By Bill Parry
Plans for a 17-story hotel building in Long Island City have been approved by the Board of Standards and Appeals, despite the disapproval of elected officials and Community Board 2.
Bronx-based developer Fongtar secured the approval to build on a 10,000-square-foot lot at 32-45 Queens Blvd. following a transfer of commercial air rights from the YMCA next door.
“I am strongly opposed to the BSA’s recent decision to allow the construction of a 17-story hotel building at 32-45 Queens Blvd.,” state Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan (D-Long Island City) said. “The extreme height of this building is out of character with our neighborhood and I am disappointed that the city would sign off on this transaction despite the strong objections of our local community board.”
A Community Board 2 member, who didn’t want to use her name, was so angry with the YMCA she cancelled her membership. City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), who is a critic of the project, blames the Board of Standards and Appeals, and he’s taking action.
“All to often, the BSA rules against the wishes of the local community and elected officials, and this case is no exception,” Van Bramer said. “A 17-story tower is not consistent with this stretch of Queens Boulevard, and the proposal is a bad idea for the neighborhood. Cases like this are why we must reform the BSA and make it more responsive to the community’s wishes, and that’s why I’ve introduced a package of bills to do just that.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr