By Mark Hallum
Community Board 6 has added a provision to its recommendation to approve a variance for the owners of Parkway Hospital — which has sat vacant at 70-35 113th St. in Forest Hills for about a decade — as long as they agree to hire union staff.
The advisory board recommended the City Planning commission allow Jasper Venture Group to turn the derelict structure into affordable senior housing in November, but aims to ensure the staff receives decent wages.
The vote for the union labor provision came at the Dec. 12 meeting.
The company shifting trajectory toward accommodating seniors comes with the blessing of City Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz, according to Michael Cohen, her communications director.
“This city and especially [Koslowitz’s] district are in dire need of affordable senior housing and [Councilwoman Koslowitz] saw this opportunity to do something about and has worked with the developer for two years now to obtain affordable senior housing units,” Cohen said.
Jasper Venture Group acquired the hospital in 2013 and after an unsuccessful attempt to sell the property, the group opted instead to convert the property to 350 market rate, affordable housing, senior housing units.
City Planning will hold a hearing on the proposal Dec. 19 and will come to a decision over the course of the next two months, Cohen said.
The property over the years has fallen into disrepair, often seen covered in graffiti, but is conveniently located near Grand Central Parkway near PS 196.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall