You are reading

Popeyes and Adjacent Buildings Likely to be Bulldozed to Make Way for 12-Story, 201-Unit Building

Northern Boulevard and 34th Avenue (Photo: QueensPost)

April 3, 2019 By Christian Murray

A 12-story, 201-unit building is likely to go up on the corner of Northern Boulevard and 34th Avenue as plans to rezone the site are close to being approved.

The building would go up on a 30,000 square foot site that is currently home to Popeyes, a Sushi restaurant, a tire shop, a Kumon learning center and a house of worship.

The developers, Ashley Young LLC and John Young Associates, are seeking to change the current C8-1 zoning on the 47-15 34th Ave. site to R7X/C2-4 in order to move forward with the project.

The C8-1 zone does not permit residential buildings and is geared more toward auto-oriented uses and big box stores. Buildings within that zone are also limited in scale. The buildings that currently occupy the site—which are one and two stories tall– maximize what is currently allowed by existing zoning.

The developers are therefore seeking a zoning change that will permit residential use as well as a building six times the size of the 30,000 square foot site area-under R7-X, with a C2-4 commercial overlay.

The proposal calls for 201 units, of which 61 would be permanently affordable under Mandatory Inclusionary Housing guidelines. The development would contain 8,800 square feet of commercial space and 4,700 square feet of community facility space. The community facility would be used by Urban Underground, which provides services for underserved adults and children, as well as a pre-school. There would be 77 parking space, most of which would be below ground.

The developers, with the support of City Planning, argue that the current C8-1 zoning is no longer the most appropriate use for the site, and that sites along Northern Boulevard would be better utilized for residential use.

“The Department of City Planning finds that support of residential development on these sites better aligns with the city and community’s vision for Northern Boulevard than the existing auto-oriented use,” said Blake Montieth, an urban planner for Dept. of City Planning, who presented the rezoning application to the City Planning Commission during a hearing on Feb. 25.

However, the project has met some community opposition, since the public review process—known as ULURP– began on Nov. 13. The initial proposal was for a 14-story building, although with the same number of units.

Community Board 1 opposed the application in its opinion on Jan. 22, rejecting it by a vote of 31 to 4 with one member abstaining.

“CB1 believes the proposed rezoning application, as submitted and certified, will produce a building that is significantly out of scale and context with the surrounding development,” the board wrote in its non-binding, advisory opinion

The board noted that the development is near many two- and three-family homes, particularly to the north of the site.

“A more appropriate transition between Northern Boulevard and the neighborhoods to the north would be developments with maximum heights between eight and 10 stories,” the board wrote.

The board was not satisfied with the affordable housing component of the plan—despite it complying with the City’s MIH Option 2, where 30 percent of the units (61 in this case) were to be set aside for applicants earning 80 percent of the average median income, or $68,720 for a family of four.

The board wanted the income limits to be lower, noting that in the five census tracts surrounding the project the median housing income is $41,115.

The developer revised the plans, dropping the height to 12 stories and made a pledge to offer two-thirds of the affordable units (40 units) at 60 percent of the AMI. The revisions, however, are not binding.

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz weighed in on the plan—as part of the public review process—on Feb. 21. She approved the plan and commended the developer for working with the community by reducing the height and changing the affordable housing component. Like CB1, her views are advisory.

The plan is currently being reviewed by the City Planning Commission and a vote is likely to take place on April 10. The plan will then go to city council for approval. If the CPC and the City Council approve the plan, the zoning change will go into effect.

The development is in Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer’s district and it is the protocol of the council to vote in accordance with the wishes of the member where the project is to be sited.

Van Bramer said that he plans to hold a Council hearing on the project on May 2 at the Zoning Subcommittee. The hearing would then be followed by a vote of the full council in May.

“I am thoroughly studying this proposal and taking input from local stakeholders,” Van Bramer said. “I do have some concerns about this project that are shared by Community Board 1 and others. I will continue to engage with the community before coming to any decisions.”

Block Likely to be Demolished and Replaced by 12-Story Development (Photo: QueensPost)

email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 
Princess Vespa

Not all fast food does this, Al Bundy. And this is a sarcastic remark. And a funny one at that.

caring parent

Time will tell what this will do to the illegal firework / riot on 48th street every July 4 between Broadway and northern blvd.


hopefully, many hipsters will come to sunnyside and push all the thugs, bums, and trouble makers towards the edge of the city and beyond.

Sarah D

What exactly do you mean by “ghetto”? Oh, you mean black people. Thanks for showing your racist true colors.

Princess Vespa

Thank you, @everyone.

Ghetto as in low class.

The only racist here is Sarah D. I never said anything about color. That’s on you, genius.

Princess Vespa

Actually, I just mean ghetto. Low class behavior. You wanna see a racist, look in the mirror.

Sunnysider who doesn't hate development

Sounds good to me. Big stretches of Northern Boulevard around there seem wasted, and could do with development. I’m glad a compromise seems to have been reached.

Captain Sensible

Yes, I’d much rather see housing than another car dealership. 201 units is pretty huge, though. At least these folks will probably take the M/R instead of the 7.


The development boom continues! Kind of a nightmare location but that’s just me.

Real man

I don’t like the height of this building, but almost anything is better than Popeye’s


I liked the original height better. I guess the developer made some changes. COmmunity boards are known to be such pains in the asses. No project is ever right.


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

LaGuardia Community College receives federal funding to expand vocational training for the unemployed

LaGuardia Community College recently received more than $400,000 in federal funding to enhance and expand vocational training for underemployed New Yorkers in a city that is still working to recover from COVID-19 pandemic-induced job loss. The support was secured by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and former Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.

LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams explained that the school lost nearly a quarter of its students at the height of the pandemic due to the economic effects of the lockdown on low-income Queens households.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

Raga sworn in as first-ever Filipino American elected to the state Legislature

More than 300 community members attended the historic inauguration of Assemblyman Steven Raga as the first Filipino American elected to office in New York state.

Many who attended the swearing-in event at the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park wore traditional and cultural attire to the event at the building that once housed the General Assembly of the newly formed United Nations from 1946-50 until its current home in Manhattan became available for the world body.

These Queens eateries are participating in the upcoming NYC Restaurant Week

NYC Restaurant Week is underway, so nix that skillet and bring family and friends to your favorite neighborhood spot, or get inspired and break bread somewhere new and different. During this special citywide culinary event, food-lovers will enjoy curated menus and prix-fixe prices that are easy on the wallet.

Bookings began on Jan. 17 and are available until Feb. 12, and you can reserve a table at 30 participating Queens restaurants, along with hundreds more across the five boroughs.