“I have been informed by our representative at the Department of Buildings (DOB) that this site has not yet been approved to have their certificate of occupancy changed from factory to cabaret,” Giordano wrote in the letter.
Due to the current zoning of the site, located at 52-19 Flushing Ave., the letter continued, “I believe that our community board should oppose the granting of the cabaret liquor license a this location.”
Giordano said the board caught wind of the recent DOB application after receiving notice that the owners of the center had reapplied for a cabaret liquor license with the State Liquor Authority to accommodate 600 or more persons on site.
“Separate and apart from their application for a liquor permit, they [Knockdown Center owners] have applied to the DOB, and though it hasn’t been approved yet, hopefully it never will,” Giordano said.
CB5 chair Vincent Arcuri said the board is more wary when it comes to issuing their own approval of large certificate of occupancy applications since a local law went into effect in 2013 granting an ongoing permits, versus temporary certificate of occupancy permits.
“Under the new rules, since last spring the DOB issues a public assembly certificate with no expiration date, and then the Fire Department inspects one year from the issuance and issues a public assembly permit,” Arcuri explained. “So it’s convoluted now with these new rules. I don’t know if the Fire Department is caught up on this.”
Arcuri said while the board has never dealt with something of this magnitude, he suspects the city and State Liquor Authority has yet to deal with the same type of application since the rule change.
“We were concerned about the 5,000-person certificate of occupancy because we didn’t see any parking requirements, and all catering needs parking services,” Arcuri said. “I don’t think the liquor authority has seen anything like this before, other than a catering hall. That’s why I think the certificate of occupancy is for a banquet hall.”