BY JON CRONIN
Forest Hills residents are creating an uproar over the proposed mixed-use building at 107-18 70th Rd, which may displace the celebrated Restaurants Row there now.
A petition to stop the construction of the mixed use building has been started on Change.org. As of Wednesday afternoon, the petition has received 876 signatures against the development.
The petition’s webpage, started by an M. Cheng, states, “Unfortunately, outside dining on Restaurant Row may soon become a thing of the past. Lurking in the background are the greedy fangs of a Manhattan real estate developer. He will have to wipe out all the restaurants from where the former Santa Fe once stood on up to Aged Restaurant to build a mixed-use tower with retail on the first floor and office space on the second floor. Narita, Bangkok Cuisine, Cabana, among others, will all be lost.”
These residents are concerned that they will lose outdoor dining, citing that 70th Road is the only place it is available in the neighborhood because outside dining is not allowed on Austin Street. They feel the loss of those restaurants will cause the business district to lose traffic and add to the congestion caused by the new Target on Austin Street and a constant stream of cars that an apartment building will create. These concerned residents believe it will negatively impact “the aesthetic and historic quality” of Forest Hills.
The page also states that proponents claim the project will bring additional tax revenue to the neighborhood, but petitioners believe, “this money will go into a general pot and not be earmarked for Forest Hills. It will go to places like Staten Island and Brooklyn and not remain in the community.”
David Ramsay, a resident of Lane Towers on 70th Road, said after reading about the project in the Queens Tribune on Feb. 4, residents of Lane Towers organized a meeting on Monday night that had over 200 people. He noted that over 200 will also be attending the CB 6 meeting on Wednesday night to voice their opinions against the project.
Joe Morali, managing director of Morali Architects in Manhattan, said they have discussed a special permit to get their desired height with Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) and CB. Their plans within the zoning text, but seek the City Planning Commission’s approval on height.
Reach Reporter Jon Cronin at (718) 357-7400 x125, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JonathanSCronin