CB7 approves special permit for Two Fulton Square

By Madina Toure

Community Board 7 has voted overwhelmingly in favor of an application seeking a special permit to allow the construction of a proposed mixed-use development in a flight obstruction area at Two Fulton Square in Flushing.

At its montly meeting Monday night at Union Plaza Care Center at 33-23 Union St., board members voted 31-4 to approve a special permit for the development of 676,380 square feet of a mixed-use building within LaGuardia Airport’s airspace. F&T Group is the developer.

The zoning committee met Sept. 16 to review the application.

“Due to both the FAA and the Port Authority finding that the proposed development would have no substantial adverse effect on the safe and efficient use of the navigated airspace, the board voted unanimously to grant the special permit,” board member Rev. Richard McEachern said.

The development, which consists of four towers, is bordered by College Point Boulevard to the west, Prince Street to the east, 39th Avenue to the south and 37th Avenue to the north. It will consist of residential, hotel, retail, office and community facility uses as well as parking.

Zoning limits dictate that a development cannot penetrate the flight obstruction area, also known as the approach surface area.

Given the project’s proximity to LaGuardia Airport, the concerns are about the building being too tall for the safety of passengers as well as building occupants.

The permit allows the developer to exceed the zoning limits. The project received approval for the change, as the Federal Aviation Administration and the Port Authority approved a maximum height of 226 feet above the mean sea level, the established level unaffected by grand changes or slopes in the environment. The buildings all meet the requirement. The proposal is awaiting a final decision by the city Board of Standards and Appeals.

“The developer rethought the project and reprogrammed the project and found a project that they felt could work,” Ross Moskowitz, a partner with Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, who is representing the developer, said.

The development will also have a garage entrance with a vehicular access point on College Point Boulevard. There will also be a garage entrance that fronts onto 39th Avenue. The number of parking spaces has also been increased to 1,250 from 520.

Sin Senh, vice president of Roux Associates in Islandia, L.I., said the company has sampled soil, groundwater and soil vapor.

They found a petroleum contamination about 30 feet down below the land surface in the northwest corner of the site along the intersection of 37th Avenue and College Point Boulevard, which they believe is due to an area contaminated by a former tank or a current tank that leaked at some point.

To address the problem, they will remove the soil and any tanks and liquids found during the process, following the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s protocols. A vapor barrier will also be installed.

“We have not completed a report yet but we are in the process of preparing that report over the next month,” Senh said.

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