Excavation equipment has arrived at 74-10 Broadway in Elmhurst, across the street from the Roosevelt Avenue/74th Street transit complex, to begin work on a six-story development featuring retail, an ambulatory diagnostic center and 10 apartments. Permits for the 27,066-square-foot building list Khosrow Soleimanzadeh as the owner and Sion Hourizadeh of Sion Associates as the designer. Titan Realty & Construction LLC is the general contractor.
The triangular site, located at the meeting point of Elmhurst and Jackson Heights, faces the intersection of Broadway, Roosevelt Avenue and 74th Street. The subway station services the E, F, M, R and 7 trains. The adjacent Victor A. Moore Bus Terminal accommodates seven bus routes, including the Q70 Select Bus Service to LaGuardia Airport. The junction anchors a vibrant commercial, dining and nightlife district.
The 4,212-square-foot lot joins three properties. 40-15 74th Street, the project’s permit address, once housed a two-story, two-unit residence clad in red brick and topped with a gable roof. It was built sometime around the 1917 opening of the elevated Flushing Line, which spurred rapid urbanization of the surrounding countryside. Broadway, which was a narrow dirt road when 40-15 74th Street was built, became a popular commercial thoroughfare soon after it was paved in the 1930s.
The single-story commercial building on the triangular corner lot at 74-02 Broadway housed a driving school until the time of demolition, and greeted 74th Street with a fenced-in parking lot. A single-story commercial structure graced the small triangular lot at 74-10 Broadway.
Demolition permits were filed in January 2013. Demolition commenced in the summer, and the site was cleared and fenced in by the following year. The new building permit was filed in September 2014. The property sat dormant until recently, when a construction board arrived along with excavation machinery.
The proposed building would follow the site contour and greet the intersection with a dramatic, acute corner. The ground floor would contain 3,190 square feet of retail as well as lobbies for residences and the ambulatory diagnostic facility. The 7,742-square-foot facility would occupy the second and third floors. The apartments on the third through sixth floors take up 9,119 square feet and average 912 square feet per unit.
The angled site results in triangular layouts throughout exterior spaces such as the third- and fifth-story terraces, as well as the Broadway-facing loggias. The elevation embraces a horizontal aesthetic, with prominent bands of brick strips framing floor-to-ceiling windows and loggias.
The bulkhead would rise around 20 feet high, bringing the summit close to 90 feet. The structure would be sufficiently prominent to allow for panoramic vistas from the rooftop deck, including limited Manhattan views to the west.
The proposal contains a floor-to-area ratio of 4.76 and nearly maxes out the zoning envelope. The 58-foot-high Broadway street wall stops two feet short of the limit, as does the 68-foot main roof. Zoning allowances for dormers enable the top floor to extend past the sky exposure plane to the street wall.
The mixed-use proposal makes effective use of its site, yet a major intersection next to a transit hub calls for greater density than what is currently permitted. In addition, unreasonably low height restrictions force developers to build out rather than up, denying opportunities for privately-owned public space. A taller structure of similar square footage rising from a smaller footprint would allow for a plaza at the crowded intersection. City planners ought to encourage public space creation within dense commercial districts by removing arbitrary height restrictions.