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CB 7 gives approval to Flushing project

CB 7 gives approval to Flushing project
Photo by Joe Anuta
By Joe Anuta

Community Board 7 voted to approve the sale of several city properties during its September meeting: one lot that will house a six-story building in downtown Flushing and another only 3-feet wide.

The board voted in favor of allowing the Department of Citywide Administrative Services to sell a decrepit city building, at 135-15 40th Road, that had long been abandoned after sustaining structural damage.

Bayside developer Betsy Mak bought the property for $1.5 million after a bidding process, the city Economic Development Corp. said in December, and will tear down the former offices of the city Sanitation Department to construct a new, six-story structure.

“The [city Department of Buildings] has determined this building has to be demolished,” said Joseph Sweeney, chairman of the board’s Land Use Subcommittee.

Mak plans to build a 12,000-square-foot, mixed-use structure with commercial activity on the first floor. The building will also include about 4,000 square feet dedicated to what is known as community facility use.

These uses can vary, but they are designed to offer the community doctor’s offices, daycare centers or schools, for example. They also allow developers who include them in proposed buildings to build bigger than would normally be allowed through zoning regulations.

Back in December, the city said that any community facility use would be selected with input from the community.

Mak and her legal counsel, Steve Sinacori, said the community facility use will be an English as a Second Language school.

The city also gained approval from CB 7, which has an advisory role in the applications, to sell several tiny properties that cannot be developed on their own.

One of the properties is only 3-feet wide and touches 22 separate properties. It runs almost like a narrow alleyway between the backyards of two rows of homes.

“What are you going to do with the land?” one perplexed board member asked.

Representatives from the city said Administrative Services will approach homeowners and try to get them to buy the land and incorporate it into their property, according to Chris Grove, a senior city planner, who said many of these irregularly shaped properties are the result of surveying errors from decades past.

Although it is unclear what one person would do with a 3-foot-wide, 500-foot-long strip of property that runs along the backyards of 22 homeowners.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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