Buildings Department denies Fresh Meadows hotel plans

Buildings Department denies Fresh Meadows hotel plans
Photo by Karen Frantz
By Karen Frantz

Controversial plans to build a 12-story hotel on a narrow residential street in Fresh Meadows have stalled because the application for the building has been disapproved by the city Department of Buildings.

An official with the DOB said the application was disapproved on July 31 because it did not include the required number of parking spaces and it exceeded the maximum allowed floor area ratio for the lot.

Mayflowers Business Group, the owner of the property, has 12 months to revise and resubmit the application.

“We totally agree with [the department], especially on the parking,” said Jim Gallagher, the president of the Fresh Meadows Homeowners Civic Association.

He said the planned hotel, which would be built on 61-27 186th St., has elicited an outcry from the surrounding neighborhood, especially from residents living on the block.

The plans include 102 hotel rooms and 33 apartment units. It also includes a one-story parking garage that would have 47 spots.

Gallagher said that with so many rooms and so few parking spaces, guests would be forced to park in the streets, which already have limited residential parking.

He also questioned why a company would want to build a hotel at that location because plans are underway for two Marriott hotels nearby just across the Long Island Expressway. “Where’s the demand for it?” he said.

Yolanda Delacruz Gallagher, who is on the civic’s board of directors and Jim Gallagher’s wife, also said the sheer size of the hotel, at 127 feet high, would “stick out like a sore thumb.”

However, Young Kim, the project architect, said the hotel wants to work with the DOB and the community to ensure the building meets all the necessary requirements and does not burden the area. “We don’t want to build anything that’s going to hurt anyone,” he said.

He said the required number of parking spots were planned for, and he will review the DOB disapproval to see what needs to be revised. He said the hotel will ensure parking is limited to the parking garage and with valet parking planned “there’s no way” the hotel would want guests to park in the street because of liability issues.

Young is planning on meeting with the property owner this week to discuss next steps.

Reach reporter Karen Frantz by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4538.