Willets Point United:
Justice Manuel Mendez, NYS Supreme Court, NY District, has issued his decision to dismiss the lawsuit brought by plaintiffs Sen. Tony Avella, City Club of New York, Queens Civic Congress and others, challenging the plan of Queens Development Group LLC to construct a 1.4 million square foot mega-mall on 40+ acres of Queens parkland.
Justice Mendez concludes that the 1961 authorization to construct Shea Stadium also allows construction of the mega-mall on parkland.
Below is the official statement of John Low-Beer, attorney for plaintiffs, concerning the decision of Justice Manuel Mendez to dismiss the case:
"Plaintiffs believe that the decision misunderstands the common law doctrine that prohibits any nonpark use of parkland without the specific and explicit approval of the State Legislature. The State Legislature, when it passed the 1961 law permitting the construction of Shea Stadium, did not intend to allow construction of a shopping mall. That law did not allow the construction of anything except a stadium and related facilities on the site. Plaintiffs will appeal, and believe that this decision will be reversed on appeal."
The next step in the process is for the de Blasio administration to transfer all of the city-owned properties to the control of the joint venture, which then plans to begin cleaning contaminated soil on the site before eventually constructing the mall and part of the residential component to the east of the home of the New York Mets. However, the development group said the timeline is being kept fluid since the court’s ruling was likely not the final chapter in the legal dispute.