Municipal Lot 3 affordable housing plan in early planning stages

By Madina Toure

The city Department of Housing Preservation and Development said a plan to build affordable housing units in Municipal Parking Lot 3 in Flushing is currently in the early planning and predevelopment stages.

The 43,200-square-foot development, located at 133-45 41st Ave., will consist of 208 units of affordable housing. The site is bordered by College Point Boulevard, Main Street and the Long Island Rail Road.

Because the housing is being built on city-controlled land, it will have to go through the public approval process, which HPD anticipates will start in the fall. The agency said construction would start after financing for the project is closed, which they are aiming to complete next summer.

In April, HPD Commissioner Vicki Been announced the selection of a development team for the project. The team, which calls its plan One Flushing, consists of Asian Americans for Equality, HANAC Inc. and Monadnock Development.

The team has met with Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Community Board 7’s land use committee to provide an update on the project, according to John Napolitano, HANAC’s director of community development and planning.

The team is currently doing some site due diligence to determine any obstructions that might hinder construction. The team is also refining the design and doing community outreach.

“HANAC got involved with the project because we have a longstanding track record of developing affordable housing for seniors in Queens,” Napolitano said. “We’ve been doing it since 1993 and this is going to represent our fifth project in Queens.”

The ground floor will be devoted to commercial uses. The upper floors will be residential, consisting of a mixture of studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments. The second floor will be designated for community facility space.

Napolitano could not give specific rent numbers as they are preliminary, but he said that the rent structure will depend not only on the unit size but income. Some units will be designated for very low-income individuals and others will be designated for moderate-income households.

The team is partnering with the New Hyde Park-based Parker Jewish Center Institute for Healthcare and Rehabilitation, which offers long-term care for seniors. The institute will operate out of the space on the second floor.

The roof will have solar panels that will harvest photovoltaic solar energy that will be used primarily for heating and hot water and a small urban farm. The people operating the building would administer the farm, which would be used by tenants.

The project will be financed under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing plan, which seeks to create and preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing over the next decade.

Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtoure@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.