The Chetrit Group’s plans to seek a rezoning of an eight-acre industrial site in Queens have resurfaced. The developer told Crain’s that it’s still interested in moving forward from earlier talks with Council member Elizabeth Crowley to rezone the site in Maspeth’s Industrial Business Zone to allow for residential development, a challenging proposal considering Mayor de Blasio’s 2015 commitment to keep residential development from encroaching on the city’s dwindling industrial areas.
The site is currently home to a few warehouses and parking lots and is bisected by an LIRR track. The Chetrit-owned property is both at the edge of the IBZ and surrounded by housing—both conditions that could contribute to a more easily granted rezoning.
Council member Crowley, whose district includes Maspeth where Mayor de Blasio earlier proposed to convert a hotel into housing for homeless New Yorkers, met with Chetrit Group in both 2013 and 2015 to discuss the sites rezoning. “We need affordable housing, not another shelter-hotel,” Crowley wrote the mayor in an open letter in August, noting that “two developers” who want to build housing in the neighborhood have approached her to chat rezoning. The council member later said that her intent in sending the letter was to let the mayor know the community is open to affordable housing.
Chetrit’s property is at 57-46 56th Street along Flushing Avenue. The developer says that though plans are in the early stages, it would like to see low-rise housing on the property similar to surrounding buildings.