Monday, April 27, 2009

Flushing Airport a de facto nature preserve

From the NY Times:

A homeless man named Marty who said he grew up in College Point and twice flew out of the airport in his youth watched the geese swoop past and rattled off a list of birds he has seen there: hawks, kingfishers, an eagle and even an albino pheasant.

“The brackish water is a big part of this, to have such a variety of life,” he said, standing next to a large hole in the chain-link fence that surrounds the property.

Nature has thrived on the site since the airport’s closing. Proposals have been floated to use it for a heliport, a warehouse, batting cages, driving ranges, even a blimp port, echoing the site’s use as a docking station for Goodyear blimps in the 1960s and ’70s. None of the ideas amounted to anything, and the property remained closed. But this could change.

In the opinion of Marty, who has cultivated an interest in bird-watching, any reuse of the site, even as a park, would be troublesome. “I’m not worried about the cost; I’m worried about the animals,” he said. Then, glancing quickly skyward, he added: “Look, look, look! There goes a crane over there! They eat frogs, rats.”


Mr. Angry said...

5 years ago Bloomberg said he had a deal to redevelop the land and it would create 400 jobs.

That was in 2004. Today, the land is still vacant.

Bloomberg and his failed development deals. It's amazing how the press really has connected the dots when it comes to his clear pattern of failure.

Anonymous said...

Leave the land alone.........this whole "creation of joBs" thing is BS. They are either temporary jobs that disappear after a project or barely over minimum wage.

Anonymous said...

Great. Another bird sancutary near the flightpath of a major airport.

Now why is this a problem?

Anonymous said...

Maybe we shouldn't build airports near nature preserves.

Anonymous said...

Toss an alligator in there and maybe he'll eat Toby!

Imagine the case of indigestion a Stavisky would give to that poor reptile!

Anonymous said...


Don't allow it to fall into the hands of one of John Liu's shady friends.

I'm sure his boys already have designs on it!

Anonymous said...

That's not in the flight path of La Guardia, I believe!

Anonymous said...

That's not in the flight path of La Guardia, I believe!

oh ... ok .... just tell that to the birds.


Alan said...

As I look out my window, I see the north end of the field overgrown with large trees that were not there a decade ago when I proposed the blimp port project. I fear that city officials still have their eye on developing a commercial project on that site unless the community gets the approval for passive recreation.

The developable area is right in the midst of protected wetlands and I cannot see how any large scale buildings and traffic will be allowed. However, we are talking about the Bloomturd administration and anything is possible.

I have written before about the abundance of wildlife and how I felt like I was working in a zoo without cages back in the 60's through the 80's while working on the Goodyear blimp crew.

I worked closely with CB#7 and the area's elected officials when I made the blimp port proposal and they and their representatives met with me and my team many times. Here's the rub. When the RFP was issued 6 years ago (coincidentally on April 28th), I was not informed that the process had begun. Many other developers who actually did respond felt cheated when the mayor announced the warehousing project.

The surrounding communities are concerned about traffic which is unacceptable now but with the prospect of the Willets Point businesses being moved here, along with the police academy and other projects, the area will be choked off.

Therefore, I believe that limited activities preserving the natural environment would be best put in place now before the mayor and his EDC cronies do something sneaky...and against the community's wishes.

Anonymous said...

They can't just let it be.

In the eyes of greedy rapacious developers this feast of Nature
is viewed merely as underutilized land.

They're drooling at the prospect of building all over it!

Just ask John Liu!

Anonymous said...

There are no permanent jobs to be created here.

Only the hand jobs being offered by the Stavisky/Liu team of liars!

Alan said...

I find the last comments to be interesting. The property actually lies in the city council district of Tony Avella (for mayor!!!) and State Senator Frank Padavan. Isn't it interesting that the names Liu and Stavisky are being brought up?

As I recall, it wasn't Avella who stood next to Turdberg but John Liu when the warehousing project for the property was announced. Check out the photo and accompanying article that appeared in the Queens Tribune:

Avella has been actively fighting any redevelopment plans that would bring a lot of commercial activity to the property. The truth is that Liu and Stavisky would sell out their constituents in the blink of an eye without regards to consequences.

I live just across the Whitestone Expressway from the corporate park. My neighbors and I do not want to see projects that will add to the traffic. It is just as impactful to this neighborhood as it is to those living in Whitestone and College Point. Unfortunately, we are represented by Liu and Stavisky! Oh the inhumanity!

Alan said...

The link got lost. In order to deal with the missing link, I split the address so you will have to copy and paste it back together to see the article. Sorry for the inconvenience but it is worth checking out:


Anonymous said...

From the article---"The site has long been vacant, and was once home to Flushing Airport, an entity that opened in 1927 but closed after the opening of LaGuardia Airport in 1939."

Great reporting...NOT!!!!!! The airport was shut by the Beame administration in the early 80's. The Queens tribune strikes again!

Steve Behar said...

EDC has been promising for months to leave the Flushing Airport site alone or develop "light recreation." Recently EDC did an about face and stated that they are "analyzing" 25 acres of the airport site. Something is up here!