Nov. 10, 2022 By Christian Murray
A large development that would include an Asian supermarket along with 64 apartments is being planned for 38th Avenue in the Dutch Kills section of Long Island City.
The development is expected to be eight stories tall and go up on 38th Avenue between 30th Street and Old Ridge Road. The top six floors would be for apartments, while the bottom two floors–totaling 12,000 square feet– to be set aside for an Asian supermarket.
The plans were disclosed by Eric Palatnik, an attorney for the developer Jack Fang, at the Community Board 1 Land Use and Zoning committee meeting on Nov. 2. Patch was first to report on the project.
The supermarket, Palatnik said, would be operated by Tim Cheng, who has three markets in Queens—including Wonderful Marketplace in Flushing, D & Z Supermarket in Elmhurst, and HK Supermarket Food Court, also in Elmhurst.
Palatnik said the supermarket would feature specialty Asian products and would appeal to the large Asian population in the area—as well as non-Asians who have grown to like such products. He said that Cheng’s other markets were distinctly Asian.
But before the project can proceed, Palatnik said Fang needs the City Planning Commission to approve his plan—a plan where he seeks to build 10 feet higher than what zoning permits. He wants the community board’s support in his quest to build an 85-foot-tall building on a site where 75 feet is the maximum permitted.
Palatnik said that Fang is likely to be awarded 12,000 square feet of bonus floor area under current zoning rules because of the food market.
The extra floor area would be awarded via the city’s “FRESH Program,” where developers are given a one-for-one square foot increase in floor area if they provide space for supermarkets offering fresh vegetables and produce. The market must also be built in an area where there is a shortage of stores offering such food products.
Fang seeks to use the bonus floor to build higher, which would raise the height of the development 10 feet above the current limit.
Palatnik, who didn’t provide a construction timeline, said the application was not for a rezoning per se and would not have to go before the city council for a vote. He said it would be the City Planning Commission that made the determination.
The building would contain some affordable units since Fang applied to be part of the 421-a program—which provides tax breaks in return for the construction of affordable apartments—before the controversial program was phased out. It isn’t clear how many units would be affordable and at what income level that they would be offered at.
However, Palatnik suggested that 30 percent of the units might be affordable at 130 percent of the Area Median Income—which equates to $173,420 for a family of four.
The development would include a garage with 45 parking spaces–with 32 to service the apartments and the remainder for shoppers.
The property is located in an area long deemed for manufacturing. The site is in the process of being decontaminated under the state brownfields program.
Where is Old Ridge Road?
$173,000. For a family of four. That’s two people making over $85,000 per year. You’ve got to be kidding me. People might accuse me of being NIMBY, but THAT IS NOT AFFORDABLE. We need housing that a family of four making $80k, $100k/ year can afford. Where’s that? Where’s the affordable housing for the people that build it? For the people that will work in that supermarket? You think the cashiers and stock room people are making $85k / year?
Great that they want to bring more supermarkets to the area, heartily endorse that, but why do we need 70% of the apartments to be affordable only to people who make over $200k to get that? We don’t need glass towers for billionaire “investors” who don’t live there, we need housing for people that work for a living and want to live where they work.