BY JACKIE STRAWBRIDGE
Community Board 2’s Land Use Committee held a public hearing last Wednesday on permit renewals for Silvercup Studios’ stalled Silvercup West development, a $1 billion, six-acre complex planned for the Long Island City waterfront.
Silvercup West will boast eight soundstages, three towers with retail, residential, office and studio space, as well as a public waterfront esplanade and plazas. Silvercup has committed that a portion of residential space will be set aside for affordable and low-income housing.
The special permits involve height wavers for the towers and design wavers for the development’s waterfront open space, as well as for a Silvercup logo sign facing Manhattan on the esplanade. Developers are also applying for authorization for a 1,400-car accessory parking garage.
Silvercup West has been in the works since 2006. The City Council approved the plan in August of that year, but the project stalled due to property already on the site, which includes a New York Power Authority generating plant and a landmarked Terra Cotta building.
Marcie Kesner, who presented the renewal applications at the public hearing, explained that per a legal agreement between Silvercup and NYPA, the generating plant is temporary and the facility will be decommissioned and removed to clear the site for Silvercup West.
Silvercup is also restoring the Terra Cotta building, according to Kesner. For the moment, they have not designated a specific use for it.
Regarding CB2’s upcoming vote on the renewals, chairman Joe Conley said, “we never know until the board votes, but there’s nothing there substantial that would indicate otherwise, that would say there’s something to vote no on.”
If CB2 approves, the plans move to the City Planning Commission. Because Silvercup is seeking renewals and not running through the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure again, the process is expected to move at a clip.
Silvercup estimates that the development would be completed in 2017.
Reach Jackie Strawbridge at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 128, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JNStrawbridge.