Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Something never discussed: Wilpon's windfall

From the Willets Point Redevelopment Final Environmental Impact Statement, Chapter 2:

The Willets Point Development District is located directly across 126th Street from the new Citi Field currently under construction, as well as Citi Field surface parking lots B and C, located to the south and north of the new stadium, respectively. It is anticipated that if the proposed Plan is approved and the District is redeveloped into a new mixed-use community and regional destination, additional development could occur on Citi Field parking lot B (Lot B) and on Lot D, a surface parking lot south of Roosevelt Avenue that is currently used by commuters, as well as for Mets games and USTA National Tennis Center events. Any program for Lot B or Lot D would be developed as a collaborative effort between the City and Queens Ballpark Company, LLC (“QBC”)—a development entity for the New York Mets—or an affiliate. While specific development plans have not yet been proposed, it is anticipated that approximately 280,000 sf of office and 184,500 sf of retail could potentially be developed on Lot B, and that a five-level parking garage containing approximately 1,543 parking spaces could be developed on Lot D. The Lot B development could include a one-story retail structure and a 10-story office building.

The potential development of Lots B and D would complement Citi Field and the mix of new uses proposed as part of the Willets Point Development Plan, furthering the synergy between Citi Field and the proposed Plan. Figure 2-2 shows the locations of Lots B and D.

As part of the Citi Field development project, Lot B was initially planned to contain approximately 660 parking spaces after construction of the new stadium is completed. Lot B is currently being used as a staging area for construction activities associated with Citi Field, and the parking uses previously at that location have been temporarily relocated to the South Lot, a surface parking area adjacent to Lot D (see Figure 2-2). If Lot B is redeveloped with new office and retail uses, and a new 1,543-space parking structure is constructed on Lot D, this garage would replace the parking uses on Lot B (660 spaces) and Lot D (573 spaces), and provide additional parking to serve the new office and retail uses developed on Lot B (310 spaces).

During construction of the new office, retail, and parking development, the parking uses at Lot B and Lot D would be temporarily relocated to a nearby location.

Both Lot B and Lot D, which are located on property owned by the City, are currently under the jurisdiction of the New York City Industrial Development Agency (NYCIDA) and under lease to QBC, which in turn has entered into a sublease with the New York Mets that grants certain rights with respect to Lots B and D to the Mets. Any future development on Lots B and D would be undertaken by QBC or an affiliate and would require an amendment to the current lease agreement and discretionary approval by the NYCIDA, acting through the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), which administers the NYCIDA lease. These actions would be the subject of a separate environmental review process subject to CEQR.

The Lot B development and associated parking garage on Lot D could be independently developed and are not dependent upon the Willets Point Development Plan. However, because of the proximity of this potential development to the Willets Point Development District, and because additional commercial development on Lot B could enhance the synergy between the Citi Field premises and the proposed Plan, this development would be more likely to occur as a result of the proposed Plan. While each project would require separate actions—each with its own approvals and environmental review processes—together they would add substantial new development to the immediate area. Therefore, in addition to evaluating the proposed Plan’s potential to have environmental impacts, this GEIS has been prepared to incorporate the cumulative impacts of both projects (the Willets Point Development Plan and the potential retail,office and parking development on Lots B and D) under the Probable Impacts of the Proposed Plan. The purpose of this analysis is to ensure that the full extent of potentially required mitigation is identified for any significant adverse impacts.

The cumulative projected maximum development for both the Willets Point Development Plan and the Lot B development is a total of 9,404,500 gsf of new development (see Table 2-3). Each section of this GEIS addresses the environmental effects associated with the Lot B development and associated Lot D parking. For most technical areas in this GEIS, impacts associated with the development programs for Lots B and D are assessed under Probable Impacts of the Proposed Plan, based on the cumulative development scenario presented in Table 2-3. These technical areas include Land Use, Zoning, and Public Policy; Socioeconomic Conditions; Community Facilities and Services; Open Space; Shadows; Historic Resources; Urban Design and Visual Resources; Neighborhood Character; Natural Resources; Hazardous Materials; Waterfront Revitalization Program; Infrastructure, Solid Waste and Sanitation Services; Energy; Traffic and Parking; Transit and Pedestrians; Air Quality; Noise; and Public Health. Since the development program and precise timing of development for Lots B and D are unknown, the construction impacts associated with these properties cannot be addressed in this GEIS. However, given that any future development on Lots B and D would require separate approval and environmental review processes, these impacts would be examined in greater detail as part of any subsequent environmental review process for those properties. The scope of the environmental review would depend on how the specific project design and other future conditions compare with the reasonable worst case scenario analyzed in this GEIS.

This is starting to smell really, really bad. Well, the Wilpons got their just deserts when Madoff ripped them off for $1/2 billion. Now there are rumors about them being forced to sell the team which really stinks this year.

Karma's a bitch.


Anonymous said...

You stay classy, Queens Crapper.

Anonymous said...


A rising dust cloud makes a good smokescreen for concealing underground activity.

It appears that he might very well be the most influential player here...possibly (???) the major link to the far east and who knows what else!

Quiet, diminutive...the darling of Marilyn Bitterman and her whole scurvy CB#7 crew...the "little duke" of Wellington stealthily passes beneath the radar.

Unlike the arrogant in your face sociopath/criminal Tommy Huang (who's forever attracting public attention) Chen goes about his work methodically, efficiently and not noticed.

You'll never know you've already lost your head until it bounces off your shoes!

Anonymous said...

Why do the Mets just get the right to develop the lot? Why isn't there an RFP put out for it?

This reeks.