Borough President Katz will host a meeting of the Queens Borough Board on Monday, Dec. 1, at 5:30 p.m. at Queens Borough Hall to discuss large-scale real estate development of Queens.
Scheduled to be discussed during the meeting is an agenda item titled, "Planning for the Future of Queens – an Update on Strategic Initiatives." Carl Weisbrod, a director of the New York City Department of City Planning and Chairman of the New York City Planning Commission, is expected to address the meeting, according to the Borough President Katz's media advisory.
The Queens Borough Board meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. Monday evening, and the meeting will take place in the Borough President’s Conference Room of Queens Borough Hall, 120-55 Queens Boulevard, 2nd Floor.
Queens finds itself in the cross-hairs of real estate developers and government officials for major development, none of which fully addresses the need for the creation of large-scale stock of affordable housing. Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-New York City) announced that the city would target Flushing, Queens, for zone-busting development, and the city's Economic Development Corporation has expressed interest in exploiting Jamaica, Queens, for rapid development, as well. Flushing is encompassed in Queens Community Boards 7, 8, and 11, whilst Jamaica is encompassed in Queens Community Boards 8 and 12. Already, a group has formed in Jamaica "to build relationships with private companies" to facilitate real estate investments in Jamaica.
Residents in Queens, including long-term immigrant residents, have opposed the conversions of hotel facilities into permanent homeless shelters, like the former Pan American Hotel, as seen on Oct. 3, 2014. Queens is being targeted for rapid upscale real estate development at the same time when the borough is also paradoxically being chosen as the setting for a greater share of the city's homeless shelters and for more juvenile inmate detention centers.
Separately, the city is looking at Queens for the creation of permanent homeless shelters, which is causing turmoil in bedroom communities opposed to inconveniences associated with shelters, even pitting long-term immigrant residents against newly-arrived immigrants. The city is also evaluating the need to create a permanent detention center in Queens for juvenile inmates to comply with new state regulations at the same time when federal prosecutors, in an unrelated action, have recommended to the de Blasio administration the relocation of teenage inmates away from Rikers Island, a recommendation that New York City Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley (D-Queens) said could be accomplished by renovating the now-vacant Queens House of Detention.