With endorsements from city and state officials but no word yet from the city Economic Development Corporation, Apelian said that even if the job goes to Rockefeller, the Manhattan developer in competition with Vornado Realty and Suna/Levine Industries, there are still outstanding resident concerns to address."Just because it's a designate doesn't mean it has been approved," Apelian said, adding that the regular approval process using environmental impact studies and rezoning schematics for the development still must be conducted once the developer confirmation comes in. Councilman John Liu (D-Flushing), state Assemblyman Jimmy Meng (D-Flushing) and state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) publicly backed the TDC/Rockfeller Group as their choice at a recent news conference.A resolution passed by CB7 several months ago outlined the board's requests for the project, including money for schools, sufficient parking, a fully funded youth center and expanded infrastructure."Our board will pay very close attention to this before we give final approval," Apelian said. "Don't just come here and give us this big project and then walk away from all the other things that we hope for."District Manager Marilyn Bitterman said additional concerns have surfaced from local business owners worried that the estimated two-year construction project would hinder their businesses. She said the board hopes to make the construction process as painless as possible."We asked the Economic Development Corporation whether they'd be amenable to a public hearing where they would present things so we could give people the opportunity to stay involved," Bitterman said. "Normally you don't get a public hearing prior to it being certified."She added that a committee of CB7 representatives will be set up to keep tabs on the development and the concerned business owners will be asked to join."We want to be able to work with them along the way," she said. "It's a monumental project that will really change the character of downtown Flushing and we want to be sure everybody is on the same page."Reach reporter Scott Sieber by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.
©2005 Community News Group
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