When the New York City Economic Development Corp. released a feasibility study on building over sections of the Sunnyside Yard railroad facility in February, EDC officials knew they would have a massive public outreach campaign ahead of them.
On Tuesday morning, Nate Bliss, senior vice president at the EDC, was doing just that at a breakfast hosted by the Queens Chamber of Commerce.
The 209-page study lays out the case for erecting apartment buildings, office towers, schools, commercial and open space on platforms that could be constructed above 70 acres of the 180-acre site, which has been a rail yard since 1910.
Portions of the yard are controlled by Amtrak, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and New Jersey Transit. All work would be done while allowing a fully operational rail yard to continue, and the EDC back in February estimated the cost at between $16 and $19 billion.
But the EDC, with plenty of support from City Hall, believes such a project is doable both from technical and economic aspects, and worth examining further.
“It isn’t often that you can come across 180 acres to develop in New York City,” Bliss said. He said the potential for job growth and economic development are huge.
Based on priorities, such a project could bring 14,000 to 24,000 residential units to the site over time. Bliss said the study accounts for the space and money needed for the schools, roadways and green space that would be required.
The illustrated 209-page report and a 22-page summary can be read or downloaded online at nycedc.com/project/sunnyside-yards.