This week, the NYC City Council approved the $3 billion Willets Point Redevelopment project that plans to turn the 62-acre industrial park near Citi Field in Queens into a new mixed-use destination. Designated with LEED-ND pre-certification approval, the Willets Point development markets itself as a green investment that will include a 5,000 square-foot rooftop garden and farm, brownfield cleanup, and $17 million in funding for nearby Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.
The plan was first proposed in 2008, but the latest version reflects an additional funding boost from the city. The expanded budget will allow the building of new housing to start sooner than expected (it was previously projected to start after the retail component was finished). The site will also include a new mall, a 200-room hotel, a movie theatre, and restaurants. Bloomberg estimates that the development will bring in approximately 3,000 new jobs and that 35% of new residences will be designated as affordable housing. Building will start after the $100 million clean up of the contaminated sites have finished.
Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras, who helped pass the budget, calls the redevelopment project a “win” and a “project that is going to make sense for everybody.” The $17 million funding set aside for adjacent Flushing Meadows-Corona Park has also helped bring some park advocates and nearby residents on board.
But not everyone is happy. Willets Point’s Iron Triangle houses over 200 businesses and those business owners are protesting the redevelopment. Even with the city’s offer to pay an additional $15.5 million for relocation and moving expenses, some residents say it’s not enough to part with their livelihoods and homes. The city, however, has already acquired at least 95 percent of the land needed to develop the first phase of the redevelopment.
Via DNA Info
Images via NYCEDC