Queens developer races to lay hotel foundations before rezoning

April 02, 2010 09:47AM

Horace Harding Realty is rushing to lay the foundations for two new Marriott hotels in Auburndale, Queens before the community’s push to downzone the area makes its way through the city’s planning process. The two, six-story hotels, along with 18 two-family homes, are slated for construction on the contaminated site of a former movie theater on the Horace Harding Expressway. But Auburndale residents say the development would increase traffic and cause parking problems and would be unsafe given the contaminated groundwater at the site. Horace Harding, which has already invested $6 million in the project and in cleaning up the site, said it plans to create a parking lot underneath the hotels — that is, if the company gets that far. The zoning process could take up to seven months once it begins this spring, according to the Department of City Planning. Horace Harding plans to lay the foundation this summer and finish the project by the fall, but board member Chris Xu said he worries that won’t be in time for the hotels to be grandfathered into the current zoning. [NYDN]

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