The Knockdown Center’s application for an assembly permit of 5,000 persons has been turned down by the Buildings Department, according to Community Board 5 District Manager Gary Giordano.
“I sat down with them early on,” Giordano told CB 5 on Wednesday night. “I was really taken aback when [Knockdown Center’s operators] said to me that they were looking for a permit to have that many people assemble there.”
The Knockdown Center, located at 52-19 Flushing Ave. in Maspeth, is no stranger to public skepticism and animosity. Board members and concerned citizens alike have all expressed outrage at the center’s workings in past months.
The arts center’s application for a 600-person liquor license came under fire last month from CB 5, which voted against granting it because it lacked a valid certificate of occupancy after a recommendation from the board’s Land Use Committee.
Those concerned over the Knockdown Center’s place in the community allege that excessive drinking and loud parties occuring late into the night have been and will potentially continue to be problems in the neighborhood.
The denial of the assembly permit will not prevent the center from filing a new application for a different amount of people.
“They have turned down their assembly permit at this stage of the game and it has been withdrawn for that many people,” Giordano said. “The fact that the New York State Liquor Authority application says just 600-plus when there could be 2,000, 3,000 or 4,000 people, that’s something out state legislators have to deal with.”
Despite the latest blow to the center’s ability to host large gatherings such as dance parties and weddings, Giordano believes that the Knockdown Center has hardly been knocked out.
“I don’t believe we’ve seen the end of the Knockdown Center,” he said. “I’m not too particularly comfortable with the name Knockdown Center either; it doesn’t sound like they’re trying to do anything artsy.”