With permits filed and renderings posted for Long Island City’s 27-07 43rd Avenue, in Court Square, progress appeared imminent. Excavation had even started, and the 9-story residential building — designed by Gene Kaufman — even had an expected completion date of spring 2016, per on-site signage.
But now, some drama has been added to the mix. Another new building permit was just filed for the same site, this time for a hotel project. The structure would rise the same number of floors, but instead of apartments, it would hold 108 hotel rooms spread across nearly 50,000 square feet of net commercial space. Flushing-based Michael Kang Architect, whose portfolio is mostly made up of projects in Chinese neighborhoods in eastern Queens, was behind the latest filing.
When reached by telephone, the developer – a different person than the one listed on the original residential building permit, filed back in 2005 – said that they were considering switching to a hotel, but no decision had been made. It’s possible that he was being coy, but the new application could also be a dummy permit, which would allow the builder to adhere to the current building code rather than the new one being rolled out soon.
The land was bought last year for $6.8 million – a significant premium over the 2006 purchase price, when it traded for $3.1 million, and an indicator of the real estate market’s revival in Long Island City.
If the developer (Prakash Patel, doing business as 27-07 43rd Ave. LLC) is indeed going with a hotel rather than an apartment building, he wouldn’t be the only one in Long Island City to opt for commercial construction over residential when given the option. On Wednesday, YIMBY wrote about a project at 28-27 Thomson Avenue, overlooking Sunnyside Yard, where a hotel builder purchased land that was zoned for pretty much any use – residential, commercial or industrial.
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