A zoning application for the proposed Trylon development in Forest Hills has been modified to allow deeper affordable housing units so more families can live in the community, according to newly elected Councilwoman Lynn Schulman.
After extensive negotiations and discussions with the developer, Trylon LLC, the mixed-use residential development at 98-81 Queens Blvd. will utilize Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) Option 1, which is more affordable for prospective renters.
The project will bring approximately 40 housing units to Forest Hills with the majority of these units targeted for households making between $30,000 and $70,000, Schulman said. Under MIH Option 1, developers are required to set aside affordable units for residents earning 40%, 60% and 100% of the AMI.
“According to the NYC Housing Preservation and Development’s ‘Housing New York Open Data,’ only one new construction affordable housing project was located in Queens Community Board 6 during the entire eight years of the de Blasio administration. There are other conditions that were expressed by the community board which are still being explored with Trylon LLC, but the housing agreement is the most significant,” said Schulman, who thanked the community board and Queens Borough President Donovan Richards for their guidance and input in the process, as well as Trylon LLC for working with the community.
Eric Palatnik, a land use and zoning attorney representing the developers, said they’re thrilled to be able to work with Schulman and the community to reach an agreement to bring more affordable housing to residents.
“There’s still more work to be done. As far as the agreement to bring affordable housing, we couldn’t be happier to come to that agreement and to satisfy the needs of the community and the councilwoman,” Palatnik said.
After public hearings and discussions regarding the demolition of the Tower Diner and Trylon Theatre to make way for the new development on Queens Boulevard, Community Board 6 in November 2021 voted in favor of the project, but with certain conditions.
During the meeting, Forest Hills and Rego Park residents had voiced their opposition to the redevelopment plan to erect a 15-story building on the triangular block. The plan includes a 153,000-square-foot development with 136,000 square feet for residential space and 17,400 square feet for commercial parking space, with 45 parking spaces, including bicycle parking on site.
In terms of housing units, the plan included 144 total units with 44 of those units as affordable housing at an average of 80% AMI under the city’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Program. Residents had pointed out the lack of affordable housing developments in the area, and said the developer’s units weren’t “truly affordable.”
The developer had planned to offer 44 units — 30% of the total units — to residents who earn 70%, 80% or 90% of the AMI. The proposal offered nine affordable one-bedroom units for approximately $1,500 at 70% AMI, nine for $1,790 at 80% AMI and nine at $1,950 at 90% AMI.
In response to the revised proposal, Queens Community Board 6 tweeted, “Thank you to our outgoing Land Use/Housing Chair @prameet and the rest of the committee for the diligent work on this.”
— Queens Community Board 6 (@QueensCB6) January 20, 2022
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards also tweeted that he’s “proud to work with @Lynn4NYC and @QueensCB6 to secure deeper affordability in Forest Hills. I look forward to the continued work in building a Queens that works for everyone.”