Thursday, October 16, 2008

EDC acting desperate before Willets hearing

In mid-September, Seth Pinsky walked into Councilman Tony Avella’s Lower Manhattan office to talk about the proposed Willets Point redevelopment, flanked by a set of aides. The wiry young president of the city’s Economic Development Corporation made his pitch to the Queens Democrat, hailing the benefits of his agency’s largest development project, and leaving Mr. Avella with a presentation in the form of a colorful booklet.

Showdown at Willets Point

Mr. Avella, one of the Council’s most outspoken voices on the subject of overdevelopment, laid out conditions for his support, ones he thought the city would be unlikely to meet. And, from his perspective, that was that.

Or so he thought.

“Now, just this past week, they called again,” Mr. Avella said. “They want to do a follow-up meeting.

“It’s one of the few times that the administration has lobbied me after I’ve made my position public,” he added. “Usually … they don’t lobby me—so they must be worried.”

The first council hearing is on Friday and the EDC is going to beat the environmental drum.


Taxpayer said...

"“It’s made out as if we’re being secretive, but it’s not that it’s secretive,” Lombino said. “We’re negotiating with taxpayer money here.”"

Well, how about that. They finally acknowledge that they are using our tax dollars to take private property (and destroy private, thriving, honest businesses in the process) so that property and land can be transferred to PRIVATE, already wealthy, profitable crony developer friends of the Commissar.

On top of the transfer of the seized property, the Commissar plans to deliver BILLIONS of our tax dollars to these developers.

In the real world, when a developer wants property to develop, the current owner is approached, negotiations started, the deal closed (if the current owner is entirely satisfied) and the developers put at risk his own money to proceed with development.

Here, at Willets Point, the taxpayers' money is at risk, but the developer gets the entire profit.

Is this fair? Is this legal? is this at all sensible when there is a worldwide financial crisis?

Remember the impudence of the AIG executives who just recently accepted BILLIONS of our tax dollars and then proceeded to waste it on self-indulgent luxuries.

This is what welfare recipients always do: Spit in the face of those who give them money from the taxpayers' pockets.

Anonymous said...

In this troubled economy the city should be looking to save money not waste it on "developing" Willets Point.

Put in proper infrastructure (like sewers and pavement) and the area will transform itself.

Oh, but that wouldn't please the "little duke" of Wellington (Chen)
and King Michael Bloomberg the 1st!

Anonymous said...

Mayor Bumberg thinks he's really slick when it comes to stealing private property or circumventing democracy by trying to grab himself a 3rd term!

T-Y-R-A-N-T spells TYRANT!

Anonymous said...

I like how certain small projects, like a park at St. Saviour's, were "too expensive" during a time of limited resources, but now that the bottom's falling out of the economy, this is the right time to bulldoze thriving businesses and build a new neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

In the real world, when a developer wants property to develop, the current owner is approached, negotiations started, the deal closed (if the current owner is entirely satisfied) and the developers put at risk his own money to proceed with development

In the real world land is not polluted to the extent that it is in the iron triangle. The government is needed in this case to assemble the parcels and remediate the land so that the area can be developed to the benefit of all New Yorkers.

Anonymous said...

You mean the trace contaminants that were found when the environmental testing was done?

Anonymous said...

If you read the 1991 EDC study which is linked on the WPIRA website (and therefore supported by the landowners) you'd learn that the area is highly contaminated in most areas from decades of illegal dumping and environmental abuses.

Anonymous said...

And of course we should always believe what the government feeds us.

Anonymous said...

Of course we should! That's what good Queens people do!

Anonymous said...

NO one contests the level of contamination at Willets Point.

To think the level of contamination is concocted is simply fantasy land

Anonymous said...

Of course no one contests it because it hasn't been determined yet.

Anonymous said...

Show me the soil sample reports by an independent and unaffiliated third party and then maybe I'll believe you.

Anonymous said...

And if it's contaminated, then isn't it logical that industrial uses should remain there?

Anonymous said...

No I say we should have our taxes raised to pay for this boondoggle and cement Claire's legacy.

Anonymous said...

"REMEDIATE" my f-----g ass!

The government is wastefully spending OUR TAX MONEY to steal land and turn it over to private interests.

This blow job
benefits no one but the chosen developer!

How do New Yorkers reap the benefit from "Wellington Pointe" Evan...
by an increase in our taxes? !!!

Anonymous said...

Again, this area used to be a swamp.

Ever ride a bike through Flushing Meadows?

Do you want your family in a building where the land under it will buckle?

Anonymous said...

what is the difference what source is used for the environmental contamination issues?

whatever source is linked to you will claim they are paid by bloomberg or a puppet of parkside or whatever conspiracy you can think of next.

the issues exist and everyone knows how bad they are. Some people just refuse to come to grips with it.

Anonymous said...

How do New Yorkers reap the benefit ..?

increased services for residents
increased tax base
increased property values
better and more jobs
more housing

Anonymous said...

"increased services for residents" = more crowded trains and buses; drain on electrical and sewer systems; FMCP still looking like shit
"increased tax base" = everyone's taxes are going UP in order to finance this project
"increased property values" = yes, for Wilpon, maybe. Otherwise, it is completely isolated from other neighborhoods and will have no effect on their property values.
"better and more jobs" = yes, a maid at a hotel or a coat checker at the convention center making minimum wage qualify as "better" jobs than the union guys at Tully.
"more housing" = why will we need more housing? Everyone's leaving, haven't you heard? How will more housing benefit me?

Anonymous said...

increased services for residents - schools, shopping, parks

Increased tax base - billions on additionalbtax revenue from hotels, convention center, retail and commercial office space

Increased property values - who wants to live near a polluted dump? Move close to shopping, jobs and entertainment and park land

Better and more jobs - 6000 permanent and 20,000 construction jobs. Permanent jobs better than changing tires and stripping stolen cars

More housing - 6000 units

Be cynical but the advantages can't be denied

Anonymous said...

Sure they can.

"increased services for residents - schools, shopping, parks"

Schools, shopping, parks - for the rich people in the development. Yes, let my money go toward building a school for kids in a new neighborhood before they build them in already overburdened neighborhoods like mine.

"Increased tax base - billions on additionalbtax revenue from hotels, convention center, retail and commercial office space"

Yes, after we spend a decade or more and billions of dollars in acquisition and building costs.

"Increased property values - who wants to live near a polluted dump? Move close to shopping, jobs and entertainment and park land"

No one lives near a polluted dump now. As explained previously, Willets Point is isolated from other residential areas. That's why it is where it is.

"Better and more jobs - 6000 permanent and 20,000 construction jobs. Permanent jobs better than changing tires and stripping stolen cars"

20,000 temporary construction jobs. Wow! What if you're not in construction and don't wish to clean floors?

"More housing - 6000 units"

Yes, that's what Queens needs: MORE LUXURY HOUSING!!!! The housing we have now is standing empty. As more people leave there will be even more housing stock available.

Nope, this ain't worth it.

Anonymous said...

talk about a cynic.

1. the schools, shopping and parks to be created are NOT for the exclusive use of the residents of the future Willets Point.

2. I am glad you agree that the project DOES increae the tax base. But we are not talking about billions of tax payer dollars spent. 400 million is what is allocated and that includes about 150 million for highway modifications. The "Billions" are being spent by the future developer.

3. People live in Flushing and Corona near the Flushing River? This river is heavily polluted chiefly from the run off from Iron Triangle pollutants. The area is NOT isolated. It is surrounded by growing communities and the largest park in NYC.

4. you may call construction jobs insignificant. But the iron workers, plumbers, electricians, finish carpenters, concrete workers and other union workers in the construction trade do not. The 6,000 permanent jobs are NOT "sweeping floors" as you so contend. These are union jobs with benefits rather the majority of the jobs in the iron triangle now.

5. The city needs affordable housing and a continued growth in the housing stock to support the thousands of new residents that the people on this site so fear.

Anonymous said...

Great, we'll be busing kids from other nabes into Willets Point for school. Makes sense. Don't think people from Rockaway will be hanging out at a park in Willets Point too often. Many other neighborhoods desperate for parks and schools turned down, but WHOA-HO! Richie developer makes good. And as for billions being paid by the developer and not by the taxpayer, that's what they promised at Yankee Stadium and Citifield. Those were built in 2-3 years and costs skyrocketed. What do you think will happen in 10 when this is realized?

Can you spell B-O-O-N-D-O-G-G-L-E?

Anonymous said...

EDC stooge: "Affordable housing, blah, blah, blah, job creation, blah, blah, blah."

Put a new record on the victrola already!

Anonymous said...

The Flushing River is contaminated because there are raw sewage pipes that discharge pipes that right into the water. Developing Willets Point has nothing to do with it. Nice try, though.

Anonymous said...

Not only is your first sentence poorly formed it is completely outdated.

Sewage has not been discharged into Flushing River at least since the new sewage treatment plant was finished in 2006.

If you think ground water run off in the iron triangle does not contribute to the contamination of the flushing river you have larger problems than your lack of command of the English language.

Anonymous said...

You really have no idea what the hell you are talking about. Raw sewage is still discharged into Flushing Bay when it rains, as it is in Newtown Creek when it rains. Because the plants can't handle the capacity when there is stormwater.

Anonymous said...

Does this EDC guy think we're that stupid to not notice the shit smell in Flushing after a rainstorm? LOL LOL LOL!!

Queens Crapper said...

Sewage has not been discharged into Flushing River at least since the new sewage treatment plant was finished in 2006.

Here, why don't you educate yourself and the rest of the EDC on this before you make yourself look like a fool later today at the hearing: Why Do CSOs Occur in NYC?

Anonymous said...

Muss and Wilpon are stuck with a junkyard in full view of their pet projects.

You should have thought of that fellas before you built.

Location, location, location!

You violated the sacred law
of real estate.

Now us taxpayers are supposed to clean up your mess for you?

What's my share of the profits?

Issue me some stock certificates in your corporations for my tax money and I might listen to you!

Until that snowy day in hell,
F.U. in spades!

Anonymous said...

Jobs, jobs, jobs!

Temporary construction jobs,
blow jobs, hand jobs, yadda , yadda, etc.

We've heard that
tiresome tune before Evan!

Those kind of promises
never panned out to very much judging by past evidence!

You can find those broken job promises in the corridors of the Twilight Zone!

Let's all camp out on Claire's
front lawn for shape up jobs
after the party's over.

Anonymous said...

You've got an antiquated
3 track system on the #7 line!

If you wanted to build
to this density surely the transit system should have been rebuilt to accommodate this !!! Huh? !!!

How many more people can you move
in those overstuffed sardine cans?

Stop jerkin' our chains!

Oh yes...
John Liu proposes building a new high school near Home Depot to ease overcrowded Flushing High School.

Alan said...

Has anyone else taken note of all of the new housing on the north side of Northern Boulevard? The infrastructure is overtaxed and yet no one speaks out?!?!??!! Why do we need 5,000-6,000 additional units added by the WP project? It just doesn't make any sense, unless your a developer buddy of Doomberg's with stuffed pockets that are in need of further expansion.

Anonymous said...

You are obviously not familiar with the Flushing Creek Combines Sewage Overflow Project which acts as a holding tank for 28 million gallons of storm runoff preventing sewage from entering the Flushing Creek.

Queens Crapper said...

Yes, I am. It's off College Point Blvd. It doesn't prevent all of the sewage from entering the creek, just most of it. Go to Newtown Creek and take a whiff. There's an even larger holding facility there.

Queens Crapper said...

Here's more light reading for you: "The facility will improve water quality and increase dissolved oxygen in Flushing Creek and Flushing Bay. The facility has been designed to provide 100% capture of CSOs for up to a ½ inch (6-week) rainstorm. The annual number of CSO events will be reduced from 120 events to 8 events; the annual CSO capture will be approximately 800 MG."

Flushing Bay Committee

Anonymous said...

so we can agree that sewage overflow is NO LONGER the major cause of pollutants in the Flushing Creek?

what's left? Willets Point and its lack of sewars and ground polluted from 50 years of environmental abuses.

And you CANT just slap in some sewers in the iron triangle, hook it all up to the existing system and solve the problem.

Anonymous said...

No we can't. The Creek is still contaminated with feces and will be well past the day the proposed development is completed.

Anonymous said...

Where are the results of the tests showing the levels of contaminants in the Creek? I am sure e.coli is at the top.

Anonymous said...

I note you have now accepted 4 out of 5 of the reasons to develop Willets Point and are now focused solely on the ridiculous argument that Willets Point is not at all responsible for the pollution of Flushing Creek.

Anonymous said...

Don't know where you got that idea. We are debating one point right now. You lost.

Anonymous said...

Fecal Coliform Bacteria is the least of the conccerns to the cleanliness of the River. remember that the iron triangle has cesspool systems for waste removal so there will naturally be more effluent in the river than if a sewage system was transporting the sewage to a treatment plant. That is another great reason to redevelop the triangle and install a proper sewage system to eliminate the cesspool systems.

BUT the real problem is Solvents, Pesticides, and other non natural toxins that are transported into the river through runoff from the iron triangle.

THe heavy metals, solvents, and other industrial pollutants including petroleum distillates that are dumped into the environment from Willets Point is the real problem that needs correcting by the wholesale redevelopment of Willets Point.