Sept. 1, 2021 By Allie Griffin
The owner of a sports complex in Astoria — who once dreamed of expanding his property by constructing an indoor soccer field and ice rink — has sold his 38th Street building to a self-storage company.
The Astoria Sports Complex, a building located at 34-38 38th St. that houses a gym, pool and turf fields, was sold to Storage Deluxe for $20 million on Aug. 17, financial records show. Storage Deluxe plans to overhaul the building and open a storage facility in early 2023.
Steve Poliseno, the longtime owner of the sports complex, sold the 53,550-square-foot building after failing to get a building variance that would have allowed him to raise the center two stories. The additional stories would have included a regulation-sized soccer field and ice rink.
Poliseno needed the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) to grant him an exemption from a rear yard zoning requirement in order to expand the building. His application got nowhere.
Instead Storage Deluxe plans to add seven stories atop the existing structure and open storage rentals by early 2023, The Real Deal reported.
Storage units are more in line with zoning requirements, according to the real estate outlet.
Poliseno’s plans won the support the Queens Borough president’s office, the local community board and the Queens Chamber of Commerce.
His plan also had the backing of Kaufman Astoria Studio president and CEO Hal Rosenbluth.
“I want to build this for the good of the community, we don’t have anything like this anywhere nearby,” Poliseno told the Queens Post in 2017.
However, the BSA refused to hear most testimony for the plan, arguing that the proposed expansion would change the character of the neighborhood, Poliseno told QNS in March 2020.
“I am beyond frustration and exasperation at this point,” Poliseno told the publication. “I’m 72 years years old and it’s been a 43-year goal of mine to expand this place to give the people of Astoria a wonderful place to bring their families.”
He withdrew his application before the Board of Standards and sold the building, The Real Deal reported.
The sports facility closed at the beginning of July.