2016-10-26 / Features

CB 1 Meets, Talks LaGuardia Airport & Marine Terrace

BY RICHARD GENTILVISO


Artist’s rendition of redesigned LaGuardia Airport terminal. Artist’s rendition of redesigned LaGuardia Airport terminal. The redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport and new development at Marine Terrace were presented to Community Board 1 last week.

Related Companies purchased Marine Terrace, a 444-unit Section 8 development, for $121 million in June, and extensive renovations are underway. Construction of 53 units of new affordable housing in two apartment buildings on the northern end of the property located at 20-32 19th St. through 20-25 Shore Blvd. in the Ditmars section of Astoria is planned as well.

Matthew K. Finkle, President of Related Affordable, a division of Related Companies that develops, acquires and preserves affordable housing, said the 53 new units are rent and income restricted and intended exclusively for veterans in transition. Finkle further qualified the veterans as “not homeless (and) not living on the street, but in transition.”

At the CB 1, October 20 meeting held at Astoria World Manor, Chairman Joseph Risi asked for a firm commitment that “at no time in the future” would Related Companies use the new development at Marine Terrace for a homeless shelter.

Finkle readily gave Related’s commitment and called reports of shelters at Marine Terrace “rumors” and said, “That is not what’s happening.”

Honorably discharged veterans, who are screened and able to live independently, are eligible for the new housing.

Mark Carbone, currently an Executive Vice-President at Related Companies, and a past President of Related Affordable, said Related Companies has never taken an affordable unit of housing and put it onto the market.

“(The Benjamin Company) could have sold to somebody who would want out of the Section 8 contract (with the federal government rent subsidy program) and turn it into a market property,” Carbone said, referring to the previous owner of Marine Terrace.

“Our conviction is you can’t have affordable housing disappear,” said Carbone.

The 53 new affordable units are under a federal low-income tax credit program, not Section 8. Construction begins in 2018 after renovations are completed at the Section 8 buildings.

Richard Smyth, Project Director of LaGuardia Airport redevelopment and Lysa Scully, General Manager of LaGuardia Airport said a new parking garage begins construction in early November as parking lot No. 2 was now halfway demolished.

“We had some missteps in August (and) we’re making certain that doesn’t happen again,” said Smyth. “We’re investing over $10 billion,” he said of the public/private redevelopment project.

LaGuardia is maintaining the same number of gates and same number of flights taking off and landing although rebuilding the main terminal closer to the Grand Central Parkway is being done to allow for increased room for airport maneuvering.

For the latest information on the LaGuardia Airport redevelopment project visit www.laguardiaairport.com/redevelopment.

The board also approved an application for a new enclosed sidewalk café with 21 tables and 46 chairs at 33-19 Broadway. The applicant, Amylos LLC, doing business as Amylos, agreed to install and maintain permeable materials instead of raised tree guards around the tree pits on 34th Street flush with the sidewalk to enable easier pedestrian passage.

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