HUNTERS POINT — A lawmaker wants the city to halt its plan to build housing over a Long Island City rail yard, saying the project would contribute to the area's overdevelopment and put a strain on local schools and subway lines.
Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan said the Economic Development Corporation's call for a developer to build apartments and retail on top of the Long Island Rail Road storage yard at 11-24 Jackson Ave. is "poorly planned" and that it has the potential to be "outsized and not right" for the neighborhood.
The EDC and the MTA issued a Request for Proposals Monday for a company to develop the site, which would require building over the 58,000-square-foot rail yard located between 21st Street, Jackson and 49th avenues.
"Considering the size of the site and its proximity to other large scale development in Long Island City there must be a better plan to increase basic services before such large scale development is considered,” Nolan said in a statement Tuesday.
"I feel that we are now playing catch-up," Nolan said. "Our schools remain the most overcrowded in the city and every subway rider knows the daily overcrowded conditions on the 7, E, F, M, N, Q and R."
The EDC is seeking a developer to build a mixed-use project at the Jackson Avenue site that would include apartments for a variety of incomes, plus a community facility, retail and open public space.
The location is zoned for both residential and manufacturing uses, according to the city's zoning map, and allows for an apartment building as high as 125 feet tall — though Nolan notes that a developer could potentially build higher if they seek a zoning change from the city.
In a statement, EDC Spokeswoman Stephanie Baez said the agency is looking for a proposal that's "respectful to the surrounding context and adds to the neighborhood's vibrancy."
"As with all of our projects, the proposed development is required to undergo a thorough environmental review to identify any impact on the surrounding infrastructure," she said.
Nolan — who represents parts of Astoria, Long Island City, Woodside, Sunnyside and Ridgewood — has voiced similar concerns about other developments in the area and the impact they could have on local resources.
"We need a plan that recognizes that thousands of us — from Sunnyside Gardens to Hunter’s Point, from Dutch Kills to Ravenswood, have already chosen Western Queens for our homes, businesses, education and creative community," Nolan wrote in a Daily News op-ed last year about the Sunnyside Yards proposal.