THE Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens (VBGCQ) revealed the details and blueprints of their new clubhouse and the adjoining residential tower that will pay for all that newness. The local news headlines took the bait of the Variety press release and focused on the project’s environmentally friendly attributes by regurgitating terms such as: carbon-neutral, solar photovoltaic system, LEED rating, and bioretention planter boxes.
I’m no developer, but I’m guessing that many of these items are included in all development’s these days as part of the natural evolution and innovation of the building industry. Nevertheless one doesn’t have to have a Ph.D in Construction or Physics to know that whatever is built on this plot of land is going to burn way more fossil fuels than the existing structure, given that there will be air conditioners, dishwashers, microwaves, and possibly washing machines running in each of the 229 additional residential units approved in the rezoning of the Club.
But that is not why I am writing this. Instead, what is relevant for Long Island City is the horse-swapping that occurred to make this project happen. Quite simply VBGCQ needed a renovated and expanded facility to better serve the immediate community and proposed an upzoning to pay for it all. Quickly approved, this section of Astoria will be the beneficiary of Queens first planetarium, a 1,000 seat basketball arena, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, and a slew of other spaces and the programming that comes with it all. I applaud these trade-offs, am very happy for the recipients, and give credit to all the people who made it happen.
Now it is time for LIC to put Rec Center as Item #1 of any major upzoning that occurs along the waterfront. We have squandered this opportunity again, and again, and again, and again, and again. Greenlight any upzoning that includes a major Rec Center, all the other stuff is trivial or benefits a select few residents. What’s good enough for the people of Astoria is good enough for the people of LIC, let us learn from them.
//JUST in time for fall, a peak inside Amber Hills Ice Cream revealed the buildout looking completed. As for COI and Con Ed, who knows…
New Variety Boys & Girls Club Will Be Carbon Neutral – greenlight LIC, leave the greenwashing to others
Variety Girls & Boys Club Elaborate Astoria Development To Be Carbon Neutral – don’t take the bait, a wise man named Albert Einstein once said ‘Nothing is carbon neutral,’ I think
City Planning Approves Innovation QNS Rezoning, Now Must Receive City Council Vote – massive 2,800 unit project on Northern Boulevard near Regal Cinemas