You are reading

YMCA To Sell Development Rights, 17 Story Hotel To Go Up On Queens Blvd

hotelLIC (1)

Feb. 22, 2016 By Christian Murray

A hotel is likely to go up at 32-45 Queens Blvd. significantly higher than zoning permits, due to a planned deal with the adjacent YMCA.

The hotel will be constructed on a 10,000-square-foot lot, which would ordinarily permit only 20,000 square feet of building space for a hotel. When interviewed by the Sunnyside Post in December, developers said plans were only for a 12-story hotel.

However, the YMCA, located on a 40,000-square-foot property at 32-23 Queens Blvd., plans to merge its zoning lot with the adjacent hotel site.

This maneuver would allow the hotel to stand 17 stories as of right – or 100,000 square feet of building space – according to Jessica Rubenstein, an attorney with Eric Palatnik, representing the YMCA.

Rubinstein also said that the YMCA could transfer its air rights to the hotel, which could bring the total building space up to 140,000 square feet.

The YMCA was granted a zoning variance in the 1990s to open this Queens Boulevard location in the middle of a manufacturing/hotel zone.

Therefore, in order for its deal with the hotel developers to go through, the YMCA needs approval from the Board of Standards and Appeals to modify that variance.

Neither Rubenstein nor the BSA were able to explain exactly how the air rights transfer would work in conjunction with the zoning lots merger.

As part of the BSA process, Community Board 2 gets to weigh in.

At last Wednesday’s CB 2 Land Use Committee Meeting, Chair Lisa Deller said:

“I don’t see what rationale we can have to approve this. I can’t see any benefit to the community.”

Another board member said the YMCA’s decision to sell the air rights was “sleazy,” arguing that the YMCA had taken advantage of the good deed the community had granted it in the past.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who discussed the proposed development today, was not impressed by the entire process.

“When builders seek approval through the BSA, the community is far too often left out,” Van Bramer said.

“This process goes around community and elected leaders and frequently results in developments that are wildly out of character in our neighborhoods. While I fully support the Long Island City YMCA, I simply can’t endorse a 17-story tower on this stretch of Queens Boulevard.”

Van Bramer said he has introduced a package of bills that aim to reform the BSA and make the process more open and responsive to our communities.


email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 

It seems the prospect of profit is a drug as bad as heroin. Pople lose their minds. You’ve heard of gold fever? This is real estate fever. All the players are sick and the virus is spreading.


I wish I had real estate fever. This “virus” has major side effects, like a nice life, great vacations, a beautiful home and good education for your children.

If it walks like a duck...then it's a hamster!

How on earth can you transfer air from one building to another???? Wouldn’t it infringe on someone else’s right to light? It’s all a load of nonscence….if it goes ahead it’ll be turned into the biggest homeless shelter in Queens.


Bravo Jimmy Van Bramer. It’s bout time you listened to the community. The people involved can’t even explain “how the air rights transfer would work in conjunction with the zoning lots merger. That should be a RED FLAG right there.


Yes Red flag indeed MRLIC! And I see Jimmy Van No Brainer is using his noodle! I hope it doesn’t happen, we need a ymca in our community. I mean not everyone is privileged to have a workout facility in their buildings!


The YMCA will stay in place. They are only selling their air rights. 17 stories is very high for this area but I’m totally shocked that Van Bramer would get involved with what might effect a community. He only seems to care about Queensbirdge, Ravenswood and Woodside Houses. The rest of his communities he represents actually pay taxes and he doesn’t care who pays for his progressive agenda as long as its not memberos of the Non-Working Families Party. Those individuals who live off entitlements. be dammes


Bravo Jimmy Van Bramer. It’s about time you listened to the community. The people involved can’t even explain how the process works in conjunction with the zoning lots merger. That should be a RED FLAG right there. Greed is alive and well in NYC.


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Long Island City teen sentenced in fatal shooting of ‘beloved’ school teacher at Queensbridge Houses in 2020: DA

A Long Island City man on Friday, Jan. 28, was sentenced to 19 years in prison for the 2020 fatal shooting of a public school social studies teacher who was out walking his dog when he was caught in the crossfire during a confrontation between gang rivals in broad daylight, just blocks from his home, according to Queens District Attorney’s office.

Ike Ford, 19, of 12th Street, in Long Island City, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder. The teacher, George Rosa, 53, was shot in his abdomen by a stray bullet fired by Ford, who was just 17 years old at the time of the shooting but was sentenced as an adult given the severity of the crime, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

LaGuardia Community College receives federal funding to expand vocational training for the unemployed

LaGuardia Community College recently received more than $400,000 in federal funding to enhance and expand vocational training for underemployed New Yorkers in a city that is still working to recover from COVID-19 pandemic-induced job loss. The support was secured by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and former Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.

LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams explained that the school lost nearly a quarter of its students at the height of the pandemic due to the economic effects of the lockdown on low-income Queens households.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

These Queens eateries are participating in the upcoming NYC Restaurant Week

NYC Restaurant Week is underway, so nix that skillet and bring family and friends to your favorite neighborhood spot, or get inspired and break bread somewhere new and different. During this special citywide culinary event, food-lovers will enjoy curated menus and prix-fixe prices that are easy on the wallet.

Bookings began on Jan. 17 and are available until Feb. 12, and you can reserve a table at 30 participating Queens restaurants, along with hundreds more across the five boroughs.