The site of St. Michael's Cemetery and Playground // Google Maps

Katz to Review Park Erasure, Development of 5-Story Boys and Girls Club Site in Astoria

By David Brand

Borough President Melinda Katz will host a land use public hearing today at 10:30 am in Borough Hall. Six applications are up for review. The borough president’s vote is advisory and the applications will next go before the City Planning Commission, the City Council and the Mayor.

The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation has proposed the rezoning of the former St. Michael’s Playground in Astoria.

The Parks Department aims to demap the plot of unused land and rezone it for R4 residential development, according to an application filed with the City June 11. The proposed R4 District is bounded by the northwestern boundary lines of the former park, the southern street line of Astoria Boulevard South, the northwestern street line of Brooklyn Queens Expressway and the northern street line of 30th Avenue.

In 2013, the neighboring St. Michael’s Cemetery attempted to the buy the abandoned park in order to expand for burials. The deal hinged on the cemetery’s ability to find and purchase another parcel to be used as park land, the Daily News reported.

At the time, local lawmakers supported the sale.

“I hope we can take a local eyesore, put it to productive use and find replacement land that can be used as a park,” state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) told the Daily News. “It’s an abandoned [and] overgrown area. People throw their garbage over the fence.”

The Department of Planning and Development will also review an application submitted by the Power Test Realty Company Limited Partnership convert into an automotive service station in an R3-1 district in Bayside, which is located in Community Board District 11.

Also up for review is a rezoning amendment application by the Variety Boys and Girls Club in Astoria, which aims to build a residential tower and five-story clubhouse comprising 198,149 square feet. The building would also include one-story retail space. In June, Community Board 1 approved the proposal with the stipulation that the building include affordable housing for low-income families, the Astoria Post reported.

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