City Approves Rooftop Garden At Standard Building
Officials at the city Department of Buildings (DOB) recently approved plans for the development of a rooftop farm at the former Standard Motors building in Long Island City.
The DOB ordered operators of the Brooklyn Garage Farm to stop work on the project last month after an inspector visited the site and determined the owners had not obtained a permit for the work. After meeting with DOB officials, the operators obtained the permit and returned to the task of spreading 600 tons of soil on the 40,000-square-foot farm that sits atop the Standard Building at 37-18 Northern Blvd.
Local residents and area workers watched in awe last week as a crane lifted the soil six stories to the roof, where it was spread by a group of volunteers.
Farmers associated with the project said it has received support from investors and local restaurant owners who said they would prefer to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from the rooftop farm, rather than from supermarkets or other outlets.
DOB officials said inspectors were concerned that the weight of the soil and produce would put too much stress on the building, but developers submitted plans showing how they plan to support the extra weight.
“DOB approved those plans and has subsequently lifted the stop-work order on the roof,” agency spokesperson Ryan Fitzgibbon said.
Project developers paid a $5,000 fine for working without a permit, Fitzgibbon said.
Plans call for the farmers to grow produce on the rooftop for nine months each year and sell it to markets and restaurants in Queens and Brooklyn.
The group plans to grow organic products, including tomatoes, greens, peppers and onions that will also be available onsite, the developers said.