Empty Lot on Astoria Blvd. Known for Illegal Dumping: Now Set for Commercial Building Construction

Credit: Giannopoulous Architecture: The diagonal lines represent the C2-3 Commercial Overlays on Astoria Blvd. The triangle is the block that is proposed to join the C2-3 Commercial Overlay. The outlined red space on the block is the vacant lot that Giannopoulous Architecture purchased.


On the corner of 27th Ave. and Astoria Blvd. is a vacant lot that is unofficially being used as a dumping ground in the neighborhood. And while the owners of the house next to the lot regularly clean up the garbage left there, the trash still continues to accumulate.

In a meeting with Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Richards and the developer offered a plan to convert this residential block into a C2-3 Commercial Overlay. It would have mixed use buildings on the lot.

The vacant lot has recently been bought by Giannopoulous Architecture, which has requested a change in the zoning of the block in order to achieve this. At the moment, the lot is under a R3-2 zoning district, which is meant for low-rise attached houses, small multi-family apartment houses, and detached and semi-detached one – and two – family residences.

Changing the block to a C2-3 Commercial Overlay would allow for commercial buildings to be built in residential zones. This would ensure that Giannopoulos Architecture would be able to build a commercial building on the vacant lot, while the current resident of the house beside the lot would not be forced out.

This is nothing new for Astoria Blvd., a busy commercial thoroughfare. The lot is already surrounded by commercial overlay blocks.

Despite this, there is still pushback from the Community Board members.

“The owner of the neighboring property was concerned about the development,” said Hamlett Wallace, who is the chair of the land use committee at Community Board 3 in Queens.

“The applicant did not offer any construction documentation or renderings that would indicate the safeguards that were put in place to protect the neighboring property. Also, there was uncertainty as to whether the proposed plan would be what is actually built. The committee has requested the applicant to come back to us to show the plans for the development of the property should it change.”

Community Board 3 passed a motion to disapprove the application, with 21 in favor of the motion and 12 opposed.

The next public hearing for the land use is on December 23rd. It is to be seen whether Community Board 3 changes their mind about the land development.