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Bayside building could house new medical offices

A new four-story building under construction on 42nd Avenue in Bayside could be home to medical offices, but it will also be the nighttime residence of machines using radioactive materials, according to a letter filed with the city Fire Department.

The building at the corner of 42nd Avenue and 215th Street about a block away from Bell Boulevard is owned by American Standard Testing, Inc., a College Point environmental engineering firm.

The large four-story structure, which is 47 feet high and stretches across an empty lot, abuts the rear of a traditional two-story house, which is being used as office space.

The Feb. 15 letter from American Standard Testing put the FDNY on notice that its new building at 214-41 42nd Ave. would be partially used to store machines used by the company for testing at construction sites. According to the letter the machines use cesium, americium and bryllium. These chemicals are sometimes employed in glass production. Americium is often used in smoke detectors.

Co-owner Jimmy Giannopoulos, who said he was “born and raised” in Bayside, said the machines would be used in the field on construction sites during the daytime hours.

“They’ll be here just at night, in locked boxes,” Giannopoulos said. “It’s going to be a beautiful office building.”

The state has approved the company’s use of the machines, he said, and he notified the FDNY as a matter of procedure.

American Standard Testing Inc. was established in Flushing before moving to College Point several years ago, he said. The company has been at its 42nd Avenue location for about 1 1/2 years, Giannopoulos said, and has experienced tremendous growth.

The owner said he hopes to rent part of thebuilding out for medical offices.

In May the city Buildings Department responded to concerns from Community Board 11 in Bayside about the radioactive materials used in the machines with a letter saying construction on the new building had been stopped in March.

But an architect with the Kew Gardens-based Tabriz Corp. said the project never received a stop-work order from the city.

The architect, who refused to give his name, said the building was in compliance with the commercial zoning of the area and was legal under the as-of-right zoning law which allows community facilities to be built without public review.

The architect said the work should be finished by the fall.

Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.

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