2011-01-26 / Features

Developer Would Put Residential Tower On Steinway

BY RICHARD GENTILVISO


Development of an 18-story tower is under consideration at the location on Steinway Street now occupied by the Riviera Club. 
Photo Vinny DuPre Development of an 18-story tower is under consideration at the location on Steinway Street now occupied by the Riviera Club. Photo Vinny DuPre Steinway Street, “The World’s Longest Department Store”, has piqued the interest of a residential developer seeking to build an 18-story tower at the northwest corner of Steinway Street and 35th Avenue.

“This is quite a high density development,”

Board 1 Zoning Committee Chairman John Carusone said at the January 18 meeting of Community Board 1. The unnamed developer has met with the zoning committee, Carusone said, and is proposing that one-third of the apartments be reserved as affordable housing units.

Carusone said the developer is also asking for a 300 percent increase in floor area ratio (FAR) over what current zoning allows at the location. “The FAR increase would really affect the area in terms of density, traffic and everything else,” he said.

Zoning regulations require developments to provide residential parking for 50 percent of the apartments but Carusone said that wasn’t the only consideration. “The real problem is commercial traffic on Steinway Street–that is more critical than residential parking,” Carusone said.

The one-mile corridor on Steinway Street between 28th and 35th Avenues was known throughout most of the 20th century for its variety of unique shops and boutiques, according to the Greater Astoria Historical Society. More recently, regional chains have taken over space once occupied by many of the stores.

Another location at Queens Plaza North within Community Board 1 is also under consideration for residential development. “We think Queens Plaza North is more appropriate,” Carusone said.

In other business, unenclosed sidewalk cafes were approved for the following es- tablishments:

Canz (new), 8 tables/16 seats at 40-11 30th Ave., Cold Stone Creamery (renew), 8 tables/18 seats at 34-20 Broadway, Locale (renew), 12 tables/24

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