CB5 Discusses Ridgewood Penthouse Proposal

BY LUIS GRONDA
Staff Writer

A developer has proposed a three-story penthouse near the radioactive site in Ridgewood that is up for Superfund Status.

Community Board 5 held a public hearing, during its regular monthly meeting last week on a proposal to build the luxury apartments just blocks away from the former Wolff-Alport chemical company site.

Although CB5 did not vote on the item, it did discuss the proposal at the meeting.

The applicant, 11-01 Irving Avenue LLC, would like to build the housing at that location and is looking to get a variance approved so that it can proceed with the project.

Ted Renz, executive director of the Ridgewood Local Development Corp. and the Myrtle Avenue Business Improvement District, raised some concerns about the proposal at the meeting, mainly that the area is in the Ridgewood Industrial Business Zone and they would be unable to build residential housing.

IBZs are designated areas that are supposed to be for manufacturing properties only. There are seven IBZs in Queens, including Ridgewood, Maspeth and Long Island City.

“He should build that property where it’s zoned for housing,” Renz said.

The applicant is hoping to get the variance to build the penthouse even though it is not zoned for residential apartments.

The apartments would be just blocks away from the recently-designated Superfund site in Ridgewood as well. Renz said this was a concern expressed by several CB5 members at the meeting. The general consensus, according to Renz, was that the area should be left alone from new development until that situation in resolved.

One possible solution would be to change the zoning to allow for both housing and manufacturing. Under this type of zoning, the first two floors would be for manufacturing and the next three for housing. That would require a zoning change, Renz said. The area is currently zoned as a M1-4 District, which is for manufacturing.

The application will be voted on at CB5’s land use committee, which will next meet on June 2. It will then go to full vote before the full board at their June 11 meeting.

Moshe Friedman, who represented the company at the CB5 meeting, did not return phone calls asking for comment before press time.

Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, lgronda@queenstribune.com, or @luisgronda.