ASTORIA — A local business owner's plan to nearly double the size of his sports facility on 38th Street and 35th Avenue — adding an indoor ice skating rink and a regulation-sized soccer field — got approved by Queens Community Board 1.
Astoria Sports Complex owner Steve Poliseno is applying for a variance from the Board of Standards and Appeals to add a two-story expansion to his current building at 34-38 38th St., which currently houses a gym, swimming pool, a catering hall and other amenities.
The existing building — which was an ice production facility when Poliseno bought it 40 years ago — consists of two sections, one that stands two-stories tall and one that stands four stories.
The owners want to expand the two-story section, constructing an additional two stories on top of it so it would match the height of the existing four-story tower and stand 83 feet tall, according to the proposal.
The change would nearly double the floor area of the facility, from 64,648 to 118,951 square feet. The number of parking spots would remain the same as what is currently offered, with spaces for 33 cars, according to the proposal.
The owner says the expansion would allow for the addition of an outdoor rooftop eatery, an indoor soccer field larger than the current one and an ice rink that could host hockey games, something that doesn't exist in the area.
"Every time I go to Rockefeller Center and I see these beautiful little kids skating around — I wanted to build something of that nature in the facility," Poliseno said.
A rendering of the building at 34-38 38th St. after the proposed expansion (Credit: Astoria Sports Complex)
CB1 voted in favor of the owner's plan at its monthly meeting Tuesday night, calling Astoria Sports Complex an "amenity to the community."
But the board included several stipulations in its recommendation to the BSA, including that the owners study the impact the growth will have on local traffic and parking and that it not allow outside club promoters to use its catering facility.
They also requested that the ice skating rink and soccer field be available at a reasonable fee for the public to use for at least a portion of each week when sports leagues aren't using it.
"If this variance is granted, you're gaining a lot, so something needs to go back to the community, too," board member Evie Hantzopoulos said.
The expansion plan will need to be approved by the BSA before it can move forward.
The Sports Complex's existing facilities, like its gym and pool, would remain open during construction, Poliseno said.