Bloomberg unveils Willets Point redevelopment plan

Community Board 7 is considering developing a site near the new Mets stadium.

June 14, 2012 2:49:55 PM PDT
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Thursday unveiled the details for a 1 million-square foot mall near Citi Field in Queens.

It would sweep away junk yards and repair shops that have filled Willets Point for generations.

The build-out will include retail, hotel and commercial uses to complement a residential community of 2,500 housing units, of which 875 units will be affordable. The expanded vision will infuse $3 billion of private investment into the local economy and create 7,100 permanent jobs and 12,000 direct construction jobs.

Upon completion of the offsite infrastructure and remediation projects, the Queens Development Group will continue the transformation of the area by activating the 126th Street corridor with a 200-room hotel and 30,000 square feet of retail and restaurants. This step also includes an interim 20-acre surface parking area that would be converted to recreational space 183 days per year during both the MLB off-season period and during certain in-season road trips by the Mets.

Anticipated recreational uses would include modular athletic fields and community open space designed by the architects of Citi Field. This public recreation zone, with uses to be developed through community input, could include amenities such as soccer fields, basketball courts, ice skating, and a multi-sport bubble.

Willets West, the new component of the project, will be to the immediate west of Citi Field and will convert a stadium parking lot into a one million-square-foot-retail and entertainment center, complete with over 200 retail stores of all sizes, movie theaters, restaurants, entertainment venues, a parking structure and surface parking for 2,500 cars and grand public spaces with year-round programming.

This development, combined with the initial activation of 126th Street, will entail $1 billion of private investment, create 4,200 unionized construction jobs and 2,700 permanent jobs, and bring in $84 million in tax revenue during construction and $62 million in annual tax revenue upon completion.

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