May 16, 2016 By Christian Murray
Defying the wishes of Community Board 2 and Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, the Board of Standards and Appeals has given the all clear to a developer to construct a 17-story hotel building at 32-45 Queens Blvd.
The BSA’s approval stems from the YMCA’s application to transfer commercial air rights to Fongtar, a Bronx-based developer that owns a 10,000 square foot lot next door to the YMCA’s Long Island City facility, which intends to construct a hotel.
The YMCA needed the approval of the BSA to modify its existing variance in order for it to sell its air rights. The BSA had to weigh in on the variance since the Queens Boulevard facility was only allowed to be built in the first place as a result of a zoning waiver.
The April 5 approval by the BSA now permits Fongtar to build a hotel three times the size of what would have been allowed on the site without the air rights transfer.
Frank Chen, the director of Fongtar, said the company plans to start construction in about six months.
The five BSA board members unanimously approved the YMCA’s application to modify its variance. Meanwhile, in March, every Community Board 2 member rejected it.
“I think the BSA has made the wrong decision,” Van Bramer said. “The BSA often rules against the wishes of the local community and local elected officials, and this is another example of that.”
“A 17-story tower on Queens Boulvard is not something many people including myself think is a good idea or is consistent with the character of the area,” Van Bramer said. “It’s going to tower over the two-story YMCA and it also replaces a two-story building.”
Van Bramer said that he was disappointed with the YMCA of Greater New York, which engineered the nearly $2 million deal, as opposed to the operators of the Long Island City facility. He said the Queens Boulevard location will only receive $250,000 of the YMCA’s windfall, which will be directed to new locker rooms.
Pat O’Brien, Community Board 2 Chair, said at the Board’s March meeting that the public was being asked to absorb an unnecessary hotel significantly larger than it would have been.
“We don’t need more hotels and there is concern that as the economy shifts that underutilized hotels owned by for-profit individuals turn into other things not as desirable,” O’Brien said at the time, likely alluding to recent conversions of hotels into homeless shelters around western Queens.
He said that the development was of no real benefit to the community.
Without the transfer of air rights, Fongtar would have only been permitted to build 20,000 square feet of hotel space (double the lot size)—or about five stories.
However, the YMCA, which is on a 40,000-square-foot site and is being used as a community facility, still carries with it the right to develop 80,000 square feet (double the lot size) of space for a hotel.
The YMCA, with the BSA’s blessing, has sold 40,000 square feet of air rights to Fongtar.
Fongtar is able to build 60,000 square feet of hotel space, instead of 20,000 square feet.
The 17-story building will include 14 stories of hotel space and three stories of medical offices, which will occupy the top three floors.
The hotel will consist of 154 rooms and will have 18 parking spots, according to Fongtar.
if Christian who runs this site follows what is posted on licpost, he will realize people can steal other peoples handles and are very rude and use bullying and harsh words to ram their points across. This should not be.
Anonymous, I have to make small 2 or 3 line posts or the post will not submit for some reason. I just state my opinions as it should be, not called names for it. I do state many facts to back them up, I may get a date wrong here & there. No one is perfect.
I am sick and tired of you capitalist people turning your backs on people that have lessor than you. Every week I serve at the food shelter for 2 hours because I have the compassion to help others. As a child my grandmother touched me deeper than my parents ever could.
I noticed the same genre of simpleton Rush Limbaugh standards like “liberal mafia”, “liberal bullies” “standing up to” etc. etc. So much for honest discord. These people even know their Ideolgy could never hold up to honest discussion. This incident in this comment stream only confirms this. Way to go MRLIC you hypocrite.
Stop being a communist.
Thank you Eliza, someone has to stand up to bullies. Jeree you are correct in your thinking. People push their own agendas no matter whom they hurt.
-MRLIC You do realize Christian the owner of this blog knows it’s you posting all these comments supporting your original post. Your basically patting yourself on the back and responsible for 98% of the posts to this particular comment stream. You’re unbalanced psycho.
I noticed debe and MRLIC are as unpopular as Mayor Deblasio on the internet.
Continued… I don;t call them names because they have unlike thinking. I amy disagree with them wholeheartedly but I do respect them as a person,something that is lost in your way of thinking. Let Debe and anyone else speak their mind without name calling and degrading them.
Thank you for standing up!
Yeah standing up to the invisible liberal boogey man. You’re an idiot LOL
Only on the internet have I seen so many “adults” carry on like bullies, no matter the nature of the status nor the cause. Most of them are someone’s parent…
God, help us all.
Sc it would have been better off if it was a bowling alley. Maybe now after all your attacks on difference of your opinions you see why no one wants snobby people coming into LIC. Last I saw it was still a FREE country. I may disagree with people but I don’t attack them as you do. I let them speak.
What attack? I said you could have your bowling alley.
To the people who attacked Debe and myself. You sound like a mob. Debe has a right to an opinion as I and do others. You sound as if someone is against your opinion you have to attack them. You are the imbeciles and need remedial reading classes. Grow up act like an adult if you are one.
-MRLIC Lies and distortions are not opinions you under educated and misinformed imbecile. To be called on your lies distortions and ignorance is not an attack you should be able to defend your position if you’re not able to defend your argument and or position then there is something wrong with you or your position.
Mac, just go crawl back under whatever rock your current alter ego fermented under.
I’m glad someone is standing up to the liberal mafia. Liberals are “tolerant” of all kinds of deviant behavior, but are extremely intolerant of anyone who simply expresses a disagreement with their deviant behavior. They can’t just live and let live either, no they need to destroy anyone who expresses opposing views. Liberals are nothing but statist bullies who love to use government power to browbeat innocent people into submission.
Yeah that’s right MRLIC. You sound like a Fox News blowhard you even make things up like Fox News. Poor oppressed stupid conservatives who believe in myths fairy tales and invisible gods. Hahaha
This could have been a bowling alley for MRLIC!
I am so sick of the political system. It’s no longer working for anyone that does not have a good chunk of change.
Comrade DeBlasio’s ideas should all be put on hold until the corruption scandals end.
MRLIC. I have absolutely no faith in your posts. As somebody posting here anonymously has just exposed you as an uninformed blowhard or somebody deliberately posting propaganda and misinformation. Either way you have lost all credibility. You’re a fox informed imbecile. Your attack on “anonymous” back fired go back to the other article and see what anonymous said about “anonymity” and you. Oh by the way it appears you need to take a remedial reading class as well. You also appear hysterical with the buzz word laced right wing name calling “King Bloomberg” and “Comrade Deblasio”. Post less misinformation and more verifiable facts. Have some self respect even when posting with your anonymous handle.
-MRLIC Yes. lets put all of the “ideas” of the administration you didn’t vote for, but the majority of the people who did turn out in the election did vote for, “on hold”. This is a typical technique of ignorant and bitter “sore losers” to exercise their will on the electorate when they were incapable of achieving this at the polls. Only with a simpleton like you, you’re unable to think ahead to the day your candidate of choice is elected to office and this very technique will be used against you and your candidate, successfully silencing your voice and undermining your candidates goals” and agenda. You’ll be the first to turnaround and cry Gov’t is ineffective. The others posting to this comment stream make making you look like an uninformed and under educated buffoon so easy because that is exactly what you appear to be. Congratulations you’re the very definition of a fool.
I noticed that Chick-Fil-A’s Facebook page has over 7 million likes. And I would guess they added several thousand after the incompetent, corrupt Mayor’s remarks about them. Also take note that in a city of well over 8 million people, de Blasio’s page has 58,000 likes, and I’m sure many are from out of towners. He also has the lowest approval rating of any Mayor in decades. “I am saddened, shocked and deeply disappointed that” De Blasio thinks it is okay to tell New Yorker’s to boycott an eating establishment because they have Christian values and support the teachings of the bible. So, LGBT should have rights, but CF should not? You may very well be shocked at how many Christians in New York that you have offended…voting Christians at that.
-debe I know it’s politically incorrect to point out that the bible is nothing but myths and fairy tales and stories about an invisible in my image but here you go. The bible also says “intentional miscarriage” “abortion” is a private matter to be decided by the woman who had the abortions patriarch. Matthew also tells us to pray in private for those who pray in public on street corners, for they are the hypocrites. Also Romans specifically tells Christians they are not to judge homosexuals. You sound like a typical Christian hypocrite. Stop trying to cram you myths and fairy tales down everyone else’s throats.
Luke 9:25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?
Philippians 2:3-4 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Proverbs 14:20 The poor is disliked even by his neighbor, but the rich has many friends
Only a fool would turn their Religion into a popularity contest. Enjoy your silly internet popularity contest you imbecile.
@debe When you say “offended” do you mean like how that good phony Creep Ted Cruz offended all 19.8 Million New Yorkers? Do us all a favor and move yourself to Bible Belt. It will be win win for all involved. You’ll be with like minded fools. You’ll be popular there.
It’s not Christian to turn your back on fellow humans because they are different than you
Debe Please ! If Debalsio says so, it is so……… That is the way social communist leaders work. Now please leave Comrade Warren Wilhelm Bill Deblasio alone, he is clearly trying to rule NYC !
Bill is just trying to deflect from the investigation that is digging into his fundraising practices.
If Chic-fil-A would have donated to his campaign his words would not have been uttered.
The call to boycott Chick-fil-A was and still is based on it’s CEO’s personal opposition to marriage equality. The original boycott failed miserably. His views may be wrongheaded but he has a right to them. Chick-fil-A has not been found to have policies that discriminate against our community. Some of the companies franchise owners have donated food to anti-marriage equality groups, but that is their decision. We need to be careful when calling for boycotts of companies that are headed by people whose personal opinions are different than ours because that becomes an attack on freedom of speech and dilutes the effectiveness of boycotts of businesses that have policies that harm our community.
As a lesbian, I think Bill de Blasio could help the GLBTQ community a hell of a lot more by addressing our real needs instead of having press conferences about which chicken sandwich not to eat.
Meanwhile back at the ranch….the average New Yorker is paying like $3000/month for a one bedroom apartment…but where people eat lunch is more pressing….
Gay marriage is legal now so the opinion of Chic Fil A or anyone else is a moot point. He’s using this to distract from his own, alleged, dirt. He has bigger fish (or chicken, in this case) to fry.
De Blasio you missing out boo. More chicken for me
I’m gay and I’ll say this. I disagree with Chick Fil A on certain things, but I still eat there when given the chance and will probably continue to do so. If anything is going to bring this country together it appears it will be our love for good food.
Chick-fil-A, is coming to Queens Center mall, in Elmhurst, Queens!!! I need a #3 right now with a side of Chick-fil-A sauce… diet lemonade to drink.
The Muslims and the Hindus are not very pro homosexuality either. Is he going to boycott their business establishments also? What about all the Christian Charities in NYC? Should we close them down?
The mayor has secured where the transgender pee, but you people waiting for affordable housing or affordable housing to be affordable………wait for it……….priorities first!!
I know for sure that a sex change operation and hormone pills won’t cure a man of the fact that he is a man. It’s fascinating that suddenly, after decades of shoving secularism down our throats, left wingers have discovered the human soul, and summarily assessed that in some cases it’s been mismatched, like brown socks with black pants.
-bull You got it all wrong it’s religion that has a history of cramming itself down people’s throats. That wouldn’t matter to a myth and fairy tale believing fool like you. I know the invincible god on your narcissistic image tells you that what you feel and believe, as long as you continue to believe in him, trumps truth fact and history.
I have never seen a string of one name commentors saying the same thing on this blog in all my years of posting here. MRLIC you really need to grow up. The “popular consertive” game didn’t help Fox News get Romney elected and won’t help your unpopular hysteria get popular either.
Come on now it is far more important for the president and the AG to be worry about where a transgender drops a deuce than a New York mayor violating laws. And If that weren’t true it would be funny…
In essence, all it takes to be a woman today are [fake] breasts and good hair. As a culture, we are telling women that the feelings and sentiments of a particular group of men – in this case, men who regard themselves as women – matter more than they do. I would argue that the bathroom wars indicate that we’re entering an entirely new phase of patriarchy which declares victory every time it destroys a safe space for women, including bathrooms, fitting rooms, locker rooms, and so on.
The most “profound challenge” in NYC right now is having a lame duck Mayor who is under investigation for FIVE separate corruption charges from the feds and state. His quid pro quo behavior of buying donors and then rewarding them with city deals is a disgrace to the citizens of NYC. This fake man with a fake name and fake caring for the people of this great city has brought shame, scandal and a deterioration of our quality of life and our city. How can a man who is fighting all these charges possibly govern?
In all honesty… I think this investigation is politically motivated because the last Mayor for damn sure was involved in some politically unethical shit and he never came under any type of investigation like this one… they already have it out for the Deblasio because he fired Ray Kelly as Police Commissioner… sided with the citizens when it came to high profile police brutality cases… supported that Judge’s ruling that banned Stop & Frisk… he also finally paid the Central Park Five their settlement from the City… they also don’t like that he is trying to ban the horse and carriage rides which is at the center of this investigation…. and they think he has it against the 1 percenters of NYC…. Say what you want about Deblasio but I’ll take Deblasio over Bloomberg and Guiliani… who never gave a damn about anybody but white New Yorkers and the 1 Percenters…
What good are the community boards if they always over turn the board’s decision? DeBlasio has also overturned the Boards decision not to put bike lanes on Queens Boulevard !!! Comrade DeBlasio is so mixed up with all the Luxury Condos being built along with his corruption investigations he can’t think straight.
-AV. yeah give it the same amount of time it took west way and the Pan Anerican Hotels to become welfare hotels, over 50 years. You sound like a hysterical fool. Is that way you choose to post anonymously?
There weren’t the amount of people on welfare 50 years ago as there are today.
dont kid yourself everyone — because our Jimmy Van Bramer knew all about this from the get-go and trust me give it time and it will be another homeless shelter —
Welfare hotel to come. Pan Am hotel to come. There are multiple levels of fraud and payoffs here. U.S. Attorney General, get cracking.