BY: STEPHEN SMITH ON JANUARY 19TH 2015 AT 6:30 AM
Back in October, YIMBY brought you word that the air rights for the second phase of the Sky View Parc development in Flushing were for sale, with Massey Knakal saying they’ve had bids over $100 million for the 800,000-square foot residential site.
And now, another massive development site is coming onto the market on the Flushing waterfront. North of Roosevelt Avenue, across from the Sky View Parc complex, Charles Itzkowitz of Charles Perelle Co. is representing the sellers of a similar site, wedged between the waterfront and Janet Place.
The site comes with plans approved in 2008 for a mixed-use complex called River Park Place at 131-35 Roosevelt Avenue designed by Ismael Leyva, with a series of four towers maxing out at 16 stories. A total of 457 apartments were included in plans along with office space and a day care center. The site’s C4-2 zoning allows for a maximum floor area ratio of 4.8 if the developer takes advantage of the community facility bonus – which many builders in Flushing do, capitalizing on the demand for medical space in what now rivals Chinatown as New York City’s premier Chinese business district – with about half the space going to housing and the remainder to commercial and community facility uses.
The land was picked up by its current owner – LEV Group, operating as ABS Flushing Development LLC – in 2006 for $26 million, which was nearly twice what the seller had paid two years earlier.
A few permits have been filed recently for large projects nearby. On the other side of Sky View Parc, Sam Chang’s McSam Group is planning a three-building, 560,000-square foot hotel and housing complex designed by Gene Kaufman. And a few blocks inland, on 35th Avenue, the Xu brothers are redeveloping their building supply company lot into a 14-story mixed-use tower.
The liberal market in land for this part of Flushing is thanks to a 1998 rezoning, which moved the waterfront sites flanking Roosevelt Avenue from low-density manufacturing and commercial zones to higher ones allowing denser, mixed-use development.
De Blasio’s planning team is considering rezoning even more of Flushing for residential, in an effort to promote their subsidized housing goals. Unlike the 1998 rezoning passed under Giuliani, any “Flushing West” rezoning pushed through by Carl Weisbrod’s team would likely require the construction of some below-market units, still a fairly untested concept in Flushing, where condos are the rule and rental projects are almost entirely market-rate.