FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM DECEMBER 17, 2020 • THE QUEENS COURIER 3
City Council approves Flushing waterfront proposal
BY CARLOTTA MOHAMED
Th e City Council on Th ursday, Dec.
10, voted to approve the Special Flushing
Waterfront District’s (SFWD) proposal
with a fi nal tally of 39 members in favor
and fi ve against, with one abstention.
Th e council’s vote for the SFWD proposal
Rendering by Hill West Architects
Six-alarm fi re engulfs six Richmond Hill buildings
BY ROBERT POZARYCKI
Numerous Richmond Hill residents
were displaced and three fi refi ghters were
injured aft er a six-alarm inferno engulfed
six buildings early Th ursday morning.
Th e Fire Department reported that the
massive tempest broke out at around 1
a.m. on Dec. 10 inside 109-25 Jamaica
Ave., at 110th Street. Th e fi rst units arrived
on scene within three minutes of 911
receiving the emergency call, sources said.
Th e “fast-moving fi re,” as Assistant
Chief John Hodgens described it, started
inside the barber shop on the ground
fl oor and quickly spread up to the second
fl oor and the building’s cockloft —
a space between the attic and roof common
in wood-frame structures built in
the last century.
“Once it gets in there, we have to try and
get ahead of it. We quickly have to get into
the other buildings. It’s all wood structure,
old. Th at’s the challenge,” he said.
From the cockloft , the fl ames quickly
traveled to six adjoining structures.
Forty residents inside the buildings, in
apartments located above storefronts,
self-evacuated; fortunately, none of them
All of them, however, lost their homes.
Immediately aft er the fi re, Hodgens said,
they were placed in MTA buses dispatched
to the scene just to keep them
warm. Th e American Red Cross worked
to fi nd them new, temporary shelter.
More than 200 fi refi ghters converged
upon the scene to battle the blaze, along
with offi cers from the 102nd Precinct
and EMS units. Th ree fi refi ghters suff ered
minor injuries and were treated at Jamaica
Hospital, Fire Department sources said.
Th e fi re was fi nally brought under control
at about 3:43 a.m. on Dec. 10. Th e
cause is not yet known but is under investigation
by the FDNY marshals.
follows approvals earlier this week
by the City Council’s Subcommittee on
Zoning and Franchises and its Committee
on Land Use reaching an agreement with
labor unions to ensure good jobs, community
benefi ts and more for the Special
Flushing Waterfront District.
Councilman Peter Koo, whose district
includes Flushing, said the SFWD proposal
will help to revitalize the downtown Flushing
economy, as the city begins to recover from
“We have all struggled in this pandemic,
and we simply cannot aff ord to continue
our demands for the perfect win over
the good,” Koo said. “Th is is a good compromise
that addresses many of the issues
we heard at many public hearings, provide
good union paying jobs, aff ordable
housing and community benefi ts.”
Th e three developers behind the Special
Flushing Waterfront Development
include F&T Group, United Construction
& Development Group and Young Nian
Group, known collectively as FWRA,
Th e SFWD proposal seeks to revitalize
29 acres of inactive and underutilized
land that the developers say will provide
substantial public benefi ts such as a privately
funded and maintained road network
and a 160,000-square-foot waterfront
promenade along Flushing Creek
that will both be publicly accessible.Th e
plan also includes 1,725 residential units,
including aff ordable housing, 879 hotel
keys, offi ce and community facility, retail
space and parking spaces to help alleviate
traffi c along College Point Boulevard.
Th e developers said the council’s vote
in favor of the project provides a better
future for Flushing when needed most.
“Aft er decades of false starts and stops
to activate the waterfront, we could not be
more honored to be part of the solution.
Today and together, we move Flushing
forward,” the team said in a statement.
Th e developers expressed gratitude to
Council members Peter Koo, Francisco
Moya, Rafael Salamanca, Speaker Corey
Johnson and the Department of City
Planning for their support leading up to
the fi nal vote.
“Council member Koo has been an
incredible advocate for the future of
Flushing and the immigrant communities
he serves. With his support, Queens and
New York City will move forward with
this next exciting chapter,” the team said.
Th e late Claire Shulman, former
Queens borough president, received recognition
from the group for her “support,
vision and wavering passion” for the progression
of Queens by driving the project
“Bringing this project to fruition is a
testament to her work and legacy,” the
Photo via Twitter/@FDNY