In almost all of New York City — at least, where it is allowed — residential is the highest and best use above the first floor. Developers will build office buildings and hotels, but generally only in areas where apartments are not permitted by zoning.
One exception, however, is in Flushing. While it may be the last stop on the 7 train, it is the commercial hub of the Chinese parts of eastern Queens (and beyond), which is really a city unto itself. As such, commercial development is often more profitable than housing, as is the case with 133-12 37th Avenue, a new hotel planned for downtown Flushing.
Developer Ling Zhang, of Flushing-based Leavitt Enterprise, is planning to erect a 10-story hotel on 37th Avenue, between College Point Boulevard and Prince Street. The building is planned to have some residential space (8,110 net square feet), but nowhere near as much as allowed by zoning.
The remainder of the building will be occupied by commercial space (presumably the hotel portion, at 22,336 square feet) and a 1,971-square foot community facility (which, knowing Flushing, will likely be doctors’ offices). The building will have 78 dwelling units, which includes both hotel rooms and residential apartments.
While the design is beyond banal – and definitely not as nice as One Fulton Square, the new mixed-use complex down the block – it will bring foot traffic to a relatively sleepy corner of downtown Flushing. This part, north of Roosevelt Boulevard and west of Main Street, still has a largely industrial feel, as redevelopment only began after the 1998 rezoning.
Oakland Gardens-based architect Xiaohong Zhao of Ameriland Brook filed the new building application in March 2012, and the project is expected to be finished in December of 2015.
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