The proposed development of a mixed-use building at 68-19 Woodhaven Blvd. in Rego Park took a step forward when it was presented to Borough President Donovan Richards last Thursday.
A rezoning would be needed to facilitate the 87-unit building, including 26 for affordable housing.
The seven-story building would be between 73 and 74 feet high. Some nearby buildings are around 69 to 70 feet high.
“We’re really right in line with the three existing adjacent buildings in terms of height,” said Frank St. Jacques, a land use attorney with Akerman LLP.
The original plan was for eight stories but Community Board 6’s support for the project came on the condition that the developer would lower it to seven stories.
The lot is occupied by a wedding center, auto repair business and florist. The Haven Motel is next door.
St. Jacques, noting a cemetery is across the street, said the florist could return.
“The hope is to bring that business back,” he said.
The proposal calls for 92,291 square feet of total floor area, including 77,942 of residential space, 8,000 for retail and 6,349 for community facility use. Eighty-seven parking spaces would be available via 68th Road. The original proposal called for 100,042 square feet of total floor area. St. Jacques’ presentation included renderings for the original plan.
The project would also have a rooftop recreation area.
Richards asked about plans to hire locally and provide good jobs.
“We intend to hire building service workers and those building service workers will be paid a prevailing wage,” said Steven Sinacori of Akerman LLP. “So hopefully we can hire people from the local community to fill those jobs and our intention was to work with 32 BJ.”
He said he reached out to the union and is waiting to hear back.
For the construction jobs, Sinacori said the developer is open to hiring from the area once a general contractor is found.
“We haven’t really found any particular not-for-profit group that could generate workers for us in the neighborhood,” he said, before asking Richards if he had any suggestions.
“At the very least I would suggest working with Workforce1,” Richards said, speaking of the state career center.
There were no comments from area residents in support of or against the proposal.
Several residents voiced concerns during last month’s Community Board 6 meeting, citing worries about area homes’ resale value and the area already being densely populated.
The board voted 26-12 in favor of the project, given that the developer would make it seven stories and provide periodic inspections of adjacent properties during construction and a plan on how to mitigate damage to neighbors.
Several days earlier, CB 6’s Land Use Committee voted in support of the original plan by a 15-7 margin.