At the land use hearing last Thursday, Acting Borough President Sharon Lee asked questions about DSNY’s plan to construct a 94,000-square-foot garage and 20,000-square-foot salt shed on a 9.8 acre site at 31-11 20th Avenue, next to Luyster Creek.
The two new facilities would allow the department to close its current sanitation garage at 34-28 21st Street, a dilapidated and undersized facility that has caused problems for Ravenswood Houses residents for decades.
DSNY officials have said the building, which was found “structurally deficient and inadequate in size” during a facility assessment in 2014, is so small that the agency had to park its garbage trucks outdoors on residential streets.
Starting in 2018, the department temporarily occupied one acre on the 20th Avenue site to store 23 garbage trucks and a dozen other vehicles. The mayor committed $130 million to build a new garage in 2017.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Arlana Davis, DSNY assistant commissioner of Real Estate. “We think we have a good project.”
Davis noted that it’s “incredibly difficult” to find appropriate industrial spaces to build new sanitation garajes. It’s also difficult to find a community to support the site, she said.
Lee and Irving Poy, Borough Hall’s director of Planning and Development, asked questions about security, environmental impact and the nearby ballfields used by local youth.
They also asked what the city plans to do with the 21st Street site, which is city-owned land.
“We’re in need of affordable housing and senior housing,” Lee said.
Andres De Leon, deputy director of real estate at DSNY, acknowledged that the parcel is “much-coveted,” but DSNY can only relinquish it back to the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS).
“The community board was adamant on it becoming housing as well,” De Leon said. “It will be noted.”