The city is about to rezone 11 industrial blocks along the heavily polluted Flushing Creek in western Flushing. But one developer has already filed new building applications for an eight-story, mixed-use project at 134-16 36th Road, on the corner of Prince Street and in the middle of the soon-to-be-upzoned piece of eastern Queens.
Hotel rooms would occupy most of the project, and apartments would be stacked on top. A 473-square-foot medical office and some retail space would fill the cellar, followed by more retail and lobbies for the hotel and apartments on the ground floor. The second, third, and fourth floors would each have 17 hotel rooms, for a total of 51 rooms. Then the last four floors would hold four apartments apiece.
Overall, the project would hold 26,000 square feet of commercial space (both hotel and retail), 10,686 square feet of residential space, and that little 473-square-foot community facility. The upper floors would include 16 apartments, averaging only 670 square feet.
Like every project in Flushing, the building includes much more parking than the city requires. The cellars would host a bi-level garage with room for 39 cars.
The developers are taking a calculated risk by filing plans before the rezoning goes through. Preliminary documents from the Department of City Planning say the property will get a boost from C4-2 to C4-4A. Practically, that allows a bit more floor area for residential and commercial uses. However, the new zoning comes with two drawbacks for builders: a new building height limit of 75 feet and the mayor’s new Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) program.
Under the new zoning, planners predict that a new building on this site could hold 6,600 square feet of retail, 7,766 square feet of community facilities, and 15 apartments. Four of those units would have to rent for below-market rates, because MIH requires developers to set aside at least 25 percent of their apartments as affordable housing.
So, by filing under the current zoning, the owners can build the same number of apartments and keep them all market-rate. They also get to generate more revenue by making half the building into a hotel, rather than community facilities.
The developer is Chun Min Kwok, of Flushing-based Prince Property Development, and he’s tapped Chang Hwa Tan, who’s also based in the neighborhood, to be the architect.
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