You are reading

Seventeen Story Queens Blvd Hotel To Go Up, As Board of Standards And Appeals Thumbs Its Nose At CB2 And Councilman

hotelLIC (1)

May 16, 2016 By Christian Murray

Defying the wishes of Community Board 2 and Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, the Board of Standards and Appeals has given the all clear to a developer to construct a 17-story hotel building at 32-45 Queens Blvd.

The BSA’s approval stems from the YMCA’s application to transfer commercial air rights to Fongtar, a Bronx-based developer that owns a 10,000 square foot lot next door to the YMCA’s Long Island City facility, which intends to construct a hotel.

The YMCA needed the approval of the BSA to modify its existing variance in order for it to sell its air rights. The BSA had to weigh in on the variance since the Queens Boulevard facility was only allowed to be built in the first place as a result of a zoning waiver.

The April 5 approval by the BSA now permits Fongtar to build a hotel three times the size of what would have been allowed on the site without the air rights transfer.

Frank Chen, the director of Fongtar, said the company plans to start construction in about six months.

The five BSA board members unanimously approved the YMCA’s application to modify its variance. Meanwhile, in March, every Community Board 2 member rejected it.

“I think the BSA has made the wrong decision,” Van Bramer said. “The BSA often rules against the wishes of the local community and local elected officials, and this is another example of that.”

“A 17-story tower on Queens Boulvard is not something many people including myself think is a good idea or is consistent with the character of the area,” Van Bramer said. “It’s going to tower over the two-story YMCA and it also replaces a two-story building.”

Van Bramer said that he was disappointed with the YMCA of Greater New York, which engineered the nearly $2 million deal, as opposed to the operators of the Long Island City facility. He said the Queens Boulevard location will only receive $250,000 of the YMCA’s windfall, which will be directed to new locker rooms.

Pat O’Brien, Community Board 2 Chair, said at the Board’s March meeting that the public was being asked to absorb an unnecessary hotel significantly larger than it would have been.

“We don’t need more hotels and there is concern that as the economy shifts that underutilized hotels owned by for-profit individuals turn into other things not as desirable,” O’Brien said at the time, likely alluding to recent conversions of hotels into homeless shelters around western Queens.

He said that the development was of no real benefit to the community.

Without the transfer of air rights, Fongtar would have only been permitted to build 20,000 square feet of hotel space (double the lot size)—or about five stories.

However, the YMCA, which is on a 40,000-square-foot site and is being used as a community facility, still carries with it the right to develop 80,000 square feet (double the lot size) of space for a hotel.

The YMCA, with the BSA’s blessing, has sold 40,000 square feet of air rights to Fongtar.

Fongtar is able to build 60,000 square feet of hotel space, instead of 20,000 square feet.

The 17-story building will include 14 stories of hotel space and three stories of medical offices, which will occupy the top three floors.

The hotel will consist of 154 rooms and will have 18 parking spots, according to Fongtar.

email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 
Clueless sunnyside residents

You all sound like a$$ho’$. You all sound so stupid like any one of you have a clue. You all sound so dumb , you make bulimic panda sound like a Harvard graduate. Stupidity is rampant in sunnyside, what a bunch of dopey people who love the sound of their own voices.


-Johnz You’re a jerk for the reasons outlined in my post. Nothing to do with nerves you foolish ninny. Your post has nothing to do with “concern” its an obvious attempt to politicize something. Nice try little miss victim.


-Angela I noticed the jerk missed the adjectives manipulated and incitable right before the word jerk. A very selective jerk. Haha

John z

I chose to ignore it. I gave an example as to why I was concerned. Plus getting to watch “change” shit under the 7 train and walking passed his mess every day has caused me to become concerned. Some call it manipulated, I call it a learning experience.

And I wouldn’t say Angela hit a nerve, I’d say “change” himself hit a nerve. Maybe it’s wrong of me to be biased against housing the homeless, but after personally seeing things first hand. I don’t see how what I said was so horrible.

John z

Wow, calling me a jerk? Because I gave my example as to why I was concerned… You’re too funny. I guess I struck a nerve?

I was aware of the prison, not of the shelter on vandam tho.


-Mac This fool “sick & Tired of these fools you people voted in” is the classic Fox News blowhard. How dare you post facts, his hysteria and random speculation trumps any of your facts. My favorite quote of this week minded racist is “Hope you 2 are the first to get violated by your new neighbor”. He has taken the Republican “veiled” racism “the blacks are coming for your wives and daughters”: to a new low. He is either too stupid or just too lazy to research the term “southern strategy”. The strategy that was used to trick southern voters into poverty. People who vote on the pretense of denying others or a group something deserve poverty and certainly won’t care to hear or see your facts and statistics.


-S&T. You sound like an uniformed angry little boy who is struggling to get by. South Jamaica is an affordable and easy place to get to by public transportation. It’s also easier to own a car there. Also what’s with all your random negative speculation ?

Sick & Tired of these fools you people voted in...

@mac Wow! Nice stats. I forgot how rich & prosperous you & your neighbors have become over the last 8 years!! So much so, that you can’t even afford to live in Sunnyside Queens anymore haha.
Keep posting random bs facts about some southern states that have absolutely nothing to do with Sunnyside to make yourself feel better, you fool !

Maybe you’ll be able to get a job in the new hotel cleaning up rooms for the tourists & hookers before it becomes a shelter.
Peace out, idiot.


-Sick & Tired Wow, you really are an under educated idiot. The facts are not random facts about Southern States. If Connecticut, New Jersey. New Hampshire, Alaska, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Delaware and California sound Southern to you then you’re dumber then we originally thought. Learn to read you imbecile the “random facts” are tied together by one common denominator “failed Republican policy. As for getting a job at the new hotel before it becomes a shelter, well it took Westway and Pan American Hotels well over 50 years to become shelters so its a pretty safe bet Ill be dead by then. Oh by the way the new hotel is nearly 2 miles from where I live according to Google Maps and the Pan American Hotel is even further then that in Elmhurst. The only one posting randomly here is you. Nice doing business with you, you dumbed- down hysterical imbecile. Idiots like you make it too easy.


-Sick and tired…. If you really knew Mac you would know your silly statement ” you can’t even afford to live in Sunnyside Queens anymore haha” is just ridiculous. Haha You really are an idiot.


-Sic & Tired According to FBI statistics Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee and South Carolina. You will notice the same Republican strong holds have the worst health, lowest wages, worst in education according to Craines, WSJ, Forbes and US Census. “Red State” Policy keeps people poor. According to the US Census 10 poorest states : Mississippi, Arkansas, West Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Montana, Kentucky, Alabama, North Carolina and Louisiana. They all have common denominator of being “Red States”. Also According to Forbes Magazine a Republican Contributor Maryland , Connecticut, New Jersey. New Hampshire, Alaska, Massachusetts, Virginia ,Hawaii, Delaware and California 10 Richest states by Median Household Income. The Liberals seem to know something you and the Republicans don’t. Are you sure you really want to tout for Republican failed policies? Next time come back with facts and not silly hysteria on something that never materializes. You sound like a myth and fairy tale believing hysterical imbecile having a panic attack.


-Sick & Tired Your post is right out of the “Southern Strategy” of the Republican play book. Hysteria and panic that never seems to materialize. According to the recommendations of the World Tourist Organization, the optimum number of staff per 10 rooms in a three star hotel is 8 people, in a four star hotel it is 12 people and in a five star hotel it is 20 people. Employing close to a hundred people permanently, not to mention the hundreds of construction jobs and generating revenue from the hotel guest into the local economy. Only a stupid Republican can whine and cry about economic progress. “Republican the party of stupid” as said by Bobby Jindal a Republican Governor from Louisiana. Hahaha You’re a complete idiot. Why don’t you move to one of the Conservative Republican Utopias like Texas, Oklahoma or Arkansas and get a right to work for less low wage job, take a second job when the oil industry is in a boom cycle (because the first job won’t provide enough income, even down there with their lower tax structure) and still only end up with one tenth of your Democratic counter parts. Hahaha

Sick & Tired of these fools you people voted in...

@ Sunnyside resident @mac Still happy with the liberals u voted in, you fools?!?! Lol
Yes, jvb is very upset about this *sarcasm he’s getting his pockets stuffed as usual !!!

Now they’ll be 150 or so rooms for the homeless to move into. Hope you 2 are the first to get violated by your new neighbors.

irish lassy

make my words it will be another homeless shelter that JVB knew from the beginning


-Irish Lassy Yore like a broken record a boring one. Let’s vote in Republicans so we could put more restrictions on your reproductive organs and keep your salary nice and low too. How long did it take Westway and pan American hotels to become welfare hotels? Over 50 years. You’re one hysterical imbecile.

easy going

Developers are building under the pretense of the structure being an Hotel to circumventive DeBlasios ridiculous affordable housing act- once built the developer will apply for a rezoning of the building to residential and sell off the units as condos. Quite brilliant actually.

John z

I would rather it be a condo than another homeless shelter. Put them in eastern Queens.

Paul Ryan

Yes & Chen will make millions by employing contractors who employ illegal mostly Chinese workers & treat them like slaves.Not to worry, the Christian organisation is getting there 1/4 Mil. All is good.

Pack up the truck

A 154 rooms, stores ,and 18 parking spots. Im not a scientist but this doesn’t seem to equate. Really, time to move out of this part of queens, sunnyside, woodside, l.i.c, all are shot down, overcrowded. Maspeth is slowing turning into a ghetto up near grand ave. Time to go.

Save the Robots

This is yet another disgraceful display of corporate greed that makes no sense for the community.

Sunnyside Resident

If community board is so afraid of building being turned into a welfare hotel if things “get bad” in the economy why don’t they just place zoning restrictions that would forbid this?


Maybe because the community board doesn’t make zoning decisions in New York City?

Sick & Tired of these fools you people voted in...

You really are stupid aren’t you?!?!
You haven’t a clue how things have been working lately? The owner of this hotel is looking to make a deal with ur liberal mayor to house the homeless, he doesn’t care if the hotel goes belly up, in fact, that’s what he wants asap so he can make his deal with Nyc.

And fools like u will be left scratching ur heads wondering how on earth this happened!
Ya tool !!!


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

Op-ed: An urgent call for revising NY’s criminal justice reforms to protect public safety

Apr. 11, 2024 By Council Member Robert Holden

In 2019, the State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo embarked on a controversial overhaul of New York’s criminal justice system by enacting several laws, including cashless bail and sweeping changes to discovery laws. Simultaneously, the New York City Council passed laws that compounded these challenges, notably the elimination of punitive segregation in city jails and qualified immunity for police officers. These actions have collectively undermined public safety and constrained law enforcement effectiveness.