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Front Page April 17, 2014  RSS feed

Hearing Set For Knockdown Lic.

Maspeth Venue Could Serve Alcohol To Hundreds
by Robert Pozarycki

A liquor license application for a controversial Maspeth arts and entertainment venue will be examined by the State Liquor Authority (SLA) at a Manhattan board meeting this Tuesday, Apr. 22

The Knockdown Center, located at 52-19 Flushing Ave.—a former glass factory turned entertainment facility which has featured everything from performance art to live concerts—is seeking a cabaret liquor license to serve alcoholic beverages with live and recorded music at its various events.

With a capacity to serve up to 5,000 patrons at a time, the Knockdown Center—which has multiple dance areas, two bathrooms, a green room, a kitchen, storage room and six outdoor patio areas—has drawn opposition from local elected officials and civic associations concerned about security and the loss of parking in nearby residential areas, among other potential quality-of-life issues.

Further concerns were recently raised after it was announced that rapper M.I.A. plans to hold two concerts at the Knockdown Center on May 8-9.

On its website, the Knockdown Center also advertises other upcoming events including a “Redbull Music Academy” show on May 16 and a “Maspeth World of Wheels” car show and tailgate festival on June 21.

According to documents on the SLA website, the Knockdown Center indicated “the principal, two managers, 30 employees and 9-25 security guards will be on staff at the premises.” It also noted the “proposed maximum occupancy for the premises is 5,000” patrons.

The Department of Buildings, however, has previously denied applications for a certificate of occupancy permitting 5,000 individuals from occupying the Knockdown Center at a given time.

The SLA indicated it had received a petition with 100 signatures in support of the application, but also letters of objections from Community Board 5, Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, City Council Member Antonio Reynoso, State Sen. Joseph Addabbo and representatives of the Juniper Park Civic Association, the Communities of Maspeth and Elmhurst Together, the Queens Civic Congress and Citizens for a Better Maspeth.

Last year, City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley voiced her support for the center’s operation, claiming it would serve as an economic boom to the community.

The SLA board meeting will begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the SLA Zone 1 headquarters, located in the Harlem Center Tower Office Building at 317 Lenox Ave. The hearing will be streamed live online at https://www.sla.ny.gov/full-boardmeeting nyc-140.

For additional information, call 1- 518-474-3114 or send an email to Secretarys.Office@sla.ny.gov.