Flushing Commons is a huge development project proposed for Municipal Parking Lot 1 in downtown Flushing. It will affect not only the immediate area around the project. but all of the nearby communities as well. Local resident come to downtown Flushing on their way to work, or to shop, or to visit for a variety of reasons. How will the increased traffic and congestion be handed?
How will nearby residents and businesses be affected? Will there be enough parking to meet the needs of everyone? Where will people park while construction is under progress? Where will the children moving into the new building at this site go to school?
Can the infrastructure of the area handle this new development? Are the new buildings too tall and out of context with surrounding structure? How can we increase public input and a sense of transparency with regard to this project?
The coalition to reconsider and evaluate development opportunities (RED)) was formed to urge consideration of these and other questions and to offer possible solutions. A position paper has been developed. The coalitions is made up of civi and community organizations and individuals who seek to resolve all of these issues raised by this project.
We are concerned about the intense degree of development currently planned for this site. I am proud to say that my local civic organization, the Auburndale Improvement Association, has joined this coalition.
We are not against development at thi9s site, but want to see something built there that will benefit most of the people. We are concerned about6 the size and scale of this project. The issue of sixteen and multi-story towers, the architectural style to be used and the placement of these towers and other buildings on this site need to be examined very carefully.
Adequate parking with reasonable rates is essential. Open space must be integrated well into the site. Many people feel that the site should contain a theater and perhaps a book store to meet the needs of the community.
If a new YMCA building is built on the site, as planned, the old building could house a new elementary school; to service the neighborhood children and Flushing High School could also share this facility for its programs.
Municipal Lot 1 was formed by taking private property from residents years ago. It is fitting that part of this development, known as Macedonia Plaza, will provide affordable housing units to working class people. I do not understand why so many of the housing units planned for the rest of the project are luxury condos. The needs in downtown Flushing is for even more units of affordable housing. Par and green space is also essential component of the final format of this project.
Municipal Parking Lot 1 is public property. Whatever is ultimately built there must benefit the community. One positive aspect of this development is that it will provide construction jobs and it will create jobs for those who open and operate new businesses located there. We must also ensure that those businesses currently in the area are maintained.
Flushing Commons has the potential of enhancing downtown Flushing, but if the right decisions are not made, it could turn the area into a traffic nightmare with people avoiding the area and the businesses that operate in downtown Flushing as much as possible.