Monday, December 1, 2008

Plan to keep Flushing Airport green

Two lifelong northern Queens residents are pushing a new vision for the long−abandoned Flushing Airport, and if they get their way, the future of the College Point site will be very green.

Historic Districts Council President and urban planner Paul Graziano and marine biologist James Cervino met with members of the city Economic Development Corp. last week to brief the agency on plans to identify a developer that would transform the 26 acres of developable property at Flushing Airport into a light recreation facility.

“We want to find someone that not only has a green thumb but has vision,” Cervino said. “We want something that empowers College Point, something that gives back to the community.”

Graziano and Cervino are hoping to find a developer who could put between $50 million and $75 million toward a recreation facility that could include baseball fields, a driving range, an education center and nature trails all designed within an environmentally sustainable framework.

“We see this as having the potential to be a model for green development,” Graziano said.

Cervino said the pair has been in talks with “a few” interested parties who would work closely with them to create something both profitable and that fits the needs of the community and local ecosystem.


Abandoned Flushing Airport sees plan for recreation center

59 comments:

dp said...

Something like 'Adventures Inn', but with a focus on the ecological system.

That's a beautiful idea considering how industrialized College Point was formerly.

Anonymous said...

Excellent idea! Why don't our elected officials ever think of environmental projects like this?
They are more concerned about overdevelopment and destruction of our neighborhoods in order to line their pockets.

Anonymous said...

Admirable - until Bloomberg gets his mitts on this developable property - how about a soccer stadium boys and girls?

Alan said...

I wish James and Paul the best of luck. The site has had a special place in my heart since my early childhood. I remember watching the various aircraft taking off and landing, especially the WWII skytypers.

My feelings really changed in the mid-60's when two Goodyear blimps started to use Flushing Airport as a base of operations for the NY World's Fair. I found my passion and began spending a lot of time with the pilots and crew of both airships. I am still in touch with some of these people.

The thrill of being near the unique flying behemoths was overwhelming. One of my most vivid memories of the field, however, was when I would wander off with my friend Lou when the blimps were in the air. It was like being in a zoo without cages!

I remember seeing rabbits, snakes, frogs, and other animals that I could not identify at the time. I couldn't believe that I was so close to nature in the middle of one of the biggest cities in the world! I also stumbled upon a natural geyser that was located near the large yellow wind direction indicator.

I would love for others, both young and old, to have the same opportunities to see what a unique treasure such a natural piece of land can offer. And I wouldn't mind an aviation-themed miniature golf course recognizing the aviation heritage of the property, as well as a historic center featuring the history of aviation in New York City. Does anyone remember Holmes Field? I'm just sayin'...

Frank said...

While I would much prefer that to a shopping mall or "luxury housing" what's wrong with just leaving this property as is? I don't understand this drive to develop every square inch of land on earth.

DP: You say that CP was industrialized. I grew up in College Point and remember this area before Waldbaums and the other stores were built across the street on 20th avenue. This area was wild and it was pretty amazing. You had the abandoned airport with hangers intact and animals wandering in the swamp. Not to poopoo your valid opinion but I find that much more interesting that this idea.

Anonymous said...

arent there enough recreation destinations already?

Flushing Meadows park is a stones throw from here..

Alan said...

Frank,

I share your vision but the reality is that the EDC has identified several acres of developable property within the designated wetlands. As I write this, the old airport road is being reconstructed and I am sure that there are some developers drooling at the possibility of getting their greedy hands on this acreage for something that the community would not like.

This plan would maintain as much green space as possible and keep the type of development that we all fear from becoming a reality. Both of these gentlemen represent the community's interest as I have personally observed them advocate for the environment at every opportunity provided to them.

One of the best examples that I can think of is how James and Paul made sure that the NY Times printing plant expansion was in compliance with environmental laws and procedures, specifically when it came to the area that borders the former airport property.

Personally, I am grateful that there are people paying attention to this environmentally sensitive area. I just do not want to see it end up in the hands of one of Mayor Doomberg's buddies who will certainly not comply with the wishes of the people of North Queens communities. Several rallies were held a few years ago and the people clearly indicated their desire for passive recreational activities. Haven't we had more than our fair share of overdevelopment already?

Queens Crapper said...

You can never have enough green in a polluted city. And let's not forget 1 million more people are coming!

Anonymous said...

withone million more people coming what beter place to build something that can service these people?

not more unproductive parkland and recreation areas -- of which there are plenty in the area.

Anonymous said...

Read this passage again: "create something both profitable and that fits the needs of the community and local ecosystem."

It will be productive (and make money, too).

Anonymous said...

the only thing revenue generating that was suggested is a driving range which is a colossal waste of resources.

Anonymous said...

Everything listed there can be charged for.

Alan said...

I can't believe that some people actually feel that developing the site for other uses than the ones being suggested are appropriate. This property is part of a very fragile ecosystem and potential contamination from a big project could be catastrophic. There are glacial aquifers and an underground waterway that goes from north Queens down to Jamaica Bay beneath the surface of the former airport property.

Greedy developers have already taken over College Point and other surrounding communities and they create excessive traffic and pollution. As of now, the property has not generated income for decades and so any project that benefits NYC both fiscally and physically would be better than what currently exists.

Alan said...

And I'm not just a dreamer. I would propose a tethered balloon ride that can handle about 25 passengers at a time. This was a temporary ride in Central Park a few months ago and there is one at the Philadelphia Zoo. These generate a fair amount of income and the views from the field of the Manhattan Skyline and the Long Island Sound are excellent. This would take up very little space and not cause harm to the environment. It is also in keeping with the aviation heritage of the old Flushing Airport.

Anonymous said...

Old business before new:

A portion of this property ought to be allocated to the Willets Point automotive businesses, which require a relocation site. This area is close enough to Willets Point that the businesses will likely survive relocation to this place. Moreover, the site is large enough that the needs of the Willets Point businesses can be met without significantly impacting other plans for the area. Light recreation is nice, but 100 percent of such a large area does not need to be dedicated to it, especially when there are other more urgent uses.

Anonymous said...

There are no more urgent uses than protecting our environment. This place is pretty unspoiled, as is the Ridgewood Reservoir. Let's keep them that way.

-Joe said...

I remember watching small Biplanes in front of "Speeds" there As well as all the wildlife like the Ridgewood reserver had.

I was told the airport could never reopen (aside possible use for blimps)

It built was atop wetlands and a swamp over 80 years ago. It has slowly subsided back into "wetlands"

Its not possible to use a good 75% for industrial nor housing.


-Joe

give it up edc said...

Old business before new:

A portion of this property ought to be allocated to the Willets Point automotive businesses, which require a relocation site. This area is close enough to Willets Point that the businesses will likely survive relocation to this place. Moreover, the site is large enough that the needs of the Willets Point businesses can be met without significantly impacting other plans for the area. Light recreation is nice, but 100 percent of such a large area does not need to be dedicated to it, especially when there are other more urgent uses.

Monday, December 01, 2008

the edc is in the house - could it be mr lambino? get a life you already screwed the people at willets point now you want to be savior? another claire shulman

mr edc go home said...

hey mr edc why didn't you move tully and the 3 musketeers there istead of giving them a golden parachute, i guess the plan wasn't going thru and your buddy hiram and mr edc figured we better give to the rich and kill the poor. go back and earn our tax dollars and keep you opinions to yourslf, tell seth to give back the tix he extorted too

$eth pin$ky said...

seth pinsky is a pussy a want to be tuff guy as-hole seth you will rot in hell for all your wrongdoings , how you screwed the people of the city on yankee tickets for your own use. hey remember the quote if they got then we should too?who do you think you are? use that quote for the other willets point businesses you screwed-- if the 3 musketeers got it then they should get it, whats fair is fair right seth? pinky

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Everything listed there can be charged for.


how do you charge for nature trails, a ball field and an education center?


Graziano and Cervino are hoping to find a developer who could put between $50 million and $75 million toward a recreation facility that could include baseball fields, a driving range, an education center and nature trails all designed within an environmentally sustainable framework.

Queens Crapper said...

"how do you charge for nature trails, a ball field and an education center?"

Admission, permits, programs.

You must not get out much.

Anonymous said...

admissions, permits and programs??

Can you be more specific??

What public ball fields or nature trails require permits or admissions fees?

What "programs" would apply they generate sifficents revenue to offset expense??

Please enlighten us

Queens Crapper said...

§2-09 Use of Fields and Courts

You can host events, allow catering, children's birthday parties, charge for photography, sell merchandise, vend food, nature trips, camping. Check out some of the events parks charges for. Like this one. The ballon ride was another good example.

If the City has vision, they can do it.

Anonymous said...

All those events take place In flushing meadows which is a short distance from the flushing airport site

Why would you need to duplicate service that already exist in the largest park in the city just a short distance away??

Anonymous said...

Because it would raise even more money.

Anonymous said...

Why do we need a convention center at Willets Point when we will have 4 others in the borough plus the Javits Center?

Carlos Gonzalez said...

Why should they build the same thing at College Point? Because they messed it up the first time at Flushing Meadows.

Carlos Gonzalez said...

They're going to mess up Willets Point, too, so why not just leave the businesses there instead of moving them to a fragile habitat? These are the same businesses that EDC claims polluted the Flushing Creek, so don't they believe they'll do the same here? Really dumb idea.

Anonymous said...

calos, why didn't you use your real name? biggie smalls get a life you toby stavinsky-parkside as-kisser

biggie carlos said...

biggie smalls is online

Anonymous said...

keep guessing which post is the real biggie you clowns..

the forces are multiplying..


shout out to brooklyn y'all.

Anonymous said...

so there is endless demand for mexican circuses, holiday markets and fitness walks?


If the City has vision, they can do it.

looks like from your links the city HAS vision and IS doing it..

just a few miles from Flushing Airport in the largest park in the city that is about to receive a multi million dollar makeover.

Anonymous said...

Why would Biggie be commenting on this thread. He only cares about WP.

Anonymous said...

Multi-million dollar makeover my ass.

Where are the nature trails at Flushing Meadows? The EDC clowns will always come up with a reason to develop a piece of green space into something monstrous and ugly.

Anonymous said...

Multi-million dollar makeover? What brand of crack you been smoking, Carlos? THE CITY HAS NO MONEY. THE CITY IS IN DEBT. If the City were going to spend money on a milti-million dollar makeover, you'd think it would have been in 2005.

Anonymous said...

Where are the nature trails at Flushing Meadows?

ever hear of meadow and Willow lake?

some of the most beautiful nature trails anywhere. hopefully they will reopen them with the rehab of Flushing meadow

Anonymous said...

Where are the accessible nature trails in Flushing Meadow Park? And Flushing Airport has more diverse habitat and draws in more wildlife than FMCP.

Anonymous said...

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/queens/2008/11/16/2008-11-16_sweeping_makeover_for_flushing_meadowsco.html

Sweeping makeover for Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

Monday, November 17th 2008, 2:45 AM

A turtle and a duck are seen at
City parks officials are poised to unveil a sweeping new blueprint for Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

Much like WP will never get built, FMCP will never be rehabbed. I will take a bigger person than Michael R. Bloomberg to accomplish that.

Queens Crapper said...

Yes that was posted on this blog already. If the Mayor had intended to do this, he would have started in his first year or two and seen it to completion towards the end of his run. Not talk about it now and leave it for the next mayor to handle.

Anonymous said...

A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.

Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)

Queens Crapper said...

Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist.

George Carlin (1937-2008)

Anonymous said...

There is nothing so pitiful as a young cynic because he has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing.

Maya Angelou,

Anonymous said...

It is a wholesome and necessary
thing for us to turn again to the
earth and in the contemplation
of her beauties to know
the sense of wonder and humility.

Rachel Carson

Anonymous said...

Turning Flushing airport into a "green" recreation area??? I thought we needed all kinds of affordable housing? Why not build a new neighborhood there instead?

Alan said...

"Turning Flushing airport into a "green" recreation area??? I thought we needed all kinds of affordable housing? Why not build a new neighborhood there instead?"

A new neighborhood? You need to have your head examined! The entire community of College Point has rallied against any new development on the site specifically because of traffic generated by the corporate park and the 20th Avenue shopping area. There is no more room to put people or vehicles! In addition, the proposed development at Willets Point will further exacerbate the traffic congestion that takes place daily on the Whitestone Expressway.

A green proposal is the best way to use the site without causing further stress to the area. The facilities at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park are inadequate at best and most of the fields and facilities are overcrowded as it is. Preserving green space now is an investment in the city's future just as much as having more buildings and an influx of people.

Anonymous said...

There is no more room to put people or vehicles!
----

what a silly thought

Alan said...

"what a silly thought"

From a mindless, anonymous contributor who has no sense of the reality of what people who live in the area have to put up with...on both sides of the Whitestone Expressway.

Anonymous said...

you live in a CITY Fool.. there are people around.

Name one time anywhere were a City has ever said.. there's no room for more people so lets just shut everything down and hopefully the new people will go somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

Hey Alan - If you dont like it here get in your Blimp and leave.

Alan said...

"Hey Alan - If you dont like it here get in your Blimp and leave.'

What's the matter? Are my posts upsetting you? Does the truth hurt? There is such a thing as overdevelopment. Where have I heard that before? Oh yeah, that's why caring people actually take the time to create and maintain weblogs such as Queens Crap. I live in the area that would be impacted by any project placed at Flushing Airport and therefore have a vested interest in the future of the property.

It is good to know that when people speak the truth, it gets under the skin of people who would pave over the entire city if they could just to put a few extra bucks in their pockets. I'll take a blimp ride as soon as you fill it up with the hot air that spews from your lips.

Anonymous said...

your assinine nonsensical posts donmt are not capable of upsetting me.

Stay in your projects and dream of your blimps which will never happen in this city.

Alan said...

At least my grammar and spelling are correct and my facts are true. What is your excuse? I am sure that the thousands of people who live in coops, especially in north Queens, appreciate that you think we live in "projects". And it really shows that you are paying attention as I have already stated previously that I am not pursuing airship projects in NYC at this time. Did your parents have any children who were not born brain dead? Still want to get personal? Oh right. You're too scared to identify yourself. I think that you may also have a credibility issue.

Anonymous said...

Wait a sec, these morons are claiming that wasting all this land on a few soccer fields is "green developement", while they were opposed to the Korean distribution center? And these clowns call themselves "environmentalists"??

That center was a million times greener. The point was to keep those jobs in the city instead of having them move to the suburbs and Sunbelt. Obviously you are preserving FAR more green space by reusing land in Queens than building on exurban land in suburban Atlanta.

Alan said...

How dare you call James and Paul morons? What do you know about the testing that they have conducted at the site (with the city's permission) or how the north Queens communities would be impacted by that addition to the College Point Corporate Park? To suggest "That center was a million times greener" without having any facts to back that up is quite ludicrous. It seems that the pro-development people who contribute to this site choose to remain anonymous so that there embarassingly nonsensical statements cannot be traced back to the source. Keeping jobs in the city is important but a fair and balanced distribution is warranted. I see the traffic on the Whitestone Expressway daily and the warehousing center that you advocate would have only caused further congestion. Other projects such as the police academy planned for the corporate park have not even opened yet! I suggest that before you call people who have demonstrated expertise morons, you ought to get your own house in order.

siggy said...

It's about time someone is trying to do something right in College Point. So many beautiful old mansions which should have been designated historic landmarks have been bulldozed to make way for multi-family brick dwellings. I remember taking a ride on a small airplane out of Flushing airport. The aiport closed many years ago and mother nature is slowly taking it back, ie., marshlands.
PS dp: I grew in up in College Point and was hardly industrialized.
PPS "anonymous": NO there will never be enough recreational/nature destinations especially in CP where all the money hungry developers have eradicated so many historic landmarks.

james Cervino said...

FOR THE RECORD BY DR. JAMES M CERVINO

1) We never intend to create a plan that allows a charge for nature trail hiking, birding walks and educational environmental lectures in the redevelopment of the Flushing "Speeds Airport" in CP.

2) Our vision falls under the theme of habitat protection first, followed by the implementation of a proposal that is economically & financially beneficial for NY City and NE Queens using an "environmentally sustainable development plan" that incorporates solar and wind energy as a source of power.

3) A Top Notch environmental clean-up involving myself, other scientists and environmentally credible engineers.

4) A "give back plan" to encourage educational outreach for all grades of students, senior citizens, local youth sports teams and historic preservation awareness.

In-conclusion: if we don't protect this very sensitive ecosystem, called the "Flushing Speeds Airport" , we will see it un-sustainably developed in the future. We, Paul & I, are implementing a plan that provides a good financial gain for the city, the community WHILE PROTECTING THE WETLANDS AND AQUIFER.

Thank You-
DR. James M. Cervino
jcervino@whoi.edu
jcervino@pace.edu

Alden said...

Sad to see the few remnants of the field go away. Growing up in the neighborhood and being a commercial pilot today, it will be missed.