Developers hope Flushing's commercial boom will extend to the large swath of office and retail space proposed for the 75-acre redevelopment of Willets Point in Queens, an area dominated by automotive repair shops and junk yards.
The city's Economic Development Corporation has proposed 500,000 square feet of office space and more than 1 million square feet of retail square feet for the area, along with a new convention center and housing. A footbridge will cross wetlands and link Willets Point to downtown Flushing.
As Flushing booms, Willets Point looms
Not everyone is bullish on Flushing. Tom Angotti, director of the Hunter College Center for Community Planning and Development and author of last year's study on Willets Point, said he doubted that the area could sustain the proposed office space. He said that Willets Point's separation from Flushing could not be erased by a lone footbridge.
"It is a lengthy bridge that is not very inviting across wetlands," he said. "I would certainly want to see the numbers to convince me that there is real demand."