Tyler Myers, co-director of the center, said the facility had three requests: to extend operating hours on some days until 4 a.m., to allow an occupancy limit of 3,100, and to add a third bar.
“We would like to be able to go until 4 a.m. from time to time for special events,” he said.
The board voted 34 to four to approve the recommendations.
The pending Certificate of Occupancy allows 3,100 people, but after the board’s Executive Committee reviewed the initial application, they recommended that the center should be limited to 1,800 drinking patrons for 15 calendar dates and no more than 1,000 drinking patrons for all other days of the year.
This time, the committee recommended allowing the facility to serve alcohol on Friday and Saturday nights until 4 a.m., but restricting them to 2 a.m. on all other nights.
Board chair Vincent Arcuri said they also had no problem with adding a third bar.
Maspeth residents on the board spoke in favor of the Knockdown Center, mentioning their positive contributions to the community. Maryanna Zero said they often let organizations like the Kiwanis Club use their space.
“They’ve always been very gracious,” she said. “The security there is unbelievable.”
Michael LoCascio said he’s never encountered a problem with the center.
“I think it’s good to have a venue where we can actually do something nice for the neighborhood, whether it’s arts or music,” he said. “It’s the only place in the area.”
District manager Gary Giordano brought up concerns about setting a precedent for former factories becoming “big party venues” in the industrial area. He said on the other side of Flushing Avenue, nearly all buildings are residential.
“From what I know, they run a very professional operation, Tyler is a very good manager, and they’ve done some good things for the community,” he said. “But just because someone is good and a good neighbor, it doesn’t mean you give them everything they might be asking for.”
Myers added that after months of operation, the Knockdown Center has proven to be a “low-impact use” and has contributed arts and other programming for the area.
“We’ve proven we’ve been able to do it without a negative community impact,” Myers said. “We think that is a benefit to the community.”