Saturday, December 22, 2007

Willets Point questions

Letter to the editor (Queens Courier):

The refusal of The New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and its president, Robert Lieber, to select a developer and to make public the specific details of the Willets Point proposal, well in advance of any ULURP process, is an example of bureaucratic arrogance, indifference to the public’s interests, and suggests one should question the credibility of anything he says. (Willets Point hearing raises concerns - The Queens Courier, December 6-12). If Lieber wants to redeem any credibility, he should well in advance of any ULURP process publicly answer the following:

l. The name of the developer, and if there isn’t one now, why can’t there be a hold on the proposal until there is one?

2. Of the purported 5,000 housing units, how many will be luxury, middle class, low rent and subsidized housing?

3. Given the fact that the taxpayers of this city and state are committed to spending $1.4 billion and possibly, close to $2 billion to enlarge the Javits Convention Center, what is the purpose of a 400,000 square foot convention center in Willets Point? Moreover, while they are at it, is EDC familiar with an article that appeared in the Metro Section of The New York Times on January 18, 2005 citing a Brookings Institution report finding there exists a glut in convention space throughout the country. Included in that report was the following: “In an environment where every major center around the country is sharply reducing rental rates or giving space away and throwing in incentives, the likelihood of a (center) succeeding is remarkably dim.”

If I were to describe a convention center in Willets Point as being a foolish idea, I could be accused of being too generous.

4. In the Flushing and LaGuardia Airport area, there exist many hotels. What is the point of a 700-room hotel?

5. How much money directly and indirectly will the taxpayers of this city and state contribute to the overall cost of the proposed development and include in that figure inflation and cost over runs?

6. Given the fact there are about 225 businesses in the area with about 1,300 workers currently employed, making it an economically viable area, what is the legal basis of threat to utilize eminent domain?

7. Why would upscale retail shops serve any greater public need and interest than the businesses currently there?

8. Since the proposal would require the city to install streets and sewers, something they should have done years ago, why can’t that be done and the current businesses remain?

9. Are we dealing with a legitimate public need, or is this a public rip off on a grand scale?

Benjamin M. Haber


Anonymous said...

Way to go, Ben! That was very well put.

Anonymous said...

another great letter SABERtooth HABER! ;) Keep 'em coming.

Anonymous said...

1. - Irrelevant.
2. - Who cares? We live in a free country and this is not an affordable housing issue.
3. - You may have a good point, but I am sure there is research that contradicts the NY Times.
4. - You can't compare this to an airport hotel. A hotel here would accomodate business and residents in this area much better.
5. - I thought estimates have been stated.
6. - The area is as blighted as they come. It is filthy and it stinks.
7. - You have to be kidding. With the Mets games, US Open and the park directly next to this site, retail businesses would bring exponentially more economic benefits and jobs to Queens, and it would make the area a desirable place to visit, work and live, rather than the mess that it is now.
8. - If taxpayer money is going to be spent on infrastructure, it is only prudent to maximize the benefit of the money spent.
9. - The vast majority of the public would prefer the clean-up and development of Willets Point to it current filthy condition.

Queens Crapper said...

Evan's in the house.

Anonymous said...

Who's funding Claire and Evan's Willets Point Flushing Corona Local Development Corporation? Where is the money coming from?

Anonymous said...

These suit and tie MOFO's have to leave our junkyards ALONE. This is a ploy to force people to go to dealors for repairs or buy new cars every 5 years.

Bush is about to sign a law to make new cars 35MPG the first batch will likely be lemons.
You can’t trust the Detroit suits and all the 3rd world sub-contractors they use !!!

Next there going to mess with the NYS emissions inspections. Im all for "Green" but not when ZOG $uits and not engineers are at the Helm

georgetheatheist said...

Hey Joe, "ZOG" suits?...ZOG = "Zionist Occupation Government"...An anti-Israeli sentiment here. Whats the connect?

verdi said...

All of the details are on a roll of microfilm.

If any of you stout souls out there
is brave enough to retrieve that capsule
from Claire Shulman's ass....

I'll personally recommend you
for the distinguished service cross!

Anonymous said...

They ought to throw Claire & Evan into Gitmo
and grill 'em.....or whatever they do so well there. about the creation of a "Devil's Island"
style prison camp....
solely for corrupt and thieving political types
and their minions?

parnell said...

This is their dumbest idea yet.
I don't think there is any other city in America where the government is run by such greedy pigs that they would try to make money seizing land by eminent domain to build high rise buildings directly in the path of a major airport takeoff runway, one where there have been a series of fatal crashes. Bloomberg should consult with Adrian Benepe about his "moral obligation" to all the young children who will be living in those towers.

Anonymous said...

These MOFO's want to put a 700-room hotel so they can clam "hardship" when they can’t fill it up.
It then becomes Miracle mile shopping & residential space for millionares like they did in Westbury, Manhasset and Garden City.
Who do they think there kidding !
The FAA is cutting 30% of the flights to LGA and those hotels are not full as it is now.
Why the F*** is Bloomberg, Chertoff and the rest of the ZOG planting trees in Israel as Queens’s natives are ignored, raped, terrorized & driven off there land by run a-muck un supervised builders and real estate people.

All these currupt "Iceholes" and there Israeli friends need to be lined up and executed for deprival domestic tranquility as per the US Constitution.


Anonymous said...

Like the flower district (now gone) and the diamond district, Chinatown and Flushing old fashion and unusual public uses of space that don't fit the mall-plan-cookie-cutter format of the rest of the country add lots of flavor and unique efficiency to NYC. Not to have these unusual commercial venues is a net loss for what made the city great.

Anonymous said...

Errr, Joe. Instead of focusing on global issues and city-wide concerns perhaps you might want to focus on more immediate things.

Are you gainfully employed? Do you have a signifigant other? Kids? A decent place to live? Judging by the amount of hostility and anger you display I'd suppose not.

I was once there myself. Having been fired from my job and unable to find another stable one for close to a year, I lashed out at everyone and everything, even getting into a few actual fist fights, which was pretty pathetic being that I was close to 30 years old at the time.

So hang in there, bud. Things will look up soon, usually when you're just about to toss in the towel and call it quits, as happened to me.

Anonymous said...

Two words: Zimbabwe & Mugabe.

Anonymous said...

Thats it. Go after the taxes that are supporting them.

Cut them off at the knees.

That is the only way Bloomsburg's Blitzkrieg can be stopped.