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Nolan claims that LIC’s infrastructure is too stretched for big development, opposes city’s plan to develop Hunters Point site

Jan. 24, 2017 By Hannah Wulkan

Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan came out strongly today against the city’s plan to develop a large-scale building over a LIRR rail yard site in Long Island City.

The criticism comes a day after the city announced that it is looking for a third-party developer to build a structure that includes retail space and housing units over the LIRR tracks at 11-24 Jackson Avenue. The city put out a request for developer proposals Monday.

The site, bordered by 21st Street, Jackson Avenue and 49th Avenue, is 58,000 square feet and is currently owned by the city and used as storage space for the LIRR.

“This project has high probability to be outsized and not right for Long Island City. I oppose such overdevelopment,” Nolan said. “Considering the size of the site and its proximity to other large scale development in Long Island City there must be a better plan to increase basic services before such large scale development is considered.”

Nolan pointed out that in order for the project to be profitable, a developer would likely have to rezone the site to build taller than the 125 feet currently permitted, and guessed that the development would reach between 50 and 60 stories.

The RFP states that a developer would be required to build over the existing LIRR rail yard on the site, similar to what the development of Sunnyside Yards would entail. The RFP looks for the development to include mixed income housing, retail and commercial space, and a community facility.

Nolan has opposed large developments in the past. She came out against the Sunnyside Yards project when it was first proposed in 2015, saying that the massive project would be out of context and could not be supported by the infrastructure in place.

Cathy Nolan

She expressed concern about overcrowding of the area contributing to sewage backup in to Newtown Creek, and added, “I feel that we are now playing catch-up. Our schools remain the most overcrowded in the city and every subway rider knows the daily overcrowded conditions on the 7, E, F, M, N, Q, and R.”

More recently, Nolan also voiced her apprehension over the upcoming clock tower development in Court Square.

“I do not support a height of seventy stories for any building in Long Island City and will continue to press for whatever changes are necessary to keep some sense of scale,” Nolan said in December about the clock tower development purchased by the Durst Organization.

All proposals for 11-24 Jackson Avenue are due to the NYC Economic Development Corporation and the MTA in April.

State Sen. Mike Gianaris said he is currently having discussions with community leaders about the city’s proposal for the Jackson Avenue site.

“I will not support any plan that does not have the community’s approval.”

Meanwhile, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said he is reviewing the proposal too. “We will review the proposal along with the community and community board and won’t support any project that isn’t right for our community.”

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24 Comments

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sunnysideblues

Guys can’t we just credit the local politicians for their hard work and advocacy? Everyone gives them such a hard time about being corrupt and taking bribes and getting a cut and stuff like that, none of that really happens. People like JVB and Nolan are hard working and honest folks that are acting in the best interest of the community. Some people will be upset because they don’t like the outcome but you can’t please everyone.

Reply
Scoler

There are plenty of people around here who DO give our elected officials credit for the work they do, you’re just not going to bump into them here. You’re not hearing the voice of Sunnyside when you read these comments, just a small sub-section who will never be pleased. They thrive on nasty innuendo and sarcastic remarks.

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Up up and away

I want them to go 100 stories, this is great development. These neighborhoods were ruined now they are becoming beautiful little citys, this is great. I Hope the overrule her. I like cathy but disagree with her on this, i love development .

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Anonymous

Conley was not the only person involved with real estate on CB2. With some digging you’ll find others as well…some even serve on the land use committee currently (conflicts of interest anyone?).

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Anonymous

What is Conley doing now? A developer as the leader of the community board?!!! How long was he in power? Good God, if he actually did this he has blood on his hands.

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ann

Nolan’s position is most welcome. Anyone who rides the 7 train knows what lack of infrastructure + more people means (= nightmare). It is getting worse and worse.

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Dorothy Morehead

Most of the building in LIC were built as of right which does not allow for community or even governmental input. Whenever we have the opportunity, we must stress the need for infrastructure improvements before more over-development. We need schools, transit, water treatment, police and fire protection, medical care facilities. Need, not greed.

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Anonymous

YOu are right.
But Cathy Nolan and the community board did nothing when the rezoning took place in Long Island City 15 years ago. It was then they could have stopped what has become “As of Right.” This statement of hers is too little too late.
Instead, Nolan was probably socializing with the community board 2 chairman Joe Conley (a developer of Long Island City property for Modells at the time), city planning and all the other insiders.
Her statement is a joke
By the way: Joe Conley has a lot to answer for.

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Anonymous

Van Bramer was not a city councilperson back then. He might have been one of the dozens of idiots on the community board that blindly followed Conley like a sheep.

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Anonymous

but he has been for awhile now and he still wants it so I will keep him in all of this — and I am not the only one that agree on this –

jim

Dorothy (DoMo) Morehead and Patricia (Patty D.) Dorfman back to back in one article. Wow! Is Cathy Nolan ever going to leave Sunnyside on her own? Ughhh.

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Patricia Dorfman

Assemblywoman Nolan’s advocacy on this issue is a welcome, realistic, and educated response.

The real estate tsusami rolling over us before infrastructure is in place and community is heard from for a long term plan is not good for current Queens residents or businesses.

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Clean Sunnyside

We need a serious and innovative transportation solution, like a subway line that connects LIC to downtown. Not one more train on the 7 line.

We also need serious businesses here, at the level of JetBlue or MetLife. We don’t need another bodega, we need a bank like Morgan Stanley to move offices here. And more similarly large companies: Google and a large law firm… this way there will be less commuting that goes only to and from Manhattan, and an opportunity for Sunnysiders to work where they live.

We also need the rest of the infrastructure, schools, a waste treatment plant, more solar on the roofs…

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Anonymous.

Wow. Very Nice analysis. Thing is, that is called expansion. Sunnysiders don’t want expansion. They want regression. Sooner or later those “yuppies” and
hipsters” that work for Morgan Stanley or Google will live nearby if it’s cheap, thus ruining the neighborhood, according to some. So will the hordes of people.

Although the idea of another queens bound train crossed my mind many, many years ago. One of the few lines that if it is delayed or out of service, you are pretty much screwed waiting for overcrowded buses with lines of people trying to board. It’s not like you can walk a few blocks and take another train.

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Anonymous

Jimmy Van Bramer has wanted this for a long time now — he too is probably mad his is not going to be getting his cut either –

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43rd street resident

Now she notices whats going down in the hood. Probably left out, not getting a cut of action $$$$$

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