By Howard Koplowitz
The Joint Bellerose Business District Development Corp. suggested the Creedmoor campus would be an ideal site for an applied sciences and engineering campus in response to the city Economic Development Corp.’s wish that such a institution be built.
Jim Trent, treasurer of the Queens Civic Congress and vice president of the business district, which is comprised of residents and business leaders from the Queens and Nassau County sides of Bellerose, said the group is unsure if the zoning on the Creedmoor site allows for the campus.
The other problem is part of the Creedmoor property is owned by the Indian Cultural and Community Center, a nonprofit that wants to build senior housing and a community facility on the site.
“We still have to determine if this is a good fit,” Trent said.
The EDC issued a request for proposals for an applied sciences and engineering campus in July and is looking to attract top universities from around the country that want to expand into New York.
More than two dozen colleges have responded to the RFP.
Bloomberg suggested four sites for the campus, none of them Creedmoor: Governor’s Island, Roosevelt Island, the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Farm Colony on Staten Island.
Trent noted that the Creedmoor property houses a variety of nonprofits, including SNAP of Eastern Queens and the Bernard Fineson Center, and the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center, which do not act as a stimulus to the Bellerose economy.
“It’s time to introduce some other type of activity there,” Trent said of the campus.
He said city officials were scheduled to meet with residents Oct. 6 about the viability of the proposal.
“The college will reinvigorate local businesses, restore the deflated residential property values and add excitement and prestige to our community,” Trent wrote in a letter expressing Joint Bellerose’s opposition to the ICCC’s plans for Creedmoor.
Trent said he urged the community “to rally behind a project that can have lasting positive benefits to the Queens Village and Bellerose communities.”
He said the Queens Village Republican Club passed a resolution endorsing the idea of an applied sciences campus at Creedmoor.
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.