BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission was not able to give approval to Kelly’s Manor, a proposed four-story addition to the existing one-story commercial building at 84-11 37th Ave., this Tuesday at a public hearing at the Manhattan Municipal Building.
The LPC was not only able to give approval to a building being built within the Jackson Heights Historic District, but they did not approve of the architectural design of the building either, which was altered since the last proposal, but is still not up to their expectations.
Present at the meeting were the Queensboro Houses Association, Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights), community residents and several other locals in opposition of the project.
“The approval of this application would disrupt the intended vision of the commercial strip along 37th Avenue and pave the way for future development of four to six story high buildings, contrary to the purpose that directed development in the historic district,” Dromm wrote in a letter, addressed directly to LPC Commissioner Meenaskshi Srinivasan, the day before the meeting.
Kelly’s Manor previously proposed the four-story addition to the one-story commercial building last year, in which the LPC made comments to be addressed about the evolution of development of Jackson Heights from 1910 to present, the development on north and south sides of 37th Avenue, the commercial development within Jackson Heights post-designation development, the design proposed addition and the uniqueness of the subject site, which they responded to this go-round in a 33-slide PowerPoint.
“The revised proposal, which is now before the commission represents such a minimal shift from the project’s first iteration as to belie its ‘revised’ nature,” said Scott Brevda, lifelong and third generation resident of the JHHD. “The only changes are the setting back of the upper residential floors on the 85th Street side of the building and the removal of the floor to ceiling corner windows. The building maintains the modern architectural style featuring a curved corner, which has no comparison in the district.”
Residents of the JHHD have expressed concerns and voiced opposition to this application through letters, phone calls, emails and petitions to Dromm and to the LPC directly.
In Dromm’s letter to the LPC, he asked that they respect the communities request to deny the proposal as it was not in “the vision of the original planners of the Jackson Heights community and the intent of the 1993 Landmarks Preservation Commission’s designation.”
Community Board 3, elected officials, the Jackson Heights Beautification Group, the Queensboro Houses Association, community residents and a petition with over 2,000 signatures oppose the project.
Because the LPC were not able to come up with a conclusion, another meeting is projected to take place in the near-future to view the next architectural design of Kelly’s Manor.
Reach Ariel Hernandez at (718) 357-7400 x144 or firstname.lastname@example.org