The city council approved a developer’s plan Thursday to rezone the current site of the Whitestone Lanes Bowling Alley making way for a 415-unit housing development, with more than 100 of those units to be designated as affordable.
The council voted in support of the project that will also include a public plaza that will be open to the public during the day – an amenity that Council Member Sandra Ung says her district in Flushing and surrounding areas desperately needs due its dense population.
“This project will not only create much-needed affordable housing in Flushing, but will be built using union labor that will deliver good paying jobs to our community and will also include a new public plaza in an area of my district that is severely lacking in open space,” she said.
The apartment units will be built at the intersection of Linden Place and the Whitestone Expressway and the public open space plaza will be constructed at the intersection of Farrington Street and 31st Road.
The affordable units will be for people who earn an average of 80% Area Median Income or lower, which for a family of four equates to an annual income of $112,000. At least half of the affordable units must be 2 bedrooms or larger. Given the income restrictions, Ung says that the development serves as a major win for her district as she looks to tackle the housing crisis in northern Queens as well as creating jobs for the area.
“This vote marks a significant milestone for our community on a project that was first proposed many years ago, but was never able to come to fruition. With this final approval from the City Council, I am excited for construction to finally get underway,” she said.
The construction of the project is expected to lead to 30 union jobs with the NYC District Council of Carpenters, and upon completion 5 to 6 full-time property service jobs with property service workers union 32BJ.
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, who supports the plan, says the development will help alleviate some of the pressures of the housing crisis in Queens.
“There is only one way to solve the housing crisis Queens and New York City as a whole faces — building. And that’s what we’ll be doing alongside our organized labor brothers and sisters here in Flushing, where affordable housing is in steep demand. I thank Councilmember Ung and all those who worked on this rezoning proposal and I look forward to breaking ground in the near future, as we deliver more than 100 affordable housing units to this community,” he said.
The estimate completion date of the development has yet to be determined.