BY JON CRONIN
A local assemblywoman is opposing the plan to create a deck and build over the Long Island Rail Road tracks at 11th and 21st Streets and Jackson Avenue in Long Island City, citing complaints of overdevelopment in an infrastructure-strapped neighborhood.
Nolan said the plans for the property, located at 11-24 Jackson Ave., would overburden the community’s infrastructure.
“I am concerned about the NYC Economic Development Corporation’s plans to deck over the LIRR tracks at Jackson Avenue between 11th and 21st Streets” said Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan (D-Ridgewood). “I oppose developing the site with the buildings currently proposed. Too large, too tall and too high of a floor area ratio.”
The proposed project area spans 58,000 square feet, according to the New York City Record Online. The NYCEDC wrote that “this project is an opportunity to create a thriving mixed-use and mixed-income development with ground floor retail, a community facility and much-needed open space. The project represents an unprecedented opportunity for qualified developers to make a lasting, meaningful impact on our city.”
But Nolan said she believed the proposal would add to an existing pollution problem in the community, further overcrowd schools and increase ridership on already packed trains.
“This new decking proposal must be examined in the context of the large scale development in Long Island City,” she said.
“For example, during rain storms the city’s sewer system overflows raw sewage into Newtown Creek and this development will only add to that pollution. I feel that we are now playing catch-up. Our schools remain the most overcrowded in the city and every subway rider knows the daily overcrowded conditions on the 7, E, F, M, N, Q and R,” said Nolan.
She is concerned that the proposal might permit heights over 125 feet as well as a re-zoning of the area since the expenses of decking would force a developer to build higher in order to make a profit. Nolan said that between the height and mandatory affordable housing, the buildings may be upwards of 50 to 60 stories or higher.
“This project has high probability to be outsized and not right for Long Island City,” she said. “I oppose such overdevelopment. Considering the size of the site and its proximity to other large scale development in Long Island City, there must be a better plan to increase basic services before such large scale development is considered.”
Nolan had previously said that she would like to see a community planning study of Western Queens that would include “more schools, health facilities, police precinct modernization, reopening of the closed Long Island City firehouse, additional parkland, car parking, bus route expansion and other improvements.”
The NYCEDC will be holding an optional informational session for those interested in applying to its RFP on the project. It will be held on Feb. 13 at 10 a.m. at NYCEDC. Those who wish to attend should RSVP by email to 1124JacksonAve@edc.nyc on or before Feb. 7.
The NYCEDC will also hold an optional site visit on Feb.17 at 10 a.m. at 11-24 Jackson Avenue. Those who wish to attend should RSVP by email on or before Feb. 10. Attendees may be limited to one representative per company in the event that the informational session or site visit is oversubscribed.
Reach Editor Jon Cronin at 718-357-7400 x125, firstname.lastname@example.org.