30-05 Farrington Street Update 02/15/24

Major Apartment Project Green Lit in Flushing

By issuing no veto, the NYC Mayor's Office has officially approved a proposal for a 9-story, residential development, at 30-05 Farrington Street in Flushing, Queens.

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

The building will contain 415 apartments. While most of these will be offered at market rate, a total of 113 units are to be dedicated to affordable housing. The structure will also feature an enclosed parking garage, with enough room for 200 vehicles. Standing 95 feet tall, the development will 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 will consist of passive open areas with plants, seating, and a community garden, as well as active areas featuring fitness equipment and ping pong tables.

The new development will 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 has this staple of Flushing been put 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 news of approval either marks the end of an era or the start of a fantastic opportunity to increase NYC's housing supply. In the end, however, public review has decided the outcome, and the Community Board, Queens' Borough President, the City Planning Commission, the City Council, and the NYC Mayor's Office have unanimously voted to move forward with the project.

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