During the 1930s and ’40s, Rego Park and other central Queens neighborhoods were the site of frenzied speculative residential construction, as private, market-rate builders sought to meet some of the massive demand for new apartments in neighborhoods opened up to development by the Queens Boulevard Line. The building boom produced a variety of different multifamily building typologies, from red brick garden apartments to modernist towers-in-a-park designs and more traditionally massed eight-story buildings.
Urban decline and the 1961 zoning code largely put a stop to that sort of middle-class development. But now that New York City’s dark days have lifted, developers are again looking to squeeze new projects into the small number of lots still zoned for density – namely, those with single-family homes that escaped the downzoning of the 1961 code by virtue of being surrounded by denser structures.
Just above Queens Boulevard, at 97-30 64th Avenue, one developer has found a pair of such lots, and is planning to construct a seven-story apartment building, according to a new building permit application filed today with the city.
Rego Park-based Hang Chen, with CZK Realty LLC, is planning to replace a pair of adjoined single-family homes, built in the 1930s, with a 23-unit building. The apartments will be on average just 720 square feet, spread over 16,500 square feet of residential space. The project also includes 4,000 square feet of community facility space, listed on the Schedule A filing as a walk-in healthcare facility and daycare center.
Flushing-based Tan Architect is listed as the designer. The developer and architect reflect the area’s growing Asian community, which now makes up nearly a third of all residents in Rego Park and a quarter of those in nearby Forest Hills.
A few doors down, another seven-story apartment building is currently under construction at No. 97-40, designed also by Tan Architect but developed by a different Chinese builder, based in Flushing.
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