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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)
 
 

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Latest proposed design of 84-11 37th Avenue
The design team of the Kelly’s Manor project at 35-64 85th Street (a.k.a. 84-11 37th Avenue) in Jackson Heights have been sent back to the drawing board after a meeting with the Landmarks Preservation Commission yesterday afternoon. The applicants, Kelly's Properties, LLC with Architects Studio P.C. handling the design, are proposing a 4-story residential addition atop a 1-story commercial building in the Jackson Heights Historic District. After facing a group of unhappy residents at a Community Board 3 meeting last spring, they brought their modified plans to the LPC. Although they presented a better case to Landmarks, the commission voted to disapprove the application.
Current 1-story commercial building at corner of 85th Street and 37th Street
Rendering with 4-story addition proposed in 2015
Most of the opposition regarding the proposal has to do with the concern that the new residence will alter the commercial, low-rise character of the neighborhood. However, as the applicants pointed out, this low-rise pattern is only seen on the south side of 37th Avenue. The north side has been developed into mostly mixed-use, multi-family buildings with 5+ stories. The site itself sits adjacent to the 9-story Roosevelt Terrace project, the tallest and only diagonally oriented development in Jackson Heights.
The question posed was whether the preservation of this district should consider the site's current condition as a nondescript one story building, or as a contributing structure from the original plan of the community. Some commissioners argued that due to the large number of mid-rises along 37th Avenue, the one-story building creates a “lopsided” feel to the street. The 40-unit proposal will actually help “fill in the gap” and is consistent with the historic multi-story, block-end developments along 37th Avenue. The Commission had a hard time arguing that this project would in any way be inappropriate.
The 4-story addition would help the building fit in with surrounding 5- and 6-story buildings
Where the applicants did run into trouble was with the design of the addition. While they hoped it would “emphasize and enhance the unusual streamline moderne style of the existing one-story building,” members of the LPC argued that it does not present itself as a residential structure. Ultimately the commission asked the architects to rework the design and no further action was taken at the hearing.
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