2006-01-27 / Front Page

‘Grande’ Plans For The Beach Club

By Brian Magoolaghan

An attorney representing The Beach Club will present Community Board 14 next week with a preliminary rezoning proposal that, if carried out, would make way for a residential building with retail space on the first floor.

Redevelopment of the property, located at 129-135 Beach 116 Street, is restricted by its current R-5 zoning (low density residential). Now, in the shadow of the Ocean Grande condominium project, co-owners Steve and Ken Good want to test the waters with members of Community Board 14 to see if they would support rezoning the property R-7A (high density residential).

Good told The Wave this week that he envisions a building that would rival Ocean Grande – with some important differences – with a bar/restaurant on the first floor, which he said would be similar to The Beach Club before it was transformed into a catering hall. The building would be rectangular, unlike Ocean Grande’s bevel shape, and would have frontage on Beach 116 Street only. He said he is in talks with a well-known developer but wants to hear CB14’s reaction before he invests more time and money into the project.

“It’s a lot of money to make plans and file,” Good said. “I want to go [before CB14] first and hear their reaction.”

Good was quick to point out that, even if the project sails along without opposition or other hitches, planning and approval would take about two years, and construction couldn’t begin sooner than 2009. In other words, it will be business as usual at The Beach Club for years to come.

“[Good] hasn’t filed this officially yet,” CB14 District Manager Jonathan Gaska confirmed. “It’s a courtesy,” he continued, “Good is asking, ‘What are your concerns?’” Gaska added that the rezoning would allow a significant increase in the height of a new structure and the number of residential units that could be built.

And CB14’s district manager made another prediction about Beach 116 Street, which, with the addition of Tribute Park, the parking reconfiguration, the new NYPD Transit headquarters, Ocean Grande and soon the Flight 587 Memorial, is seeing a bona fide transformation: High-rise apartments are “probably going to be the trend on that block,” said Gaska. Good agrees with Gaska on that point. He suggested that his project could spark change on the east side of the street’s south end, attract long-term corporate tenants and create “a viable store area.”

The preliminary plan will be outlined by attorney Vincent Petrano at a meeting of CB14’s Land Use Committee in the Meditation Room at Peninsula Hospital Center, 51-15 Beach Channel Drive, Tuesday, January 31 at 7 p.m.

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