Saturday, November 24, 2007

The third world of Queens

...there are no sewers or side- walks.
“I’ve seen pictures on the news of Baghdad, Third World countries, that have better services,” quipped one local business owner.

Willets Point Plan on the Horizon

In April 2006, Dr. Tom Angotti of the Hunter College Center for Community Planning and Development conducted a land use study of Willets Point that described the area as a “unique business incubator that provides jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities to diverse new immigrant populations.” The study recommended that the city establish a public-private planning partnership in which Willets Point businesses, workers and city agencies would be equal partners in a process that would develop plans that could accommodate existing businesses and promote new commercial and industrial development. “It’s a disgrace the city didn’t come to us first to discuss redeveloping this area—we could have worked together. We want it to change as well, nobody wants the status quo,” said Dan Scully of Tully Construction Co. Inc.

Seems as though Willets Point business owners don't have a "preferred" relationship with City and Borough Halls via the Parkside Group. Read the rest of the press release here.

The Queens Chronicle, however, thinks a private land grab is a great idea: Getting It Right At The Iron Triangle

To have an area like Willets Point even in some far corner of the borough would be embarrassing; allowing it to rust within a stone’s throw of Queens’ revenue-generating landmarks is unthinkable.

Why? The city has no problem keeping the NYS Pavilion exactly the way it is. To have a park like Flushing Meadows even in some far corner of the borough would be embarrassing; allowing it to rust within a stone’s throw of Queens’ revenue-generating landmarks is unthinkable. At least the Willets Point eyesore generates tax revenue and employs people.

Photo from the Queens Chronicle


georgetheatheist said...

I would recommend to the business owners that they dig into the earth at the Iron Triangle. They will probably find the remains of Indians or African slaves. Bingo! They can have the site "protected" from encroaching development.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully, the next Mario Cuomo will rise up and defend the small businesses of Willets Point against the politically-connected developers.

Anonymous said...

The previously posted video here on Queens Crap by the legitimate business owners of Willets Point really hit the nail on the head. Please watch it if you haven't done so yet. It is VERY revealing.

This development plan proposed by Bloomberg, Doctoroff etc. is nothing more than a land grab that would give the mayor's wealthy buddies an opportunity to make even more money at the expense of the important and thriving businesses that already exist on the site. It seems that they really have no place else to go and they provide value goods and services to New York City.

I guess the puppetmasters at the Parkside Group have all the elected representatives tied up in knots over this one. I can only hope that this administration is gone before any damage is done. I pray that the next administration will address the needs of the existing businesses and improve the infrastructure before it is too late. It amazes me that such an issue regarding the potential use of eminent domain has to even be brought up. Also, if the city does take over the properties of these businesses by eminent domain, it will be a horrible precedent for this city's future. What an abuse of power but it is par for the course for our elitist mayor and his cronies.

Anonymous said...

I hear that Herr Bloomberg will be giving an Iron Cross to Frau Shulman for the "wonderful" job she's doing as the "bundsfurher" of Willets Point !

Anonymous said...

In 1995, when the US Supreme Court (Kelo vs. New London) rolled over for corporate America's invasion and theft of personal property, 'human rights' and personal freedoms in this country were dealt a serious and possibly fatal blow.

By that ruling, the justices handed municipalities a formula to decide for themselves who is 'a better' (and richer) class of citizen. In effect, creating a debilitating state of uneasiness in the community while promoting corruption on the local level. In a world that revolves around lobbyists and their ability to 'influence' politicians, this eminent domain ruling affords that formula to the mega developers and their close friends.

Mayor Bloomberg and Clare Shulman have DECLARED Willets Point will be an 'invasion' they will win. For 40 years NYC (and specifically Ms. Shulman) has purposely and methodically starved the patient and now threatens to pull out the IV.

In the bigger picture, anyone, anywhere can be "run off their property" if some builder proposes a plan to a local politician that (in essence) says: "we can all make a bundle, all you have to do is use eminent domain and get THOSE PEOPLE out"!

The founding fathers are turning in their graves!