Board: Premature to consider liquor license
by Andrew Shilling
Oct 16, 2013 | 2709 views | 0 0 comments | 107 107 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Community Board 5 unanimously approved sending a notice to the State Liquor Authority that it is premature to issue a liquor license to the Knockdown Center in Maspeth when the property doesn't have a certificate of occupancy.

It was a decision that came following a recommendation from the board's Land Use Committee.

The Knockdown Center, a large art space and recreational facility at 52-29 Flushing Ave. in an old glass factory in industrial Maspeth, applied to the State Liquor Authority for a liquor license to serve over 600 patrons.

“I don’t want another Greenpoint, I don’t want another Williamsburg and I don’t need another Bushwick,” said Ridgewood resident Caitlin Shann said. “My neighbors, who have been in my building for 40 years, cannot afford to be driven out of our neighborhood.”

Shann said she and her neighbors are worried the approval could spark a new trend in the neighborhood.

“It’s about our livelihood,” she said. “I don’t want 5,000 people roaming into our neighborhood, I don’t want 600 drunk people. We don’t need it.”

There has also been opposition from several board members.

“I think we’ve been very, very successful at limiting the number of establishments that are troublesome, that sell alcoholic beverages in Community Board 5,” said CB5 district manager Gary Giordano. “We’re very vigilant with regard to that.”

While there is resistance to the center, some elected officials like Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley have been supportive of the proposal, given that the center continues to work with the community.

“As they look to expand into art and cultural events, we must make sure that they are good neighbors,” Crowley said. “I am confident they will work with the community and bring jobs to the area.”

According to Knockdown Center owner Tyler Myers, the center expects to provide upwards of 100 jobs after the first year it is fully opened. The space has been already been hosting events, applying for a one-time license to serve liquor for each one.

“This is a unique and massive space, and we think it’s an opportunity to be able to show things that wouldn’t be shown in the city,” Myers said.

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