The area known today as Maspeth was chartered by Dutch and English settlers in the mid-17th century. The name "Maspeth" is derived from the name of Mespeatches Indians, one of the 13 main Indian tribes that inhabited Long Island.
The Grand Street Bridge carries Grand Street (Brooklyn) eastward across English Kills from Williamsburg where it becomes Grand Avenue, Maspeth's main street for dining and business. Single home houses and multiple dwelling homes make up most of Maspeth's residential uses, except for the co-ops on 65th Place, also known as The Plateau.
Maspeth's industrial sector lies primarily between 43rd Street through 58th Street, which includes the former Furman Island. The area is primarily accessed via the Brooklyn Queens Expressway and Long Island Expressway. Freight also moves along the active rail siding of the Long Island Railroad and a new West Maspeth rail freight station has been proposed in connection with a Cross-Harbor Rail Tunnel to diminish truck traffic across New York City.
M3 districts are for heavy industries that generate noise, traffic or pollutants. Typical uses include power plants, solid waste transfer facilities and recycling plants, and fuel supply depots. Even in M3 districts, uses with potential nuisance effects are required to conform to minimum performance standards.
Like M2 districts, M3 districts are usually located near the waterfront and buffered from residential areas. Large M3 districts are mapped along Arthur Kill in Staten Island, along the East River shore of the South Bronx, and along Newtown Creek in Brooklyn and Queens. Smaller M3 districts, many accommodating public utilities, are located along the waterfront in all five boroughs.
The two M3 districts, both with a maximum floor area ratio of 2.0 and a maximum base height before setback of 60 feet, differ only in parking requirements. M3-1 districts are subject to the parking requirements of Section 44-21 of the Zoning Resolution and M3-2 districts, found only in Manhattan are exempt.
M3-1 zones carry a maximum FAR of 2.0 and a maximum base height before setback of 60 feet. Parking is a requirement in these districts.