A Bad Deal: The Proposal for a Mega-Mall on Parkland and the Willets Point Redevelopment
Make the Road New York
[Excerpt] The site for the proposed development of “Willets West” is public mapped parkland that forms a portion of Flushing Meadows Corona Park (FMCP). “Willets West” is one of three development pro- posals for the park that the Bloomberg administration has announced in its last eighteen months. The name “Willets West” is misleading; the proposal seeks to develop a 1.4 million square foot mall on public land that is located completely outside the actual Willets Point, on the other side of CitiField. Proposed to be developed by the Queens Development Group (QDG), a partnership between the Wil- pon family’s Sterling Equities and the Related Companies, many have dubbed the proposal the “Mets MegaMall” as a more accurate descriptor. This report summarizes the results of a community opinion survey of more than 1,200 residents, compares and contrasts the “Mets MegaMall” proposal to the original plan for Willets Point and makes recommendations about what would make development that consumes public resources and public land appropriately accountable to neighborhood needs. These recommendations are informed both by the original process for considering the future of Willets Point as well as recent experiences with the proposal for the U.S. Tennis Association to expand its footprint within FMCP and the proposal for Major League Soccer to site a new, private stadium within FMCP. Prepared by the Fairness Coalition of Queens, it represents the input of member organizations and individuals from the Corona, Flushing, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights and Elmhurst communities.
Willets Point; redevelopment; community opinion; Queens; AFL-CIO
Required Publishers Statement: © Make the Road New York. Document posted with special permission by the copyright holder.