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Developers Of Paragon Paint Building Apply For Zoning Variance, Plan 28-Story Building On Site Zoned For Manufacturing

paragon paint

Nov. 24, 2015 By Christian Murray

The owners of the Paragon Paint building are seeking a zoning variance so they can develop three residential buildings alongside the well-known factory that would in total create 334 apartments, about 14,000-square-feet of retail space and a public park.

The owners, Brent Carrier and Simon Baron Development, filed an application with the New York City Board of Standards and Appeals on Oct. 2, as they aim to get permission to build the dwelling units on property zoned for manufacturing. The application is currently being reviewed by Community Board 2.

The developers plan to keep the front section of the Paragon Paint building, located at 45-40 Vernon Blvd., and add three additional buildings of varying heights across three contiguous parcels they own.

One building would be 28 stories and would be attached to the existing Paragon Paint building, while the two others would be 13 stories and eight stories respectively. They are also requesting variances for height.

ParagonPaintrenderingThe 28-story building would be set back about 50 feet from the front of Vernon Boulevard. The 13-story building would be located next to it on Vernon Boulevard, with a public space separating the two buildings going down to a half-acre park by Anable Basin for public use.

The development would also bring an eight-story building to 46th Avenue.

The owners spoke before Community Board 2’s Land Use Committee last Wednesday and claimed that the development would be beneficial to the community since they would create a public park, cleanup a toxic site and bring 103 affordable apartments (30 percent of the units) to the neighborhood. The affordable apartments would be priced at 130 percent of Area Median Income.

In order to obtain the variance, the developers have to show that existing zoning regulations pose an unnecessary hardship to their project at this site.

The primary hardship the developers’ claim they face is the cost of environmental mediation, which is expected to cost about $20 million over and above what a normal cleanup would cost.

“I acquired this building in 2011 and at the time we knew it needed a significant cleanup… but it was much more extreme than anyone ever alluded too,” Carrier said at the meeting.

The Paragon Paint factory, which was constructed in 1935, was used to manufacture paint and varnish for decades.

The developers are in the midst of a remediation program where they are clearing the site of contaminated soil and treating the ground water. A significant portion of the building is now safe, with $16 million already having been spent.

The site, when it was taken over by Carrier, was deemed “a significant threat to human life” by the New York State Department of Health.

The remediation plan still involves the replacement of the timber bulkhead/seawall that touches Anable Basin. The bulkhead is viewed as porous and hazardous materials are leaking from the ground and ground water into the basin and the East River.

The remediation plan would require the replacement of the wooden bulkhead with a metal bulkhead.

“It’s a nice feeling to take an old blighted place and turn it into something the community can enjoy,” Carrier said.

The developers, however, are likely to recoup as much as $10 million of their remediation costs through New York State’s Brownfield Cleanup Program. The exact amount has yet to be determined.

The Community Board is scheduled to hear the plan at its next full board meeting on Dec. 3. The Board’s opinion is merely advisory.

Lisa Deller, chair of Community Board 2’s Land Use Committee, said the height of the development could pose a problem. “The height could get scaled back,” she said. “People are concerned about setting a precedent for that area.”

The developers are required by the BSA to hold a public hearing as part of the application process. The decision, however, is ultimately made by the BSA.


Project renderings

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Click for Comments 

PreK- 2nd grade school to be on first 2 floors to get these hight rights. Garage to be included. This kind of nfrastructure has to be demanded from every building if we do not want to explode.


Great another building so landlords could jack up the rentals even more in the surrounding neighborhood! I am tired of the rents going up wherever white people move to! I’m sorry, but that’s racial discrimination. White people have a right to live in housing that doesn’t cost more than 1/3 of their income, but in NYC, landlords don’t believe it. They believe white people should pay an arm and a leg to live somewhere. As soon as middle class white people get chased out of one area because the housing goes sky high and start moving into a lower rent area, the rents get raised. You know people roll their eyes when white people start moving in. “There goes the neighborhood! More whites are coming! Time to move out before the rents triple!”

not a condo dweller

Don’t speak for me. The “main retail street” is a mess as it is. This project is set back from the street. It does something to fix the ugliest building in Hunters Point.
Go back to fighting outdoor bar seating.


All for development if the area even if residential on the major Avenue isn’t my first choice, but 28 stories is absurd. It is no one’s problem but the developers that they are over budget due to buying a toxic site. The community shouldn’t have to suffer with a hulking monstrosity on an otherwise lovely low rise Blvd because they can’t balance their checkbooks. 10 stories max lest we turn this area into skyhigh concrete jungle to rival fidi.

Anonymous visitor

Except for the developer and his friends posting positive comments above, people in LIC don’t want to see the main retail street crowded with enormous buildings. You can improve that site and build on it without burdening the area with Big Ugly.

Anonymous visitor

So unless you develop the site yourself, you can’t comment on it? Don’t be such a dipshit. The developer is seeking a variance to build on that site. It’s in everyone’s interest in the neighborhood to make sure they do it right.


Obviously anyone who disagrees with you must be a lackey for the developer. What a conceited idiot. I have no ties to the developer and happen to like the way the neighborhood is developing.

Anonymous visitor

At the end of the day….you cant stop development.
That stretch of Vernon is disgusting…nobody can walk around there and enjoy it….
the building will be kept – which adds a nice touch, and the waterfront access from Vernon is different than anything else in the area.
even if you dont like development, you have to at least appreciate some creativity. A building was going to be built there….there is not a bad option.

Anonymous visitor

Sorry, hulking 28-story buildings with their bullshit postage stamp-sized “parks” don’t belong on Vernon Boulevard. What’s wrong with you people? There’s no need to completely give away the neighborhood to developers.


To those with negative comments like “postage stamp parks that don’t belong on Vernon Blvd” and “giving the neighborhood away”. May I ask, what would you like to see on Vernon Blvd? What kind of development is appropriate on Vernon Blvd?


No residential for starters, no hulking 28 story buildings. Enough is enough! We need services and retail, there are enough people crammed in here as it is.


Unfortunately, “enough people” is a relative term; I’m sure the existing businesses would not agree that there are enough people to support a thriving retail community. If we want retail and more services, we need more people.


Ej – Hunters Point is going to become a higher density neighborhood than it was. Get over it. Businesses need patrons to survive, and patrons don’t magically appear only when needed.


Easy. Less rentals for the transient, more useful retail, and low rise on Vernon as was originally intended.


I think this is a well conceived project that shows the strength and future of our neighborhood. We need vigorous retail to transform the neighborhood from a bedroom community. The cleanup of a toxic area and the addition of the park show the developers interest in trying to do it right. The setback of the tall building will also help maintain the character of Vernon Blvd. The Paragon building (14k square feet retail) will enhance our neighborhood and attract residents and tourists from Court Square to our businesses. Yes, we desperately need more schools and better transportation but hopefully those will come too – especially when we have even more voices in our neighborhood to make our needs felt.


Written by the owners/real estate exploitation squad. No amount of PR can hide the simple law breaking of the concept, no matter how many bribes–err, political contributions–are made. When the original Queens West development was made, a pledge to cede LOW RISE beyond the immediate waterfront was made.
1. Air and light, the little things of life, for the rest of Queens county;
2. overcrowding–as made abundantly clear in many posts–subways and schools can take only so much.
3. quality of life. As you elbow your way past thousands more of population than Manhattan was built for, rudeness, and real estate viciousness take over. Manhattan is uninhabitable. Sorry. Let Queens alone. You can ruin Brooklyn some more.

Anonymous visitor

I realize this is a site with anonymous commenters (like me), but if you are the developer, broker or someone else who stands to directly benefit from the project, please have the balls to state who you are and then offer your defense of the project. This BS comment and manipulation of the thumbs-up voting stink of deception. People in LIC aren’t idiots. We know what the benefits of development are as well as the reasons for being cautious about the intentions of developers.


This would be a nice addition to the neighborhood. That stretch of Vernon is pretty much a shithole other than the LIC Bar.

Anonymous visitor

I think it’s a great idea. Certainly better than an abandoned warehouse and low rise industrial type buildings. Waterfront access directly off Vernon will spur business growth in that area, which doesn’t get enough foot traffic.


Is that a parking garage facing Vernon Boulevard? I would think you would want some sort of retail space there.


“the development would be beneficial to the community since they would create a public park”. A public park? Is that to park the trailers for our soon to be overcrowded school? Awesome!!

Queens Resident

Whatever happened to refurbishing or redeveloping or restoring buildings. Why must we build high so that no one sees the sun? I also don’t understand how anyone could be for more luxury condos or apartment buildings when there is no infrastructure to support so many people?! I grew up in Queens. It was always crowded, but now there is traffic at all times of the day everywhere on the streets and subways. There aren’t enough schools or firehouses or parks, etc… And the rent keeps going up. For those commenters that don’t seem to understand New Yorkers, we’ve always been a city that is vocal about everything. Developers suddenly have power because they bribe or finance political campaigns and because we allowed the rezoning of our industrial areas, which provide work for the middle class. This all needs to stop.


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