Valley Stream: Let’s be business-friendly
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Mixed-use development is also being added to the code, in an effort to give property owners more leeway to redevelop buildings on Rockaway Avenue or in any other business district. A mixed-use building typically has commercial space on the first floor and residential units above, like the development under construction at Rockaway Avenue and Sunrise Highway.
The village board had to create a special zone for that project, but future mixed-used development would simply be allowed in commercial areas. Village Trustee Vincent Grasso said that Valley Stream should compete with Brooklyn and Queens for young professionals looking for housing within reasonable proximity to New York City.
Exploiting nearby JFK
For the first time in decades, hotels would be allowed in Valley Stream. McAleer said that they must have a single main entrance, with the doors to individual rooms accessible only from the inside. Hotels may also have dining areas, bars, lounges and even banquet halls. Motels would still be prohibited.
Ang said that there are a few potential spots for a hotel. A hotel could be a boon to Valley Stream, he said, because of its proximity to Kennedy International Airport. Many travelers now stay overnight in neighboring communities, Ang explained, where they eat and shop.
“We think a hotel would be attractive to the village,” he said. “Where do you think the people from the airport stay? Rockville Centre.”
Grasso added that people often fly in to do business in Manhattan but don’t want to pay Manhattan hotel prices. Valley Stream could provide the accommodations they are looking for.
Ang said he would be particularly excited about a banquet hall — which Valley Stream hasn’t had since the 1970s, when Carl Hoppell’s closed — which would give local organizations a place to host functions.
There are also a few changes that would affect homes. Residents would now be allowed to keep storage units on their property for up to 30 days, but additional time could be approved by the Building Department. The units could be no more than 120 square feet, a maximum of eight feet high, and must meet certain setback requirements.