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10-25-2012, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Riddick View Post
I know this isn't really relevant but what happened to the whole willits point thing? imo that would have been ideal compromise but for about a year there was never any mention of it.

JACKSON HEIGHTS — Hundreds of Queens residents were up in arms Monday night over the planned mega-development of Willets Point and Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, slamming the developers at a town hall meeting for a land grab.

Members of several community groups blasted the plans for the gritty industrial neighborhood and sprawling greenspace, which include a new mall, an expansion of the U.S. Tennis Center and a brand new Major League Soccer stadium...

The Willets West plan, submitted by the owners of the New York Mets, would call for the construction of a 1.4 million square-foot shopping mall on the western parking lot of Citi Field, where Shea Stadium used to stand. Although the land is currently used by the Mets, it is still owned by the city and is legally considered parkland.

“The [Willets Point] project changed and requires further analysis,” Director of the Mayor’s Office of Environmental Coordination Robert Kulikowski said at the September 27 scoping meeting held at P.S. 19, the Marino Jeantet School, in Corona.

“There will be more digging than before,” added David Schwartz, Senior Vice President for the New York Economic Development Corporation (NYEDC), at the hearing.

An initial plan proposed by NYEDC for Willets Point and approved by the City Council in 2008 was scrapped in favor of a new plan announced by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in June in conjunction with the Queens Development Group, a joint venture of Sterling Equities and Related Companies, increasing the size of the project. Originally pegged at 62 acres, the plan is expanding by another 46 acres and proposes Willets West be built on a parking lot owned by the New York Mets that is technically parkland on the western end of Citi Field.

Ethan Goodman, a lawyer for Wachtel, Masyr and Missry and project manager for the developers, Sterling Equities, a group of companies owned by the Wilpon family that includes the Mets and Related Companies, another real estate firm, said one million square feet of retail and entertainment space would be developed at Willets West, while 23 acres of contaminated land would be cleaned up to the east in the original Willets Point special district for 2,500 units of affordable housing. That work would be completed by 2018.

In a second and third phase, access ramps to the Van Wyck Expressway, more housing, a hotel, a convention center, recreational space and a school would be developed in two stages by 2028 and 2032. No developer has been selected as yet for Phases two and three.

I think the Isles were forced out of the Citi Field area after the WP project was divided. Allegedly they were looking at Flushing airport vicinity as well.


All I know is that they discussed having an arena either in the Citi Field lot, or Flushing Meadow Park, over by the tennis complex. They also discussed, and this is the first I have heard of this, the old Flushing airport grounds in Whitestone, which are currently abandoned, and are the very first exit off the Whitestone Bridge.
For those of you that take the Cross Island to Met's games, its the vast empty space behind the New York Times building about 2 minutes from Citi Field. Probably nothing will happen there though because of lack of mass transit.

Ultimately the math didn't work out for NYC (paying 400 to 500 M) to land the Isles in Queens on top of billions that LIRR may have had to fork over.

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