Borough President Helen Marshall gave two thumbs down to plans for another spa in College Point last week.
The borough president decided not to approve plans to build the New York Spa of College Point, a two-story relaxation hub envisioned by property owner Kwang Nam Park that would go up in the neighborhood’s corporate park.
The spa would be located in the two-story building currently home to warehouses and offices, at 131-23 31st Ave., which Park already owns.
But to get a shovel in the ground and overhaul the structure, Park needs a special permit from the city Board of Standards and Appeals.
The BSA ultimately has the say over whether the project can move forward, but it also takes into consideration the borough president’s recommendation — along with other bodies that have heard the plans along the way.
After mulling over the plans for several weeks, Marshall ultimately denied the plans for the spa, which would include a rooftop pool and restaurant, on the grounds of inadequate parking.
In a Dec. 20 decision, she said first the spa would create more vehicle trips to and from the location than warehouses and offices. And because street parking is not allowed in that location, the spa’s parking plan would not be able to handle that increased traffic, Marshall said.
Second, the valet parking setup proposed in the plans would cause a backup of cars going in and out of the lot, according to the borough president’s decision.
But H. Irving Sigman, of S&I Property Management, the firm drawing up the architectural plans and filing paperwork on behalf of Park, said the borough president’s assessments will be moot by the time the BSA holds the last public hearing of the process sometime in mid-January.
“We are not relying on any street parking, and there is going to be valet parking,” Sigman, an engineer and former borough official, said in an interview after being notified of Marshall’s decision. “The parking will comply with the zoning resolution for the number of cars.”
Sigman has hired a parking consultant to iron out any kinks in the plan. In addition, he said Park has no intention of installing a parking lot that does not function properly and could hinder the business.
“The matters are all under consideration very seriously,” he said. “They do not want a jam there.”
Marshall’s decision is the third and final recommendation the BSA will consider when approving or denying the permit.
In September, the College Point Corporate Park Task Force, a combination of citizens and members of Community Board 7, approved the plan by a vote of 8-1.
But at an October meeting, CB 7 recommended just the opposite.
In a letter to Jeff Mulligan, executive director of the BSA, the community board outlined its problems with the proposal, which Sigman said have all been taken care of.
The board’s concerns were that extra construction work would be needed to fortify the building’s structure, which could be cost-prohibitive, and also that Park has no experience running similar facilities.
The only other property he has owned is the Kew Motor Inn in Flushing. According to its website, it is “since 1969 the most famous, and exotic couples-friendly motel/hotel in Queens!! [sic]” It does not have a pool.
Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4566.
©2011 Community News Group
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