“Instead of having a mayoral administration that is driving forward with this spot, we now have an administration that’s coming in and wants to look at the homelessness situation in its entirety, in a new way,” Hevesi said at the meeting held at St. Pancras, located at 68-20 Myrtle Ave.
It has been a little over a month since there has been any update on the $27 million contract to build a 125-family homeless shelter at 78-16 Cooper Ave.
After talks with the de Blasio Administration, the Queens assemblyman reported that while there is no definitive verdict, “They’re still trying to understand, but at least it’s not the old group.”
The Department of Homeless Services (DHS) moved to accept the initial proposal from Samaritan Village to convert the 51,000-square-foot former industrial site into a shelter for families, however they still are awaiting the results of a pending environmental study of the property.
“Nobody is against the homeless, and nobody is saying they don’t have the right to be sheltered, but we want to help them and we want to do it in the right way,” Hevesi said.
Glendale Property Owners Association president Brian Dooley said the group previously purchased an environmental report of the site, but it was short on details.
“It didn’t really talk all that much about the property itself,” Dooley said. “Just by the nature of them [previous tenants] using commercial solvents, there’s probably a certain amount of contamination in that site, but surrounding the area are a number of properties that are known toxic sites.”
Dooley added that while the initial steps were not extensive in their findings, he would like to pool together with others in the group to contract a more detailed environmental study of the property, which he said could range from $1,500 to $10,000.
“There’s a good chance that property is a contaminated property,” Dooley suggested. “I think the idea of doing a more detailed study is to put it out there that we are serious about looking at this property.”
With confidence that the area is more than likely a contaminated site, Dooley added the risk compounded with the limited resources for incoming students would make the location more than unfit for dozens of new families.
“Most of the schools here are above capacity,” he said.