By Joe Anuta
Community Board 7 approved a special permit that would put rooftop parking above a downtown Flushing grocery store and also got an update on the construction of the Whitestone Bridge, including a major change to traffic patterns.
The owners of New York Mart, on the corner of Bowne Street and Roosevelt Avenue, are proposing to house 49 parking spaces on their roof, and have included several amenities requested by a CB 7 committee in order to make sure residents in nearby buildings were not subject to headlights shining into their second-floor windows.
“The owner has consented to all the requests made by the committee,” said Eric Palatnik, the attorney that is handling the application.
Those requests included shutting the parking lot down at 10 p.m., building a protective barrier more than 7 feet high to block headlights and lowering the street lights on the roof in an effort to contain the illumination to the parking surface.
The owners proposed to tear out the existing roof and install steel beams and a concrete parking surface, since the building was deemed by an engineer to be structurally sound to hold the extra weight of 49 cars.
The spaces, a precious commodity in downtown Flushing, will be monitored by the store to ensure only paying customers are using them, and a sign will alert drivers when the lot is full.
Palatnik went before the board because the addition of parking to the roof of a building required what is called a special permit. Palatnik will next present his case to Borough President Helen Marshall. CB 7 and Marshall’s recommendations will then be taken into consideration by the city Board of Standards and Appeals, which has the final say if the construction can go forward.
Representatives from Metropolitan Transportation Authority Bridges and Tunnels also briefed the board about updates to construction of the Whitestone Bridge, indicating a playground in Whitestone was recently completed and that concrete work near the toll booths on the Bronx side will be wrapping up in a matter of weeks.
The representatives also fielded questions about the impending closure of the 3rd Avenue exit, the last exit in Queens before getting onto the bridge.
The exit will be closed in January 2013 and will not reopen for another two years.
The board also approved plans to put a parapet wall on the top of a church, at 32-05 Parsons Blvd., in part to conceal a stairwell protruding from the top of the roof and to make the facade aesthetically sound. Some members of the board who work with the FDNY were concerned it would hamper efforts by the city’s Bravest to gain access to the roof should a blaze break out in the house of worship.
Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.