Friday, August 1, 2014
Oral arguments heard in megamall lawsuit
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.