A proposed daycare site in Glendale may be inching closer to being a reality after a hearing at Queens Borough Hall on Thursday.
Akerman LLP is requesting a special permit from the Board of Standards and Appeals for a client of theirs to build a 15,212 square feet facility at 79-40 Cooper Ave. Thursday’s hearing, part of the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Process, paves the way for Borough President Melinda Katz to make a recommendation for or against the project.
After going before Community Board 5’s Land Use Committee and the full board in recent months, civic leaders expressed concern over pick-ups and drop-offs causing backup on Cooper Avenue.
But Nora Martins, a land use attorney representing the developers, said at the May 2 Borough Hall hearing that they have been working with the city Department of Transportation (DOT) which has been “productive” in strategizing to mitigate traffic.
Councilman Robert Holden also gave the project his own seal of approval after issuing a letter to the BSA in which he claimed the daycare facility would be a welcome addition to the community.
“The applicant’s plan for the redevelopment of this long-vacant site with a new building to house the proposed daycare and new commercial space is a welcome addition to the Glendale community and to the Cooper Avenue streetscape,” Holden said in the letter to the BSA. “I do not believe that the proposed daycare and commercial uses at the site will create significant traffic issues. In particular, the daycare’s proposed operations and more than sufficient on-site parking should result in minimal if any negative effect on traffic.”
According to Holden, surrounding area is in need of reliable daycare options, but he will monitor the situation after it opens to ensure traffic is not disrupted.
Martins said on May 2 the facility will be subject to DOT School Safety Division and under review within the BSA approval process.
The site falls within an M1 industrial zone, but children’s facilities are not out of ordinary for the block where directly across the street from 79-40 Cooper Ave. is a gymnastic center and a dance studio under different zoning.
The same developers are working to build a storage facility in the adjacent lot, but claim they will take all measure to ensure there is no conflict between the two.
The proposal will be two stories and includes 15 classrooms with a playground on the roof. There could be 31 spaces on the lot.
There are also two single story commercial spaces attached, which there are no leases for at this time, according to Martins.
Katz was not present at the hearing, Deputy Borough President Sharon Lee presided in her place.
The developers plan to have the facility up and running before the 2020 school year.