Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Willets Point plan nothing like what was promised

From Crains:

Because Willets Point is far from being ready to attract home buyers, builders want to push back the housing component until 2025. They would start by cleaning up a 20-acre swath that needs extensive remediation—greater than the 12.75 acres called for in the request for proposals. Related and Sterling Equities would then build parking lots, a retail strip and a 200-room hotel just to the east of Citi Field along 126th Street.

After that, they would add a new component to the project—an approximately 1 million-square-foot retail and entertainment complex on the parking lots just west of Citi Field. This new piece became possible because the Mets control the lease. Tentatively called “Willets West,” the mall would connect Willets Point and Citi Field to Corona, expanding the scope of the redevelopment and creating thousands more jobs. It serves two main purposes: to make the rest of the project economically viable and to make the desolate area more of a destination before the housing comes in.

Once the mall west of Citi Field is built, the developers would start construction on the housing and additional retail space east of the stadium. The city negotiated a clause in the deal that would force the developers to pay $35 million if they don't break ground on the housing by 2025. The city could also replace the developers at that point.

The city's budget for the project hasn't changed—it still has about $400 million earmarked—but some of that money will be moved around to help the developers with remediation and infrastructure. Economic activity from the initial parts of Related/Sterling project will allow the city to put $65 million into its capital budget for 2020 to build Van Wyck Expressway ramps that are needed for the housing.

The changes virtually ensure that one of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's signature economic development initiatives will not get off the ground before he leaves office. Assuming approvals are granted, the new plan calls for remediation to begin in 2014.


Anonymous said...

Only the Chinese would consider buying a home here.

And by the time 2025 rolls around,
China will be in trouble.

Anonymous said...

Does Sterling Equities have a burial plot set aside for "granny" Shulman in the middle of that mall?

Anonymous said...

Between Flushing Commons
and Willets Point....LOL....on hold....
it looks like TDC is getting hosed!

Maybe Wellington Chen and Mike Meyers can start up a new group in Shanghai
together, "Tu Fuk Yu".

Anonymous said...

So everyone should be happy now, right? No development. No old businesses need to move out. Bloomberg loses (the most important point, right?). And the same shitty area stays shitty for another decade. Hoorah for us! We won! We won!

Anonymous said...

I bet they were promising a good amount of "low income housing as well, right?

Queens Crapper said...

Everyone who values American property rights is happy.

LibertyBoyNYC said...

I'm happy. Anyone with any knowledge of the area knows how remote Willet's Point actually is, so it's not like they're claiming eminent domain to build a hospital. It would be a Starbucks, a TMobile, a Pizzeria Uno, and a TGI Friday's, and maybe a Modell's. But of all that was mentioned, we all know what's going in Willet's Point, it'll be a parking lot for Shea Stadium. I mean Citi Field.