Board members were concerned about the size of the parking lot and the traffic the gym would add to Otto Road, which has a blind curve outside the property.
The size of the one-story building on the 130,000-square-foot property would be about 70,000 square feet, said Jennifer Dickson, a planning and development specialist who spoke on behalf of its owners, Frank DeStefano and Ahmer Kazmi, who were also present at the meeting. The gym itself would be about 21,000 square feet.
Retro Fitness is a gym chain with about 80 locations, primarily in New York and New Jersey. The company recently had an application approved for an Astoria location, Dickson said, and construction is also underway for a branch in Williamsburg.
The expected hours of operation are 6 a.m. to midnight, she said, with about 800 people using the facility throughout the day and 12 employees per shift. The gym's target membership is 4,500.
The application is for 70 parking spaces, but the lot has space for more, Dickson said.
“We're very comfortable with the parking,” she said.
Board Chair Vinnie Arcuri, who said he lives closest to the gym out of all the board's members, said the biggest concerns were parking and hours of operation.
“We also have a major traffic situation right at the entrance/exit at 66th Place and Otto Road because of the curvature of Otto Road,” Arcuri said. “You can't see [traffic] coming either way and you can't see it coming out of the driveway or out of 66th Place.”
Arcuri said the board previously applied for an all-way stop sign at the intersection from the Department of Transportation, but it was denied.
When the gym's owners were asked if they would pay for the all-way stop sign, if that could be worked out with the city, they answered yes.
A recommendation to approve or deny the gym's application will be proposed by the board's Zoning and Land Use Committee during its next meeting on Wednesday, February 8.
At the end of the meeting, an application to continue construction at 68-10 58th Road in Maspeth was denied. However, several members did vote in support of the application, saying they did not want an unfinished construction site in the area.