The developers of a mega-mall slated to rise on the parking lot at Citi Field are seeking almost $43 million in tax breaks, but opponents of the project — including many auto body shops in the area — argue they should get no breaks at all.
The city will hold a public hearing on Thursday to evaluate the request for the exemptions for the $3 billion Willets Point redevelopment, which includes the one-million-square-foot mall and housing.
The city plans to sell the 23-acre site near Flushing Meadows-Corona Park for $1 to the Queens Development Group, which is composed of Sterling Equities and Related Companies.
The city’s Industrial Development Agency will decide whether to grant the tax breaks to the group on Tuesday — and there is plenty of opposition. “This whole thing has been a disaster from beginning to end,” said state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside.) “How do you justify (giving) tens of millions of taxpayer money when you’re selling the property to the developers for a dollar?”
Sorry, that $43M is needed for the NYS Pavilion. Take a hike.
The land that the Wilpons' mall will be built on is parkland that was never officially alienated, and is basically being handed over as part of the $1 package deal. The city can point to an outdated Robert Moses contract mentioning the Board of Estimate, but I can see this ending up in court.
Here's Tony Avella's testimony on the matter: