BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
The motion to approve The Parking Spot’s proposed 199,010 sq. ft. and 1,775 parking-spaces, located at 102-05 Ditmars Blvd. did not pass Community Board 3’s vote with eight in favor, 22 oppose and two absentees.
Residents of the Jackson Heights and East Elmhurst community voiced their opposition following The Parking Spot’s proposal.
The Parking Spot spent about an hour proposing their project, which was projected to take the place of the 410-car parking deck and lot of the New York LaGuardia Marriott hotel.
The purpose for their proposed garage is to provide parking and car service to and from LaGuardia Airport. The Parking Spot is the largest operator of long-term airport parking facilities in the U.S. The garage was proposed to be bounded by the Grand Central Parkway to the north and Ditmars Boulevard to the south and would have been adjacent to the 23rd Avenue overpass to LaGuardia.
Another issue The Parking Spot mentioned was their goal to reduce black-car services. The way they proposed to do that was by taking people out of black cars and placing them in their own cars.
In regards to height, the parking structure was projected to be a maximum of eight levels fronting on Ditmars Boulevard and no higher than the existing 10-story hotel building.
A resident mentioned that the height of the garage goes against the Marriott’s agreement with the community when they were proposing the hotel.
“I remember when the Marriott was being built, there was an emphasis on citing the Marriott so that the community could have a view to the bay and I wanted to ask the community board whether they were aware of that and why would they replace that view with a garage,” he said. “Another question is why doesn’t the developer get together with LaGuardia Airport and see if they can have this building put on the LaGuardia Airport side and not the community side.”
Not only did The Parking Spot propose a garage to hold a parking lot but the building would also hold an approximately 500 square foot convenience retail shop.
A representative for Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry (D-Flushing) read a statement and provided a petition that several members of the community signed opposing the project, only two hours before the hearing.
“It is too intrusive on the local community, within the local community streets, Ditmar in particular, but also other access roads,” Aubry said. “Parking was counted towards the New York City policy on Vision Zero, attempting to decrease car traffic. It [The Parking Spot] competes with on airport parking and existing parking vendors. No real public program with speculation about black cars is only a mirage. The potential for retail inclusion is also unacceptable.”
Of all the residents within the community that voiced their concerns, only one was for the project. The majority ruled in this proposal and 102-05 Ditmars Boulevard will remain the location of the Marriott Hotel’s parking lot.
Reach Ariel Hernandez at (718) 357-7400 x144 or firstname.lastname@example.org