Community Board 18 (CB18) approved two applications at its May 18 meetingand meeting – one for an amendment to a car station in the Marine Park and the other for the construction of a new house at Old Mill Basin. A guest presentation to kick off a summer drive-in cinema series and a safety and security discussion with representatives from Macerich, owners of Kings Plaza Mall, closed the evening.
An auto station in operation at 3802 Avenue U since 1946, previously approved to operate as a gas station and auto repair shop, requested an amendment to its waiver to remove auto repair and add a 3,500 square foot convenience store.
A site representative said the existing building will be expanded by 900 square feet, and there will be 32 feet of landscaping, a gas station and 14 parking spaces.
A new resident, with three toddlers, expressed concern about the extra traffic, air pollution and possible ground contamination as the site is across from Lenape Playground. She wanted to know the remediation plans in case of a spill. The representative of the Exxon station, which hopes to be a 24-hour operation, believes that since the car repair function will be removed, it will be less harmful. “The new tanks have the latest technology and much higher standards than the old tanks. If there is a leak, a bell goes off and it is immediately repaired,” she explained.
The board approved the waiver, along with a term extension. As an application was filed in February and it takes about a year to approve, construction could begin soon after.
A vacant lot at 1520 East 56andThe street between N and W Avenues had been an eyesore for years, and residents living near the site were supportive of the owner’s plan to build a two-family detached residence at this location. The corner property, which sits next to Mill Lane, was not maintained by the owner as no one lived there, according to CB18 District Manager Sue Ann Partnow. The owners want to add 925 square feet to the two floors, a garage, a backyard and a small front area.
Residents in attendance said it was a good thing for the neighborhood. “At the moment, we cannot walk alongside. There’s too much grass and it’s a mess,” said resident Josephine Polito.
Although Kings Plaza Mall has undergone many positive changes over the past few years, some residents still can’t get over its bad reputation.
Dawn Simon, Director of Marketing, and Emma Dawson, General Manager, spoke to attendees about mall upgrades and security upgrades to keep shoppers safe.
Malynda Jordan-Dandridge, a board member, expressed concern about mall employees leaving the building late at night and the lack of lighting and police presence outside the mall. commercial. Dawson assured her that the lighting around the property is monitored at night and that police patrol the area according to their schedule and other priorities. “We have a state-of-the-art camera system – we have so many cameras that we were able to track the latest unfortunate incident at the mall and help the police apprehend the perpetrator,” she said, pointing out that they had a very good relationship with the 63rd Pregnant.
Simon explained the mall’s total transformation, stating that Target was coming to the mall and “other department stores that I can’t name yet.” She said they have made tremendous progress in their community relations programs. “Kings Plaza has donated 10,000 turkeys to families in need, 10,000 bags of books and school supplies and we are currently working on a prom gift for children in homeless shelters.”
Resident complaints centered on Macy’s escalators not running regularly and high parking fees. Dawson said Macy’s is planning major renovations, which should fix the problem, but Simon said it’s highly unlikely the parking fee will be waived as the mall needs to balance out expenses.
Eileen Level, founder of PaleFO Cinema, is passionate about creating Canarsie’s first-ever outdoor cinema concert series. Its goal is to prevent gang activity in Canarsie hotspots by providing more activities for 14-24 year olds. Although the first film, which took place at Bayview Houses Community Center, had a low turnout, she hopes word will spread.
“It’s a huge solution to getting teenagers off the streets,” she said. “The idea is that they will not just watch movies, but they will schedule those movies. They will choose the movies they want to see. Its events include music, DJs, movie trivia, free gifts and an opportunity to win gift cards from local merchants.
The next CB18 meeting will take place on Wednesday, June 29, in person only – and outdoors – at the John Malone Center, 2335 Bergen Avenue.