This message is being sent for two purposes. The first is to update you on the plans for the recently purchased Holliswood Hospital site. On December 16th the entire Board of the Holliswood Civic Association met with Senator Avella at his office to listen to the plans of the owner of the former hospital site.

In addition to the members of the Board of Holliswood Civic, the meeting was attended by Assembly Member David Weprin and Harbachan Singh, both of whom are Holliswood residents. In addition, Mr. Singh is also President of the Queens Civic Congress. Marie Adam-Ovide, the District Manager of Community Board 8, also attended this meeting.

The owner proposes to construct 20 residential homes and an apartment-type complex on the site of the current hospital building grounds. This complex would be constructed to be used as a condominium with 31 units. It would not exceed the height of the current building. The residential homes would satisfy the existing zoning requirements of a 60 foot front and 100 foot depth. None of these houses would have a garage. Thus these can be built without any variance from existing zoning regulations. However, as to the condominium complex, this would require a variance from the Board of Standard and Appeals. The owner anticipates forming a Homeowners’ Association within the site to govern its collection of different fees for maintenance of the area and monitor parking rules for the condo complex. This could be a cause for concern if owners refused to pay their fees with the result that certain maintenance services would be impacted. He also mentioned the possibility of selling lots within the site to allow for the construction of residences by other private owners.

The meeting which lasted for almost two hours identified the following problems on behalf of the neighborhood. The construction of the 20 residences would give the area a cookie-cutter image. The proposal for the condominium would affect the residential density of the area. We have attached a site plan of this proposal. Overall, the proposal for the site would contribute to more congestion, noise and pollution.

To negotiate possible changes with the owner, the second purpose of this memo is to solicit the professional services of an architect who may reside in Holliswood and be willing to review the attached site plan and modify it downward to eliminate some of the building. In this connection, the assumption of the owner is that the homes will sell for $2.7 million dollars. The Board feels this is unrealistic given the lot size and the fact that none of these residences will have a garage. For example, we would ask that the owner build fewer homes that can be sold at a greater price and thus make up for the fact that he has built fewer homes and this would eliminate some of the problems mentioned above. We would also ask that the owner make fewer condo units, possibly 20 to 25 units. 

In addition to an architect, we would need a real estate appraisal expert to review this site plan and offer an opinion as to whether the owner’s expectation of sale price is realistic. In this connection, we would also like some input as to what a realistic price would be.

If we can obtain the volunteer services of an architect and real estate appraisal expert, this will provide a bargaining position for a further meeting with the owner and the above elected officials to negotiate possible changes in his current plan.

If any recipient of this email is in a position to assist the Civic Association in this endeavor, please respond to this email. Remember that the final result of the project will affect the quality of life in our neighborhood, as well as the value of your residence.

December 19, 2015