30-05 Farrington Street Update 11/09/23

CPC Reviews Proposal for Large Apartment Project in Flushing

The City Planning Commission (CPC) is currently reviewing an application, proposing a 9-story, residential development, at 30-05 Farrington Street in Flushing, Queens.

Submitted by applicant, Mar Mar Realty, LLC, the proposal calls for a zoning map amendment and a zoning text amendment, which would facilitate the combination and rezoning of 3-separate lots (all owned by the applicant) in order to form the project site for the new development.

The proposed building would contain 415 apartments. While most of these would be offered at market rate, a total of 113 units would be dedicated to affordable housing. The structure would also feature an enclosed parking garage, with enough room for 200 vehicles. Standing 95 feet tall, the development would total 468,682 square feet altogether.

In addition to the main building, plans call for 14,400 square feet of publicly accessible, landscaped outdoor space. This would consist of passive open areas with plants, seating, and a community garden, as well as active areas featuring fitness equipment and ping pong tables.

If approved, the new development would replace the iconic, Whitestone Lanes bowling alley, on the 81,150 square foot project site; a controversial move according to many Queensites who considered the building a local hangout growing up. One of the last bowling alleys in Queens, the establishment is still in business and has been open since the 1960s. Originally built by Marco Macaluso, it has remained under family ownership for three generations.

So, given its nostalgia and history in local culture, why is this staple of Flushing potentially on the chopping block? Ultimately, it comes down to changing times. Bowling isn't quite as popular these days as it was when Whitestone Lanes first debuted. The site also has tremendous development potential now, which is (understandably) prompting the Macalusos to pull the plug to pursue this project. The building isn't architecturally significant either and doesn't have landmark status with the city. Depending on who you ask, this proposal either marks the end of an era or an unmissable opportunity to increase NYC's housing supply. In the end, however, the final decision will come down to public review, and so far, both the Community Board and Queens' Borough President have voted in favor of moving forward.

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