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We want some relief: CB 7

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A Community Board 7 committee left the College Point Corporate Park frustrated Monday night, telling city officials it is tired of making concessions to welcome more development to an area already oversaturated with city projects.

The city Economic Development Corp., which administers the 550−acre Corporate Park, made its fifth and final pitch to the College Point Corporate Park Task Force to move six businesses — five from Willets Point — to the area.

But the task force, expected to make a recommendation ahead of CB 7’s full−board vote scheduled for April 13, once again balked at the plan after nearly two hours of back−and−forth negotiations with EDC officials at 26−02 Ulmer St.

“Instead of making this a Wall Street analysis, make it a Main Street analysis,” said Task Force Chairman Chuck Apelian. “The community is looking for relief.”

The EDC wants to relocate five Willets Point businesses — Sambucci Bros. Auto Salvage, Flushing Towing, T. Mina Building Supply Co., Met Metals and Feinstein Ironworks — to the corporate park and move asphalt plant Cofire Paving Corp. to a new location.

Though task force members and the city were able to iron out problems with most of the moves, issues with Feinstein Ironworks and a community board demand that the nearby abandoned Flushing Airport site be used for soft recreation could be deal breakers.

Task force members said Feinstein Ironworks, whose owner, Dan Feinstein, has had an icy relationship with Apelian and CB 7 Chairman Gene Kelty, has been uncooperative and has not shown a willingness to improve his business by moving out of Willets Point.

Apelian and Kelty said they would like a portion of Feinstein’s proposed 120,000−­square−f­oot site to be given to Sambucci Bros. and T. Mina Building Supply, which under the city plan would operate on a much smaller piece of property.

“That guy did nothing to help anyone other than himself,” Kelty said. “He doesn’t deserve consideration like these other two, who have taken steps to make their businesses much better.”

But a larger issue could be Flushing Airport. While the 26−acre site is not a part of the city proposal formally, CB 7 members want the city to guarantee that it will set aside the site for recreation or parks uses rather than large−scale development. EDC Vice President Tom McKnight said the city does not know enough about the site itself to make such a guarantee.

“The really hard financial analysis of what it would take to do that has not been done yet,” McKnight said. “We can say it will be a priority assuming that it’s economically viable.”

Apelian, who called the meeting to a close without issuing a recommendation, said that is not good enough.

“I still don’t feel comfortable moving forward,” he said. “You want an answer from us. Well, we want one too.”

Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e−mail at sstirling@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 138.

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