It's safe to say there is never a dull moment when it comes to new construction in the gritty Dutch Kills neighborhood of Long Island City. The latest odd twist comes from 37-19 Crescent Street, a slightly menacing seven-story building that was supposed to be used for self-storage. The Queens Gazette reports that the plan soured when the prospective tenant's "fortunes collapsed," and now the building's owners want to convert the looker into 30 apartments, but they need permission first. Ruh-roh, here comes drama:
Attorney Eric Palatnik and Gerald Caliendo, architect and Board 1 member, spoke for the owner of a self-storage building at 37-19 Crescent St. that had been built as recently as 2008. It was built for a prospective tenant whose fortunes collapsed along with those of Lehman Brothers and the consequent financial panic in September of that year. Caliendo said that at the time, self-storage was a booming business in the Long Island City vicinity but promptly became toxic. The owner of 37-19 Crescent has had only fleeting business proposals since then, any of which would occupy only part of the building, Palatnik said. But perhaps the building could be redesigned as a multi-dwelling residence. Palatnik, Caliendo and the owner showed plans for redesigning the currently windowless building as a house containing five two-bedroom and 25 one-bedroom apartments, with first floor retail businesses and a garage below grade. Of course, the first step would have to be getting a variance to allow conversion of an industrial building into a residential one. Palatnik, who has been at many raucous Dutch Kills meetings, admitted that if local objections are strong enough, he and his plan “could go down in a ball of flame”.We'd like to see what architect Caliendo can do with the place (the neighbors probably wouldn't mind either), though blogger Queens Crap might not share our curiosity. Proposed names for this potential residential development? Our suggestion is the Locker Lofts.
· Dutch Kills Civic Hears Plans For Dormitory, High-Rise [Queens Gazette via liQcity]