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Queens Chronicle

Why apartments in a business zone?

Maspeth building plan runs counter to ‘iron-clad’ city commitment to industry

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Posted: Thursday, March 7, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:56 am, Thu Mar 14, 2013.

A 90,000-square-foot residential building that was presented at last week’s Citizens for a Better Ridgewood meeting to be built at 176 Woodward Ave. is currently located in an Industrial Business Zone.

IBZs, established by the Bloomberg administration, were designed to promote industrial growth by setting aside specific real estate in the city for businesses.

Though the planned Ridgewood building was well received at last week’s meeting, some are questioning the legitimacy of what City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burdern described as an “iron-clad commitment.”

“Starr Street has had a problem with prostitution for decades,” area civic leader Christina Wilkinson said. “A new residential building in the area will reduce the desolation that attracts that kind of activity. However, I am curious how this plan will move forward considering that the city planning commissioner made a firm commitment against rezoning industrial business in the IBZ for residential use.”

City Planning confirmed that the lot is technically within the IBZ but because the area is mainly residential, the city is considering removing it from the zone.

The Economic Development Corporation supported City Planning’s claim.

“EDC remains committed to strengthening our Industrial Business Zones,” an EDC spokesperson said. “In this particular case, after reviewing the existing land use we proposed a minor change of the boundary to the Industrial Zone Commission due to the predominantly residential character of this part of the neighborhood.”

According to the EDC, a request to modify the IBZ was submitted last June, with a decision to be made in late spring.

The proposal, still in its early stages, will go to Community Board 5 in coming weeks.

Attorney Steve Sinacori of Akerman and Senterfitt, LLP, who represents the developers, was not available for comment.



This article originally misstated, in part, the location of the Woodward Avenue project. It is in Ridgewood. We regret the error.

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