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FedEx spokeswoman Allison Sobczak said the shipping company plans to move out of its Queens headquarters in Maspeth to the Astoria site, relocating 188 employees and eventually creating 300 new jobs over a period of several years. The new site would cost an estimated $151 million, she said.But state Assemblyman Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) said he was concerned that locating a FedEx distribution center in the neighborhood could result in numerous trucks or tractor trailers driving through Astoria's streets each day."This is a community that's been dealing with one burden after another for decades," said Gianaris, referring to the neighborhood's power plants, airplane noise from LaGuardia Airport and traffic from Rikers Island. "As if Con Ed hasn't tortured us enough - now they want to sell part of their property to a company that is going to run tractor trailers down our streets all day."Sobczak said an estimated 80 delivery trucks would visit the site each day, while 50 tractor trailers would pull into the site at night. She said the trucks would mostly drive on Steinway, Hazen and 21st streets and would access the facility from 19th Avenue."Our drivers are required by law to stick to their truck routes," she said. "Some concerns about residential streets are completely unfounded."She said that the company's tractor trailers would conduct overnight operations, while its delivery trucks would only travel to the Astoria site between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.Dan Andrews, a spokesman for Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, said the borough president was concerned about quality of life issues, pollution and truck traffic that could potentially be caused by the FedEx facility being located in Astoria.Con Ed spokesman Bob McGee said the utility was in discussion to sell part of its property, but nothing has been finalized.A spokeswoman for the state's Public Service Commission said the agency had not yet received an application from the utility to sell part of its property to FedEx. A period for public comment would be required if the utility applies to sell part of the property, she said.Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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