A rendering of the obscure Ravi Management’s planned eight story building for the southwest corner of 12th Street and 35th Avenue shows a light-toned jumbo cube. Maybe I couldn’t see the rendering if it was shown at the hearing over the item at CB1’s land-use committee’s rezoning hearing last month – but it was shown on a slide at a full Community Board 1 meeting last night, where the board approved of the rezoning plan with certain stipulations.
Ravi, which I learned is a company created for this specific development, but is owned by a Charles Miller, who has developments in Brooklyn and elsewhere and bought up the site at an auction, he told me, plans to build the residential building under the city’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program. As such, Ravi has proposed to build under the MIH option of devoting 30% of residential floor space to affordable housing, with those tenants making an average of 80% of the Area Medium Income, or $72,120 for a family of three. (Here’s a chart.) Another option would have been 25% of residential floor area for affordable housing at 60% AMI, or $56,340. But CB1 voted in favor of the rezoning with the stipulation that 30% of the residential space be affordable for renters making an average of 60% AMI. Can they do that?
This was about rezoning and as such no one discussed the potential appearance of the building, which looks to be a kind of generic, beige square for an industrial area in northern LIC/southwest Astoria where commercial buildings tend to look old, storied and worn and residential buildings are mostly small row-houses and NYCHA. Also, the person presenting the plan referred to the existing address as a place used for crane storage. It’s United Rigging, a real, woman-owned and woman-powered company, which hasn’t returned my calls. And there’s a lively “know your rights” mural along the fence on 12th Street to be torn down, and the slides shown at CB1 didn’t show that. And the existing structure is an interesting one, with a long, cylindrical shape that looks like a deep, rusty can.
The board also voted to approve of the Variety Boys and Girls Club expansion and rezoning for a 14 story glass-topped residential building to fund the expansion.