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The city Board of Standards and Appeals gave the green light to a planned six-story building on the College Point waterfront Tuesday by granting the developers request for a variance.
Construction on Water View Plaza at 14-34 110th St. is expected to resume after the citys five-member board voted unanimously to support the project.
The building, designed to rise about 85 feet, would be one of College Points tallest structures.
JCH Delta Contracting, a general contracting company, plans to use the first floor for the lobby and parking, the second and third floors for office space, and the remaining three floors for 33 apartments.
Delta had originally sought to use the building solely for offices in accordance with the manufacturing zoning, said the companys attorney, Joseph Morsellino. But due to a lack of commercial interest in the site, Delta decided to use the space for apartments and needed a variance for the change.
The foundation of Water View Plaza, which has already been laid, sits on the grounds of the former sea plane base run by EDO Corp.
Delta modified its plans a second time during the public hearing process, changing the use of the third floor from apartments to offices.
The citys decision came as no surprise to those familiar with the property. Community Board 7 narrowly voted to back the plan in June, and BSA almost always is more supportive of development than local community boards.
The building is part of a trend in College Point toward development of old industrial areas on the waterfront.
On Monday, Community Board 7 voted to reject a requested variance for Edgewater Estates, a large housing complex being built just a few blocks west of the Water View Plaza site.
Most of the 117 proposed units for Edgewater being constructed come under existing zoning but 28 fall in a manufacturing zone and need a variance.
Residents have contested the developments, arguing College Points schools and narrow roads cannot handle the influx of hundreds of people.
Although he supported the variance for Edgewater, Fred Mazzarello, president of the College Point Board of Trade, spoke out against the plans for Water View Plaza at several public hearings.
What it does is that it creates a high-rise, which the community has been against for years, he said. Its just a shame. Its crushing the community here.
But not everyone was against the plan.
Frank Macchio, third chairman of Community Board 7 and a College Point resident, was in favor of both Edgewater and Water View Plaza.
I think its a positive capital improvement to land that has sat vacant and was an eyesore and will lead to the improvement of College Point, he said.
Macchio said he was against the destruction of historic homes in College Point in the name of development but supported construction on unused plots of land.
Reach reporter Alexander Dworkowitz by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 718 229-0300, Ext. 141.
©2003 Community Newspaper Group
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