Thursday, April 1, 2010

Queens Courier Says "Build It Now"

Queens Courier editorial

Flushing Commons Must be Approved
Tuesday, March 30, 2010 4:24 PM EDT

Last week, Community Board 7 held a public hearing on the proposed “Flushing Commons” project. Over 70 people registered to talk about the privately funded $800 million project that would transform the five-acre Municipal Lot 1 site in the heart of Main Street Flushing into a dynamic mixed-use urban center.

The majority of those who spoke were in favor of The Flushing Commons LLC, builders – a joint venture of TDC Development & Construction Group and the Rockefeller Group Development Corporation – proceeding with the Department of City Planning certified project.

We support this project and its designers. They have carefully considered and responded to the wishes of the community and have done their homework well.

In addition to approximately 620 condominiums with a mix of unit sizes, there will be up to 275,000-square-feet of retail space for national, regional and local retail shops and restaurants and 234,000-square-feet of office space, all designed around the 1.5-acre landscaped “town square” that will include outdoor cafes and seating areas.

Parking was a major issue for local merchants and residents, and the TDC and Rockefeller groups hired parking experts to survey the lot’s current usage and project the future use, hour-by-hour and day-by-day. They asked how many spaces would make the lot the “right size.” Their experts – who surveyed over 400 people a day – came up with 1,600 spaces – 500 more than the existing lot and 900 more than required by zoning.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has already praised the project saying, “Together with the Macedonian African Methodist Episcopal Church’s affordable housing component of the development, it will create approximately 2,000 permanent jobs and 2,600 construction jobs, mostly for local residents.”

“The continued input from city representatives, local elected officials and community leaders, combined with the commitment from the developer, which is investing more than $800 million in private capital, is a great example of what can be accomplished when the public and private sector collaborate,” Bloomberg said.

This project is a win-win for all of Queens and must be approved and passed onto the Borough President for her approval as quickly as possible. The time to build it is now! We call on CB 7 for its approval now.

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