At Community Board 5’s monthly meeting last week, land use attorney Frank St. Jacques from Akerman LLP, representing the applicant, presented the details of the project at 79-40 Cooper Avenue.
The operator of the daycare facility will be Children of America, a national provider that already runs sites in Jackson Heights and Queens Village. They proposed another location on Jericho Turnpike in Bellerose.
Because the lot is located in a manufacturing district, the applicant requires a special permit to open the daycare. According to St. Jacques, the location will also be home to a Universal Pre-K program, after-school and summer camp enrichment programs.
“Children of America serves children from infants at six weeks old to school-aged children at about 12 years old,” he said.
The development will consist of a two-story building and a one-story building. The daycare will operate in the two-story portion, while the one-story building will be used for commercial on the ground floor.
St. Jacques said the 4,000-square-foot commercial space can also be divided into two spaces. They have not determined who the tenant will be yet.
“The thinking is either a medical office use or some type of complimentary use to the daycare center,” he said.
The entire 84,000-square-foot lot also has a self-storage facility being built on the rear portion of the site.
One of the issues CB5 members brought up was a possible lack of parking. The project will build a 32-space parking lot on site.
But Land Use Committee Chair Walter Sanchez said the facility plans to employ 37 people, and asked if they will provide off-site parking.
St. Jacques responded that they don’t expect all of the employees to drive. Some may carpool, and others will take mass transit.
The attorney added that the peak hours of arrival for parents are 6 to 9:30 a.m. and 3 to 6:30 p.m., which wouldn’t interfere with when the employees arrive.
“We believe the 32-space parking lot should provide adequate room for parents as they drop off their children,” he said.
Other board members brought up potential impact on Cooper Avenue, a major thoroughfare in Glendale.
The application will go back to the Land Use Committee for further discussion.
The site is also just one block from the factory site at 78-16 Cooper Avenue, where residents have recently spotted illegal removal of asbestos tiles. It has long been rumored to be a potential homeless shelter site.
During the meeting, Councilman Robert Holden said he has spoken to Department of Homeless Services (DHS) Commissioner Steven Banks, who assured that the city will move forward to turn the site into a school instead.
“He said whatever work they’re doing there,” Holden said, “they’re wasting their money.”