Plans for a 20,000-square-foot library in Long Island City, Queens, along the East River, are moving ahead in a timely fashion, despite a possible lawsuit involving who should pay for the clean-up of the site.
The state's Queens West Development Corp. said it plans to sue Honeywell International to pay for the $5 million to $10 million clean-up of toxic waste on the three-quarter acre plot at Center Boulevard between 48th Avenue and 47th Drive. The state claims that a Honeywell predecessor firm used the site to make and store roofing materials, and says it will sue because yearlong negotiations with the company have broken down.
"The lawsuit will not impact the timeline for the library. It involves who ultimately will pay for the clean up," said Paul Januszewski, president of Queens West Development Corp., adding that clean up is expected to be completed by next summer. "At this point we are fronting the money and we are on schedule."
"Honeywell takes remediation of sites, for which we are responsible, very seriously," said a Honeywell spokeswoman. "Based on the information available to us, we do not believe our predecessor company ever owned the Queens site or the business, which was closed by 1915. We have cooperated fully and found no evidence."
Earlier this month, Steven Holl Architects was selected to design the new library. The city Department of Design and Construction will build the new facility. A groundbreaking date has not been set. The library has been 12 years in the making, said Donald Dodelson, president of Friends of the Queens Library and Cultural Center at Hunters Point.
Photo from OurLIC.