By Bob Harris
Since a permit was given to build a hotel at 186th Street and 64th Avenue in Fresh Meadows about three years ago, there has been no contact with the owners of the hotel.
Fresh Meadows Homeowners Civic Association President Jim Gallagher had been told that the hotel would be used by transient Chinese students. This sparse information did not satisfy the local civic associations.
They were concerned that the owners of the hotel would use it for homeless families as has been done in other areas of Queens.
A regular hotel is definitely not the place for homeless families and other challenged homeless people.
The Liquor License Committee meeting was held on Jan. 10 at the Community Board 8 office. We learned that the Mayflower International Hotel Group owned the hotel and it is a Wyndham franchise and wanted to legalize a liquor bar on the main floor.
The hotel will provide a buffet breakfast. The bar in the lobby will hold only 75 people in an open space and will be just for hotel guests.
The hotel will only have 38 parking spaces which could be compatible for use by transient people coming from the airports but will be a problem if too many people drive to the hotel because there is little parking in the community. We learned that the hotel will have a shuttle bus to the local airports.
Since this was a hearing only for a liquor license, the civic leaders had to carefully phrase their questions to obtain some of this information.
The manager of the Mayflower Hotel, Blossom Ho, answered all questions from the committee and at a quick gathering which the leaders of the Fresh Meadows Homeowners Civic Association, the Utopia Estates Civic Association, the West Cunningham Park Civic Association, and the Meadowlark Tenants Association had with her after the hearing ended.
Ho explained that the hotel planned to serve families of local college students, businessmen visiting companies, tourists and the guests of people who were having events like weddings at nearby places. She did not know anything about the information that we had been given years ago that the hotel would be used for transient Chinese students.
The Certificate of Occupancy states that there will be 20 units per floor for transient hotel guests and also 10 Class ‘A’ apt. hotel units per floor. We were not able to ask about this information after the meeting since the office was closing.
The civic associations still have more questions and would like to meet with the owners of the hotel under the auspices of state Sen. Tony Avella like the way we met with the owners of the two Marriott hotels across the expressway.
Avella had a representative at this meeting. As of this writing there has been no meeting with the owners of the Mayflower Hotel at 61-27 186th St,, Fresh Meadows.
GOOD NEWS OF THE WEEK
Community Board 10 has voted to back Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi’s plan to curb the city’s growing homeless population. The plan is called Home Stability Support. If the state Legislature votes for this program, then families facing loss of housing who are on public assistance would have their rents subsidized so they would not be evicted and become homeless.
Federal and state housing subsidies have been reduced over the years so people are being evicted and being made homeless.
BAD NEWS OF THE WEEK
China is planning to spend more than $300 billion through 2020 on renewable energy like solar and wind. They claim they will create more than 13 million jobs in the renewable energy sector and cut greenhouse gases.
They must do this because they have terrible choking pollution in their industrial areas plus their cities are threatened by rising sea levels.
REMEMBER THE NEWTOWN 26