Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Expanded Willets Plan to end committee review
Tonight, Queens Community Board 7 will hold what is expected to be its final committee meeting on the proposed Willets West mall / Willets Point Phase One development, prior to its public hearing next Monday night.
The proposal now under review involves both the controversial 1.4 million square foot "Willets West" mall, to be built on 30+ acres of mapped parkland located west of Citi Field, and also development of a first phase of Willets Point property, consisting of 23 acres out of the entire 62 acre Willets Point site.
When the Willets Point development was first presented to decision-makers during 2008, the project team and City officials emphasized that the entire 62 acre site needed to be taken over and remediated comprehensively, because of concerns of cross-contamination.
Decision-makers were told that partial remediation of the site is impractical. CB7 Vice Chair Chuck Apelian told the City Planning Commission, "The site MUST be remediated as one complete site" because of potential cross-contamination. Helen Marshall testified, "The entire development project MUST proceed comprehensively and NOT be phased in".
And yet, Sterling Equities and Related Companies don't seem to find it the least bit impractical, to develop just one phase of Willets Point.
Here is a video compilation, showing the project team, City officials, and decision-makers insisting that Willets Point must be remediated and developed comprehensively – contrary to the current plan.