Photo via Flapane
Earlier this year, Mayor Bloomberg announced a massive plan to transform Willets Point, Queens into a mega complex including a mall, movie theaters, parking lots and housing. Despite the promise of hundreds of new jobs, Queens residents are none too thrilled about the project – they’re concerned about the redevelopment of a large portion of the community’s much-loved Flushing Meadows Park. Flushing, Corona, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights residents met last week to talk about Bloomberg’s plan to take away their park space and how they can unite against it.
The Flushing Meadows-Corona Park area draws thousands of locals, who use its grassy fields as a giant backyard since many homes in the area have no outdoor space. Area residents relax, play sports and barbecue at the park, and see it as a free respite that brings the community together.
But if all goes according to Bloomberg’s overhaul plan, this cherished outdoor space will be chopped up to make room for a 1,400,000 square foot mall, two stadiums and 9,000 parking spots, literally transforming the park land into asphalt. The whole process will also turn much of the area into a giant construction site for up to 15 years.
Queens residents are not taking this plan lying down, and are organizing a statement to present to the Mayor’s office backed by several groups such as the Queens Congregations United for Action, the Fairness Coalition of Queens and the Jackson Heights Green Alliance. We hope that the coalition is able to convince Bloomberg to leave the park, which has been used regularly by families for 72 years, alone.
Via NY Daily News
Images via Wikimedia Commons