The leaders of a coalition of 14 eastern Queens civic associations announced their opposition last week to the Creedmoor Development plan that Gov. Kathy Hochul unveiled Dec. 6
The group argues that the plan, which calls for 2,873 apartments spread across the sprawling Creedmoor Psychiatric Center site, includes residential buildings that are too large. The coalition also believes that the plan does not provide enough parking spaces and includes too much housing for the homeless.
The civic groups are particularly concerned that the low-density flavor of the surrounding neighborhoods will change with addition of high-rise buildings. Its members say they do not want the buildings to be more than 3 stories high, yet the current plan includes residential buildings that are four, six and eight stories tall.
“This is twice as dense as nearby Glen Oaks Village which has a similar number of apartments (2,904) in 134, 2-story buildings on over 110 acres,” the coalition said. The Creedmoor development will be built on 58 acres of the 125-acre site. The 58-acre plan will include 14 acres of amenities, such as retail space, open space and a school.
The residential component includes 1,633 units that will be a mixture of co-ops, triplexes and two-family homes to be set aside for homeowners. The remaining 1,240 units are slated to be income-restricted rentals for seniors as well as for veterans and the recently homeless. There will be 431 units to house the homeless under the state’s supportive housing program.
The group said that it does not want homeless shelters to be built as part of the plan, which it said it made clear when state officials were doing outreach before the plan was announced.
Although the plan does not include the building of any shelters, the coalition is upset that it calls for the allocation of supportive housing units, which are primarily for the homeless who have a serious mental illness or suffer from substance abuse.
While the group is pleased that over half of the units will be owner occupied, it is concerned that the units will be sold at too large a discount. The coalition said it is worried that the unit prices will bring down the value of the apartments in the area.
“The plan calls for private ownership, loosely defined as co-ops, that will be priced significantly lower, thereby driving down housing values and negatively impacting local families,” the coalition said.
The coalition also wants more housing dedicated for seniors and veterans. The plan has allocated 377 rental units for seniors and 165 veterans– a number the group says is not enough.
The plan also does not include enough parking spaces, according to the coalition. It argues that not enough spots are being set aside per apartment complex and that more spaces need to be available for the homeowners in triplexes and two-family houses.
The coalition’s opposition to the plan is also shared by the Queens Civic Congress, an umbrella group of almost 100 Queens based Civic Associations.
The next phase is the setting up of a Creedmoor Advisory Community Committee where residents and stakeholders can share their opinions with state officials.
The project will be developed in phases once the state completes its environmental review. The plan does not have to go through the city’s land use review process, reducing the chances that it will be blocked.