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The city Board of Standards and Appeals has approved plans for another spa in College Point, bucking opposition from both Community Board 7 and Borough President Helen Marshall as it granted the wishes of the developers.
The board issued its decision May 15, which gives the green light for owner Kwang Nam Park to build his two-story spa with rooftop pool in place of the warehouses and office space he owns in the College Point Corporate Park.
“We are very pleased with the ruling,” said Park’s son and business partner Irwin. “The first step of the process was to get this approved, and we are glad that we got it.”
Now that the city has given the project the thumbs up, Irwin Park said they will start planning on how and when to begin construction, although he did not have an estimate on when they would break ground yet.
Park was required to get a special permit from the city to build the spa, which would not normally be allowed under the current zoning laws.
His application was first presented to CB 7 in October, but the board recommended the proposal be denied on the grounds that it would be too difficult to build in the soggy marshland of College Point, according to CB 7’s decision.
Board members also cited Park’s inexperience in running a spa as to why his application should have been denied.
Then in December, Marshall also recommended that the proposal be denied on the grounds that there would not be adequate parking.
But at the behest of the BSA, the city Department of Buildings analyzed the proposed parking plan and found it adequate, according to the decision.
Park received adamant support from state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), who took Marshall and the board to task for opposing what he called a reasonable plan.
Avella’s support did not waiver, even when another property owned by Park was raided by the Queens district attorney and several employees there were charged with permitting prostitution.
The property is called the Kew Motor Inn, a notorious hot sheets motel that District Attorney Richard Brown referred to as a suspected “haven” for prostitutes and pimps.
In the wake of the raid, Avella said Park himself was not implicated in any wrongdoing and has since made changes to how the hotel is run.
Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4566.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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