Plans to construct apartments atop the Rego Center II mall have been announced by the property owners.
According to the Department of Buildings, Vornado Realty Trust filed plans for a 314-unit residential tower above the shopping mall by SLCE Architects.
The Real Deal, a real estate website, reported that the 24-story, 287,113-square-foot building addition will be a rental complex and cost between $100 million and $120 million.
Plans for a residential building above the 160,00-square-foot shopping center — anchored by a Costco, Century 21 clothing store and Kohl’s — were part of the original proposal that was presented to Community Board 6 in 2005. The mall opened in 2010.
“We’ve heard about this proposal back in 2004, 2005,” CB 6 District Manager Frank Gulluscio said. “Putting residential units on top has always been part of that plan but when we had the economic downturn, they had to put that on pause.”
“We approved the plan ... and met with them in 2010, where they gave me a copy of their retail expansion and the residential,” state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) said. “It was always known that this would come to fruition.”
With the economy now on the rise, the group can get back to its original plan for the plot that was once a parking lot for the former Alexander’s Department Store.
A spokesperson for Vornado told the Chronicle that the company cannot speak about the project yet.
Though it was reported that the residential building would be 24 stories, Stavisky recalled that the original proposal laid out a much smaller building.
“The plans I have talk about a 15-story building of residential units,” she said. “It looks like 15 floors of residential on top of the commercial floors.”
Gulluscio and Stavisky both recalled from previous meetings that there would be separate parking for renters once the building is finished, a condition he said is important in ensuring the apartments will not cause too much congestion in the already bustling area.
In fact, the building is zoned R7-1 so to comply with zoning laws, the project must provide off--street parking for residents.
Stavisky and Gulluscio did have their concerns though.
“It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed the plan but I would like to ensure that traffic won’t be too affected by this and that the Police Department will be involved to ensure the safety of the area,” Gulluscio said.
“Personally, I support mixed-use facilities because they bring in jobs, but I am concerned about our schools,” Stavisky said. “They’re overcrowded as it is and this will add to it. They’re going to have to address this issue.”
Stavisky, having dealt with Vornado before, said she was confident the company would address all issues that could arise once a residential building is put in place.
No date has been set for a groundbreaking or when developers will meet with the community board.