Apartment complex OK’d for Floral Park

The Island Now

Floral Park’s first transit-oriented apartment complex got its final blessing from the village last Wednesday night, continuing the village’s housing growth.

Pending some final tweaks, the village Architectural Review Board approved plans for the 21-apartment, two-building project on South Tyson Avenue after the developer, Questus South Tyson LLC, agreed to shift one of the buildings and reconfigure its parking garage.

“What we like to do here is get a win-win solution, and we had a very creative solution,” board Chairman Frank Gunther said.

The project will renovate and build five apartments 86 S. Tyson Ave., the former home of Koenig’s Restaurant, and build a new four-story building at 77 S. Tyson Ave. containing 16 apartments. 

Talks with village officials led Questus to abandon plans to add two stories and 10 apartments to the Koenig’s building.

Architect Martin Passante and developer Paul Posillico agreed to shift the top three floors of the new building by two feet to give it extra separation from the neighboring building, a change Passante said would add $30,000 to $40,000 to the cost of the $6 million project.

Plans presented Wednesday showed one apartment would face the wall of the building next door. 

Gunther said that would make the unit “substandard” and hard to rent, despite Posillico’s assurances that Questus would have no problem getting a tenant.

“We’re talking about one apartment of 21, correct? And you’re telling me that because there’s a window facing a wall, that we’re not going to rent it?” Posillico said.

Revised plans also showed cars will enter and exit the parking lot underneath the building from the adjacent Mayflower Avenue. 

Village and Floral Park-Bellerose school district officials worried extra traffic onto South Tyson Avenue would endanger children walking to school.

Another parking lot is planned for 85 S. Tyson Ave., giving the complex a total of 77 parking spaces.

Questus has gutted the second floor of 86 S. Tyson Ave. and will apply for building permits once the Architectural Review Board approves final cosmetic tweaks to the building’s facade and windows, Posillico said. 

Construction will begin “as quick as we can get it going,” he said.

The complex will have three one-bedroom and 23 two-bedroom apartments, with rents ranging from $2,500 to $2,800, Posillico said. 

The 4,280-square-foot space Koenig’s used to occupy on the ground floor of 86 S. Tyson Ave. will remain open for a restaurant or retail tenant.

The project brings “transit-oriented development,” apartments near train stations marketed to affluent young professionals commuting to New York City, to a village that has seen a recent influx of young families, Mayor Thomas Tweedy said.

It also redevelops what Tweedy called one of Floral Park’s “touchstone properties” that has been vacant since Koenig’s closed last year.

“I don’t think they’ll have any problem renting in Floral Park,” he said.

The number of closed home sales in Floral Park in the first half of 2016 grew to 120 from 75 in the same period last year, according to data from the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island.

Carriage Hill Developers’ nine-home subdivision on Cisney Avenue is also under construction.

Floral Park has seen some debate in recent months over whether increased development is changing the suburban village for better or for worse.

Nadia Holubnyczyj-Ortiz, president of the Hillcrest Civic Association, said she was glad Gunther and the Architectural Review Board ensured the new apartment buildings keep the village’s character intact.

“He [Gunther] really ensures that the aesthetics of the community remain,” she said. “They’re stringent, but he’s willing to work.”

By Noah Manskar

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The Island Now

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