. The median rent in NYC is now 2,900 a month for a one bedroom apartment, completely unsustainable.

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bxgrl

Do you actually believe that any of this “development” is aimed at people who need affordable housing? Really? For decades the RE industry spun this fairy tale about rent control being bad bad BAD. All we had to do was get rid of it. Eventually and with the help of bribes (oops I mean CONTRIBUTIONS) to politicians, they succeeded in watering down rent control laws by the back door. The RE industry got what it wanted. What did we who can’t afford high rents get? SCREWED.

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ilona ward

WHERE IS JIMMY ONLY 2 BLOCKS AWAY-I GIRSS NO PHOTO OP BUT CERTAINLY KICKBACK !!! WHAT’S THE MEETING FOR THEY R ALTEADY BUILDING & SHOULD HAVE TO FIX THE 7 TRAIN STATION IN FRONT OF IT! IT SHOULD ALSO HAVE IT’S OWN ELECTRIC POWER LIKE THE BIG SIX-WHY IS OUR NEIGHBORHOODS BLAMING CO-ED-THIS SHOULD BE ON THE BUILDIND DEPT.&OUR WONDERFUL MAYOR AND COUNCILMAN! BEST OF ALL WHERE IS ALL THIS MONEY COMING FROM WHY IS NO ONE CONCERNED-I GUESS AS LONG AS THE GET THEIR PAYOFFS-IT’S FINE TO RUIN QUEENS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Pingpong

Thanks for your help, Van “I want to be on a sitcom” Bramer. Van Bramer’s political story is a real tragedy.

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Barbara Lee

1st thought: who would want to live there?!? The tenants will never get a moment of peace with constant noise from the 7 train and airplanes — no thank you.

2nd thought: the 52nd Street Station will collapse from the jackhammering and construction. Large chunks of metal are already falling from the tracks.

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bxgrl

Affluent people’s buildings get noise controlling double-pane windows. The rest of us can stick… our fingers in our ears.

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Anonymous

Be sure to disclose to all potential 90 families that their new home is two blocks from the homeless shelter hotel.

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anon

Where in the the US Constitution does it state that free housing is a right? I’ll wait.

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Don’t wait too long

Anon-The constitution never said voting was a right for women or people of color until it was amended.

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SunnysidePoster

The area historically has been super sketchy and mostly industrial. The new housing in the area hopefully will make the place feel safer at night and maybe also have some destination retail locations.

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Ther

More cheap construction that looks decrepit after a few years. Canal street bootleg construction jobs.

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gagf

I live right next door. Who the hell cares, just build more housing.

I’m tired of all the boomer NIMBYs that don’t care that young people are paying over 2,000 each month on rent.

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Boomer NIMBY

Move if you can’t afford the rent. $2,000 is cheap compared to other parts of the city. The Sunnyside Woodside area used to have more of a neighborhood feel, now it’s more like a small city.No reason to flood the area with such a big building.

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bxgrl

Really? The boomer NIMBYs need a place to live too – and in Woodside. And don’t tell us we’re entitled. Entitlement is just fine with you and the rich. You can be as entitled as you wanna be. You’re the one who should move. Hypocrite.

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BOOMER NIMBY

Living on a fixed income, I’m not rich. Just concerned with what’s best for the community. Lived here all my life, have no reason to leave.

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Mac

@bxgrl- There is plenty of cheap housing in the Bronx. That’s why the borough is in the shape it is. Don’t try to bring Queens down to that level. Just move back to The Bronx and you will save money.

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Rotten Apple

There’s no way that this building is not going up. End of story…theyre trying to make sunnyside like lego-land too as they did LiC. These cheaply built shotty buildings will reign supreme in all of the boroughs from now on….checkout Q blvd. as you drive east through Woodside.

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Anita Lynn Brady

It is too tall! The whole community is 10 stories or lower. What about fire emergencies? I don’t think the nearby engines would deal with that. For family visits, I am in this area a lot and agree that the infrastructure would be compromised.

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Sick of overcrowding.

This is madness & greed. We don’t need a 17 story building right next to a subway station. Who would want to live on top of the Flushing train , anyway?

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Anonymous

People who don’t own cars and rely on the transit system (most NYC residents).

It may be a little bit noisy, but no more than the cars driving by blasting music at 2am.

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