Three years ago, the city downzoned Richmond Hill, a working and middle-class area filled with one- and two-family homes just south of the Jamaica rail yards in eastern Queens. But they upzoned a commercial corridor on 101st Avenue, and one developer has decided to stake a claim there by filing plans for five small apartment buildings.
The square footages vary, but each building will rise four stories and 5o feet into the air. They’ll fill two lots between 129th and 130th Streets, with addresses from 129-17 to 129-25 101st Avenue. Four of the buildings will have five apartments each, spread across roughly 3,300 square feet, yielding fairly small units of 660 square feet. Every one will also contain a little 400-square-foot retail space on the ground floor.
129-25 101st Avenue will be slightly larger than the others. Eight units will be divided over 4,742 square feet, for an average unit of only 592 square feet. And 982 square feet on the ground floor will be devoted to retail.
Ultimately, the development will bring 28 units and five storefronts to this very sleepy part of Queens. The property is currently home to a dilapidated wood frame house, a garage, and a large vacant corner lot.
Engineer Glen J. Langer, based in Commack, N.Y, applied for the permit, and the developer is Gawande Dhananjay.
This neighborhood experienced some development in the early to mid-2000s, but the 2012 rezoning essentially halted new construction and capped building heights on the side streets at just 35 feet. Like much of eastern Queens, residents here have to walk at least a mile to get to the subway, but homes are still quite affordable. Three- and four-bedroom houses are currently asking between $400,000 and $500,000. Since this is one of the cheapest corners of New York City, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to relax the zoning restrictions here, to allow more reasonably priced, market-rate construction.