Left vacant for more than six decades, a barren lot on Myrtle Avenue in Glendale could soon see life.
The owner of the lot located at 73-45 Myrtle Ave., also known as 78-70 74th St., is seeking a variance from the NYC Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) to permit the development of a two-story plus cellar mixed-use building on the lot. Community Board 5 considered the matter at its meeting on Wednesday night at Middle Village’s Christ the King Regional High School.
The variance is needed because the proposed building would be contrary to the current residential floor area, front yard, side yard and parking and use regulations within the R4-1 zone.
The proposed building would have a commercial unit on the ground floor, with a pair of two-bedroom apartments on the second floor.
“The application to BSA is basically is to allow a building there … and the building would basically mirror a lot of what’s on Myrtle Avenue in that area,” said Richard Lobel, from Sheldon Lobel, P.C. Attorneys At Law, who represent the owner, Noma Aorta. “It would be ground floor commercial and it would be two residential apartments upstairs.”
The property has remained vacant for such a long time because it is an oddly shaped corner lot, which means there are specific yard requirements — needing to have a 10-foot front yard and an eight-foot side yard — which make it difficult to construct any type of building.
“If you were to build a building here as of right … you’re going to end up with a building that, at its greatest width, would be about 17-feet wide and then it would narrow to a width of about four and a half feet,” Lobel explained. “Obviously if you have a building that’s 4 1/2 feet wide, you’re not going to develop that building.”
The owner is looking to build on approximately 4,200 square feet of space, giving the ground floor a net square footage of about 1,500 square feet, while the two apartments on the upper floor would be about 900 square feet and 800 square feet respectively.
Although the property is located several feet from the Myrtle Avenue roadbed, part of it nonetheless lies within the right-of-way for Myrtle Avenue on the city’s official map, reflecting a proposed widening of the street that never came to pass. As such, the property owner is seeking a waiver from the city to permit development of the lot within the bed of a mapped street.
The proposal will be turned over to the Land Use Committee before the full board votes on a recommendation.