A local high-tech manufacturing company was at the center of a heated College Point land deal debate at Monday’s Community Board 7 (CB 7) meeting in Flushing that culminated with a thumbs down from the advisory body.
S&L Aerospace Metals LLC, located at 120-22 28th St. in Flushing, is looking to purchase two plots of land from the Economic Development Corporation (EDC). One plot of land is owned by the city and the other is owned by the EDC.
To purchase the city-owned land, S&L had to submit an application to the Department of City Planning (DCP) to comply with the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP). Once the application was accepted, it was sent to the community board for review.
The board was to vote on whether to recommend allowing the sale of the city-owned land to S&L. Then, the Queens Borough Board will follow with its own recommendation, and the City Council ultimately has the final say in the decision.
The debate on whether or not to recommend allowing the sale came about because, after an asphalt company, Cofire Asphalt Corp., acquired some of the land in a 2010 land swap, Cofire did not take proper care of the plot.
“The deal was they were going to clean it,” explained Chuck Apelian, first vice chairman of CB 7. “They were going to maintain the operations at the site…the stipulations were all part of the deed restriction. None of these took place.”
Even though the previous deal was not handled correctly, the board made it abundantly clear that they support S&L and their operation.
“I support S&L; they know it,” Apelian said. “I also explained to them why we did what we did and we think it is ultimately to the benefit of, not only the community, but to S&L and everybody that this gets done the right way.”
“We can’t approve a land sale of contaminated land that was supposed to be cleaned up five years ago,” he added.
While some members agreed with Apelian, others felt that recommending denying the sale would be punishing S&L for something they had no control over.
“If this was a final vote and we made the decision tonight, you’d be right, we would be punishing them,” Apelian told those in favor of recommending the sale. “But we’re not punishing them because we’re not making the decision. We’re making a recommendation to the others in the process and ultimately to ones that make it.”
Ultimately the board voted 33 to three to recommend to deny S&L’s application to purchase the land.
The recommendation will now be presented to the Queens Borough Board, which has 30 days to make their recommendation.