BY YVETTE BROWN
Affordable Housing could be coming to Sunnyside, but not without a fight.
Elected Officials and Community Board 2 have a few concerns regarding a project, The Barnett, will be built by Phipps Houses.
The Barnett, which will be located at 50-22 Barnett Ave., will feature approximately a 209-unit mid-rise, which will provide 100 percent mixed-income affordable housing and a new community facility space. The Barnett will be affordable to households earning 50 percent of AMI, 100 percent of AMI and 130 percent of AMI, while preserving the mixed income nature of the neighborhood.
The project will also include a 200-parking space lot, which if not all used then it may be open to the neighborhood residents. It will include a number of streetscape and sidewalk improvements, which include new rows of trees. The building will be seven to eight stories tall and the rear of the building will be nine to 10 stories tall, which is partially where the concerns are. Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan released a statement regarding the concerns of not just the height, but the health and basic transportation needs for the neighborhood and residents surrounding the project.
“After listening to the concerns expressed by many residents, I am concerned and opposed to the construction of a 10-story development currently being proposed at 50-22 Barnett Avenue in Sunnyside, Queens,” said Nolan. “As our communities continue to grow and expand, I am concerned that infrastructure needs for basic transportation, health facilities and classroom seats are not keeping up with the needs existing in our neighborhood. This proposed development will add another 220 units and will only increase the demand on an already stressed out infrastructure system. I stand ready to assist our community in any way to resolve these legitimate concerns.”
Just recently Nolan also opposed another high-rise building in Sunnyside at 32-35 Queens Blvd. She released a statement that read, “I am strongly opposed to the BSA’s recent decision to allow for the construction of a 17-story hotel building at 32-45 Queens Blvd in Sunnyside, Queens. The extreme height of this building is out of character with our neighborhood and I am disappointed that the city would sign off on this transaction despite the strong objections of our local community board.”
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) is also concerned with the possible development of the building.
“Like any other possible rezoning, the Phipps Houses project will go through a uniform process during which the Community Board, the Borough President, and I will all get to weigh in on the project. Community members have reached out to me with concerns about this building, many of which I share. During the ULURP process, there will be many more opportunities for people living in the 26th district to offer feedback on the Phipps Houses—and I will weigh this feedback heavily as I consider the proposal,” said Van Bramer.
Community Board 2 was to have a public hearing on this subject Wednesday night at the Sunnyside Community Center.
“We’ve had other public meetings about this including one a couple of months ago, but what we’re doing is trying to make as much outreach and hear from as many people. The board does not yet have a position on it, so we’re really vetted with our constituents and the public because we will be looking at this and voting on it at the June 3 monthly meeting,” said Chairman of CB 2, Patrick O’Brien.
Ariel Hernandez contributed to this article
Reach Yvette Brown at (718)357-7400 ext.128, firstname.lastname@example.org or @eveywrites.