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Sunnyside: Big buildings May Soon be Coming to Queens Blvd.

Tom Smith, City Planning (Photo: QueensPost)

March 16, 2010 By Christian Murray

If the New York City Planning Dept’s preliminary recommendations for Sunnyside and Woodside go through be ready for some large buildings to go up on Queens Blvd. when the real estate market picks up.

Tom Smith, from City Planning, outlined all the different zones that would apply to the Sunnyside/Woodside neighborhoods at the local United Forties meeting in Woodside Tuesday.

A bamboozled audience were told about R7As, R5ds, C4-4As, R5bs, R7-1s, etc.

However, upon review, it would appear that between 39th Place and 48th Street on Queens Blvd. the changes would make way for some significantly bigger buildings.

A new zone, called a “C4-5X,” would apply to this 10-block stretch of Queens Blvd. What that means is that a developer would be able to erect a building that is 5 times the size of the zoning lot area. For example, a property owner with a 10,000 sqf. zoning lot would be permitted to construct 50,000 sqf of building space.

Currently, Queens Blvd between 39th Place and 41st is zoned an R5. In this zone, a developer can build a structure that is only 1.25 the size of the zoning lot. Between 41st and 44th Street, the existing zoning is a R7-1 enables a builder to develop a structure 3.44 times the zoning lot space. And property located between 44th and 48th street (excluding community centers) is currently zoned a “c4-2”, allowing builders to go only 3 times the zoning lot size.

Unfortunately, City Planning has not uploaded its preliminary recommendations to its website.

However, residents still have time to provide their feedback. The Community Board 2, which is representing the interests of the community, is interested in hearing from the public.

For further information, go the City Planning website at:

For the existing map, click on this link and scroll to the bottom right hand corner.

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Sunnyside Post

There are some residential areas where height restrictions have been proposed. The restriction is 80ft (approximately 7 or 8 floors). Sunnyside Gardens’ zoning will be unchanged.
However, there are some areas that are likely to be upzoned–as Sunnyside South said. Once the maps are accessible online, another story will run. Unfortunately, it is too complex to cover the neighborhood without them. But keep on top of this story. It’s important that all residents weigh in.


the city can’t help itself when it comes to western queens. this proposal as it stands will destroy the neighborhood feel that still exists in sunnyside. under this, queens blvd will look like it does in Forest Hills – 12 story apt buildings, which by the way only have to have 50% parking. This will lead to an even worse parking situation on side streets and will further overburden the 7 train.

Hopefully sunnyside residents, led by Van Bramer, will be able to fight this proposal. I haven’t heard where the CM stands on this issue, but hopefully he sees that it will ruin what character this area has left.

Oh, and for the record, this is also an UPZONING on some side streets, including the area of 47th Ave and 46th Street.


I can’t help but think that this will change the makeup of our neighborhood, and I think that it will change in a way that neighbors don’t want, but developers think they will get rich on. Must find out when Community Board meeting is….

Woodside Guy

Do all 5 Boroughs have to look like Manhattan? As a person who spent about 44 of my 50 years in Woodside/Sunnyside (first several were in Brooklyn) I always appreciated the neighborhood feel that this area and Queens as a whole had partially as a result of the absence of large buildings.

Also will we get an increase in infrastructure to support these monster buildings. more schools, parks, increase police and fire services? Will con ed blow up again? How much more crowded will th 7 line and buses get? and how many mom and pop stores on the Boulevard will we lose


just what we DON’T need big bldgs creating loads of parking problems. Why not make it MANDATORY that they ALL have garages to house all the cars that wil then make it nearly impossible to park?


I had read elsewhere that there is a trade-off, in that interior blocks will have height restrictions tightened. Is that still true?


Sooo…I guess I am kind of confused. Does mean that they are able to tear down and replace the building with one that is 5x as big as the previous building? So some big 10-story apartment buildings could potentially be constructed on my street (39th Place)?? Thanks.


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