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Community leaders blasted new details about parking at the proposed Flushing Commons project that the developers unveiled at a Community Board 7 District Service Cabinet meeting last Thursday.
CB 7 Chairman Gene Kelty criticized the parking plan, which would charge $4 to parkers for four hours, $8 for up to 12 hours and $16 for 24 hours, saying it would encourage Manhattan commuters and do little to help Flushing residents and businesses.
“What’s going to stop a guy from bringing his car there at 8 a.m., going into Manhattan and then coming back at 7 p.m.?” asked Kelty.
“Absolutely nothing,” said Brian Collins, of Standard Parking, which will be running the parking lot. “The difference is $8 vs. $16.”
Collins contended the parking situation at the complex would be dynamic and that rates could be raised if it was found that people were abusing the system.
Kelty fired back that raising rates would hurt local parkers as well.
“Well, that’s a problem,” Kelty said. “Now you’ve created a monster for us.”
“That was not how it was presented to us at the community board,” Kelty added.
The mixed-use project, which would be built on Municipal Lot 1 at the corner of 39th Avenue and Union Street, was first proposed eight years ago and faced years of delays. It was approved by the City Council in 2010, before it ran into financial trouble. The developers, Rockefeller and TDC Development, which are part of a firm called F&T Group, now face a deadline to close on the property with the city by the end of December.
Michael Meyer, head of F&T Group, said they hope to close on the deal by Dec. 30, but if a deal is not reached, the developers will have to negotiate with the new mayoral administration.
Meyer also unveiled a scheme to cover phases of construction for the development at the meeting that would keep the parking lot’s 1,144 spaces in tact while the work goes on.
“It’s sort of a Rubik’s Cube,” Meyer said. “The principal advantage is it reduces the amount of construction at one time, thereby allowing us to maintain all the parking that was going to be displaced.”
The first thing to be built will be a four-level underground parking garage. Meyer said the lot’s surface will still be able to accommodate the existing 1,144 spaces, until the parking garage is finished. It will have 1,600 spaces.
If all goes according to plan, Meyer said preparation work to ready the site will begin in January and construction will begin in March.
Reach reporter Alex Robinson by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4566.
©2013 Community Newspaper Group
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