Thursday, March 18, 2010

Woodhaven Lanes Could Get a New Tenant by Holly Tsang - Forest Hills Times

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After two years of being an eyesore, it looks as if the former Woodhaven Lanes building will once again be a boon to the Queens community.

Following several months of deliberation, Community Board 6 voted last Wednesday to approve a special permit application for a furniture company that has chosen to remain anonymous.

Despite the applicant’s unknown identity, CB6 District Manager Frank Gulluscio said the board did not feel uncomfortable approving the application.

“That piece of property has been vacant for some time,” said Gulluscio. “This will bring jobs, an economic base, and tax base.”

There was some concern regarding the impact on traffic, which is already congested in the area because of the popularity of Trader Joe’s, but the pros ultimately outweighed the cons. Gulluscio added that he hoped DOT would finally get its act together and work with the community board on a plan for the traffic-choked neighborhood.

According to Robert Corroon, a spokesperson for Woodhaven Realty, LLC, which owns the property, the proposed store will be a showroom only, with incoming truck deliveries only once a week from a warehouse in Connecticut. There will be 42 on-site parking spots for customers.

“I think it’s a very good use for this space because it has a low traffic impact, considered one of the lowest traffic impacts of any retail-type use,” said Corroon.

He said that the approximately 50,000-square-foot building would undergo minor renovations to the facade. Woodhaven Realty has already done some landscaping work in the parking lot.

“Certainly, it’s going to make the building much more attractive than what it is right now,” said Corroon. He added, “obviously it will increase sales taxes to the city; the sales tax revenue to the city will be much greater from this use than the bowling facility.”

The application now moves to the Borough President’s office and then the City’s Board of Standards and Appeals, said Gulluscio.