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Plans to convert a dilapidated College Point factory into a 134-unit waterfront condo complex resurfaced this month after spending years off the community’s radar.
On Aug. 14, the city Board of Standards and Appeals received a request to extend a set of permits to allow construction at the old Chilton Paint Co. factory, at 110th Street and 15th Avenue.
The permit, called a variance, allows the developer to circumvent zoning laws and build housing in a manufacturing district.
The permit was initially issued in 2005 but was only valid for three years.
When it first expired in 2009, the developer had still not put a shovel in the ground and went back to the board.
According to documents filed with BSA, construction was delayed because the ownership of the property changed hands and the economic downturn caused funding to dry up.
The BSA granted the extension for another three years “on condition that substantial construction shall be completed by July 19, 2012.”
Yet substantial construction has not been completed. In fact, no work appears to have been done on the property as the developer is again approaching the city for another extension.
Details of the latest request were not available, but the 2005 plans show the developer’s vision for a six-story, 134-unit condo complex with views of the Manhattan skyline, as well as LaGuardia Airport and Rikers Island.
Out of the total units, 14 would be three-bedroom, 68 would be two-bedroom and 52 would be one-bedroom apartments, according to plans submitted to Community Board 7 in 2005.
The exterior of the three-story brick factory would be kept intact, although its innards would be renovated and connected to two long, six-story buildings that would form the bulk of the housing. Those two buildings would extend outward from the factory toward the water, forming a U-shape with a courtyard in the middle, according to the plans.
Due to city laws governing the development of waterfront property, a public walkway would also be required to hug the coastline in front of the complex.
The building would also feature 139 parking spaces, but that did not stop the community from worrying about traffic.
CB 7 Chairman Gene Kelty said the additional traffic generated by the complex could prove troublesome for the area.
Another condo complex was erected next door to the derelict factory a few years ago.
And according to neighbor Adrian Simon, the people who live there often do not use the parking that has been provided in the complex, but rather take valuable spots on the street.
“If they see one empty on their way in, they take it,” he said, adding that a new police facility down the street also causes traffic headaches, as officers violate traffic laws with impunity.
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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