An open letter from the Indian Cultural and Community Center:
First, we want to make it clear that we live here. We are also members of the community. Our officers and supporters live in Bellerose, Floral Park, Glen Oaks and Queens Village. We have raised our families here and lived in these communities for more than 40 years.
We created the ICCC, a nonprofit organized to provide the community with affordable senior housing, a community center and open space. We are not outside developers. We are doing it for everyone.
Second, we want to work with our friends and neighbors. We approached the civic associations before we filed the BSA application. We have asked them to engage in a productive dialogue and offered free or low-cost use of the community space and to help us in this project.
Instead, they have conducted a smear campaign against us and the project. In the past, some of the civic members and officers have made derogatory statements stating that “they are turning the neighborhood into a third-world country” and “how many diseases are being brought back into our schools by these foreigners?” We are all neighbors and we want to bring all people together.
Third, we have made it clear that we are building affordable senior housing and a community center. We have never made any public statement to the contrary. Our BSA application is for affordable senior housing and a community center. It is a lie to say that our “plans change daily.” The Queens Civic Congress Creedmoor Master Plan provided that our land be used for a “private light industrial/commercial facility” and even suggested that it be used for the “Bell Atlantic Repair Fleet.” Would local residents prefer to have this in their backyard?
Finally, we are seeking a variance to downzone the area and build something that was within former Borough President Claire Shulman’s Creedmoor Master Plan. Creedmoor has many senior-focused organizations such as Services Now for Adult Persons and the Father Reder Senior Apartments.
We are going to operate within the character of these groups. Our land is irregularly shaped and immediately surrounded by taller structures, including the 21-story main hospital, four- to five-story salt dome and 10-story power plant with two 18-story smokestacks. The land is also almost 10 feet below street level. We decided on the height based on minimizing the impact on the land and maximizing the amount of greenspace. We wanted the housing to be affordable and want to maximize the number of units.
We are your friends and neighbors. Let us come together.
Indian Cultural and Community Center