Friday, August 1, 2014

Oral arguments heard in megamall lawsuit


From WPIX:

New York State Supreme Court Judge Manuel Mendez will rule shortly on a coalition of Queens community group’s lawsuit to block the development of the Willets West Mega Mall.

“We don’t want another mall. We need parks for kids,” Darryl Steckler, a Holliswood resident told PIX 11.

Many Met fans going into the game say they’ve heard enough about the proposed Willets West megamall in the shadow of Citifield to know they don’t like it.

“There are enough malls around here. We don’t need another place to buy shoes,” Jennifer Quinn said.

The proposed 1.4 million square-foot mall to be developed by Sterling Equities, the owner of the New York Mets and the Related companies would replace the auto-body shops and build on more than 47 acres of Queens Parkland, currently part of Citifield parking lot. The area has been the scene of numerous protests over the last seven years.

Opponents of the proposed mega-mall argued in New York State Supreme Court against what they called the “give-away” of parkland without the required approval of both the New York state legislature and the city’s uniform land use review commission.

“You have five malls already in Queens and they are not doing well,” State Senator Tony Avella told PIX11. “Why do we need another one?”


Outside the courthouse after oral argument. Visible (left to right): Harbachan Singh, Queens Civic Congress; Irene Prestigiacomo, Willets Point United; NYS Senator Tony Avella; Joseph Ardizzone, Willets Point United; Michael Gruen, City Club of New York; John Low-Beer, plaintiffs' attorney; Phil Konigsberg, Queens Community Board 7; Ben Haber, activist/plaintiff; Len Maniace, Jackson Heights Beautification Group. Copyright 2014 LoScalzo Media Design LLC.

17 comments:

Alan said...

Where's the "like" button???

Anonymous said...

We really don't need anymore Parks or Any more malls. We need more deportation to free up some housing in this city and we need money to maintain our infrastructures. Let's start there first then maybe we could figure out what to do with this extra room. Let's get our priorities straight first.

Anonymous said...

Nobody goes to malls anymore. We shop online. This has been the growing trend for the last 5 years! WHY BUILD A MALL?

Anonymous said...

The city knows what it's doing. When the mall fails they can convert it to a homeless shelter. They will have more homeless than shoppers by then.

Anonymous said...

That's why we need Tony.

He's the ONLY politician with the balls to stand up to these freaks!

Anonymous said...

How about build a mega homeless shelter?

Anonymous said...

How about a mega homeless shelter and raise everyone's taxes to operate it.

Anonymous said...

Is Judge Mendez a party hack, or is he independent?

Anonymous said...

Online anon? E-commerce was 6.2% of retail sales in Q1 2014. A record high.

The mall glut around the country is because malls were built that were marginal when people were able to borrow a hundred thousand dollars because their home price was inflated. They became obviously a bad idea as soon as the bubble burst.

Scott68 said...

Regardless of the economy, over development of any area is a concern.

Private investment developers are concerned solely about their bottom line. Whether we like it or not, we rely on the private sector to give us what the city/state/federal government would never provide.

That area has been a derelict area since I'm a kid, the businesses were under the radar for a long time.

Long term, low rents are eventually disrupted.

What are some counter ideas for that area? We don't need more low income housing, an empty park are that WILL not be maintained as we know, not. So what should be there?

Queens Crapper said...

You don't seem to understand that the part of the project being challenged is in the park itself and not in Willets Point. So the area has not been derelict since you were a kid. It had a stadium in it.

Anonymous said...

Shea was a dump too crappy.

Anonymous said...

It's a freaking shell game.Coupons get free land (park and junkyard) to make money developing regardless of whether the crap built makes or loses money, with our taxes funding the corporate welfare which pays for the crap that ends up as a mega homeless shelter.

Scott68 said...

True, but honestly, the argument of utilization of parkland is the last legal leg to stand on so the whole project can be shut down.

So all the junk yards leaving is fine, but the real issue is the parkland?

I've seen the maps, the parkland in question was almost never used, now let's cry for it?

The opposition is against the whole thing, but legally they chose to use the parkland debate.

Queens Crapper said...

Rules are rules.

ron s said...

The idea here is that the original agreement states that the Shea parkland could only be used as parkland or for the exceptional use by Shea for a parking area. All other uses are excluded, including giving it away to a developer to put in useless stores.
Is it so hard to see that you shouldn't give parkland away to be made into a mall? Does anyone see a bad precedent here? Does anyone see that Queens is again being screwed by developers who laugh at regulations in order to take our parkland and profit from it? This is really a no-brainer. Why there is even a counter discussion here is amazing (and not in a good way...)

JQ said...

the point these developer types like to bring up is job creation.Never mind that when the auto shops were there,they obliterated hundreds of jobs.Those shops also provided an essential service,car repair and maintenance.While malls just provide junk food and overpriced brand clothing.