Judge's ruling threatens $3B Queens, NY development
- The New York Court of Appeals has ruled that the state legislature must approve plans for a $3 billion shopping mall mixed-use development before the project can move forward, according to The Real Deal.
- A judge ruled that the 61-acre piece of parkland, a de facto parking lot for nearby Citi Field, as well as the former Shea Stadium, was held in the public trust, and, therefore, any development must win state lawmakers' approval.
- Queens Development Group, a joint venture between Related Companies and Sterling Equities, submitted a proposal in 2012 to build a shopping mall, a hotel, a school and 2,500 residential units on the property, while still maintaining some public space. A spokesman for the group said they are disappointed by the decision, as it will lead to even more delays, and said they are now considering their options regarding the development.
Critics of the project argue that New York City has little public parkland left and that the property should not be taken over by such a massive commercial project without legislative approval. Proponents, which include the city and other local stakeholders, are in favor of revitalizing the area, known as Willetts West, which has long been home to small auto body shops and other businesses.
Another Queens mixed-use project, delayed 10 years by fallout from the Great Recession, saw a better outcome recently and broke ground in April. The Crossing at Jamaica Station is a $407 million development that will include almost 700 residential units and 35,000 square feet of retail, both situated next to the Long Island Railroad's Jamaica Station. The station sees approximately 250,000 commuters a day, putting The Crossing squarely in the category of a transit-oriented development.
The Crossing is part of a $1 billion development initiative for the area, which could result in the construction of 3,000 apartments for renters at various income levels, 2,200 hotel rooms and a 150,000-square-foot retail project.
One potential development in the Bronx but near Queens also has some major hurdles to overcome, and that is a proposal that would turn the 40-acre Rikers Island jail compound into a third runway for LaGuardia Airport.
The Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform said the $22 billion redevelopment would increase the airport's flight capacity by 40% and allow it to handle an additional 12 million passengers. Opponents argue that it would create too much noise for nearby residents and is too costly. Rikers is scheduled to shut down over the next 10 years.
- The New York Times Ruling May Be Death Knell for $3 Billion Queens Development
- The Real Deal Willets Point mall project needs state approval to move forward, court rules
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