Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Willets Point plan certified by city planning commission
From the Daily News:
The city kicked off its formal review process of the mega development at Willets Point on Monday.
The City Planning Commission certified changes to the zoning for the commercial and retail project near Citi Field, initiating the public debate among stakeholders in the upcoming months.
The Queens Development Group, a joint venture between the Related Cos. and Sterling Equities, will present its plan in the coming weeks to develop 23-acres of the Iron Triangle to Community Board 7, the Queens Borough President’s office and the City Council.
One of the centerpieces of the first phase of development, Willets West, will erect a 1.4 million-square-foot mall on the current Citi Field parking lot.
Which is mapped parkland that can't be developed unless there is a home rule vote by the City Council to alienate it, followed by a vote up in Albany, with compensation for the loss of parkland. (The EDC is trying to say that a 1961 agreement that Robert Moses made with the Mets means that this process is not required, but this argument will be legally debunked.)
One would think that the City would reclaim the land for park use if the Wilpons don't need it for parking anymore. But this is corrupt NYC, so development of every last inch - even where it is forbidden - is encouraged.
Prediction: This will end up in court with the City losing.