FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 18, 2003
Michael Sherman/Janel Patterson (EDC) -- 212-312-3523
Rachaele Raynoff (City Planning) -- (212) 720-3471
NYC Economic Development Corporation and Department of City Planning Roll Out Development Framework for Downtown Flushing
Plans Call for Reconnecting and Renewing Downtown, Revitalizing the Waterfront and Redeveloping Willets Point
Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff joined representatives
of New York City Economic Development Corporation, Department
of City Planning and the Downtown Flushing Consultant
team today to present the Development Framework for
Downtown Flushing to the Flushing Task Force. The Development
Framework, which presents a land use planning strategy
for the future growth and sustainability of Downtown
Flushing, the Flushing River waterfront and the Willets
Point peninsula, is the result of nearly a year’s
collaboration among City and State agencies, the City’s
consultant team and task force members.
"Redeveloping this area of Queens is a critical
component of Mayor Bloomberg’s strategy for developing
and investing in regional economic centers in all five
boroughs," said Deputy Mayor Doctoroff. "When
implemented, the vision of this Framework will provide
a dynamic and diverse mixed-use community, with significant
public spaces and strong connections to the waterfront
that builds on the rich history and diversity of Flushing.
I commend all those who have participated in this truly
"This Framework is the result of a truly successful
exercise in consensus-building among City and State
agencies, elected officials, community organizations
and business leaders," said EDC Chief Operating
Officer Joshua J. Sirefman. "With the continued
commitment and dedication of the stakeholders involved,
we will reach our goal of making Flushing a center of
urban activity where people will come to experience
the best of Queens."
In Downtown Flushing, the Framework for Development
provides opportunities for high-quality, mixed-use development,
improved connections with adjacent regional destinations,
enhancement of public spaces and waterfront access,
and improvements to parking and transportation systems.
It makes preliminary recommendations for improving downtown
traffic patterns, but calls for a more in-depth traffic
analysis to support the recommendations. Recommended
streetscape upgrades and creation of new open spaces
will improve the quality of life downtown and make the
area more pedestrian friendly. Signature signage will
be used to highlight the historic district and connections
to other nearby destinations.
"These important transportation and streetscape
improvements and a revitalized Flushing River waterfront
will position Flushing and adjacent Willets Point as
an even more vibrant regional economic center and great
place to work and shop," said Amanda M. Burden,
Director, Department of City Planning.
The Framework also prepares the way for a Request for
Proposals for redevelopment of Municipal Lot 1 into
a new mixed-use community with lively street-level retail,
civic open space, and community/cultural uses. Zoning
changes would be considered to enhance development potential
and ensure high-quality development.
On the Flushing River waterfront, the Framework recommends
that the City work with State and Federal authorities
to clean up the river and restore its tidal wetlands.
A waterfront promenade, to be built in conjunction with
private development and underlying zoning requirements,
and proposed new community open space will help the
public access the developing waterfront. A future pedestrian
bridge may eventually connect Downtown Flushing to a
redeveloped Willets Point.
On the Willets Point Peninsula, the Framework envisions
large-scale development to provide significant economic
benefits and transform Flushing into a true regional
destination. A Call for Ideas will be issued to solicit
a broad range of compelling responses from the development
community. In the meantime, the City will pursue site
acquisition and remediation in partnership with the
The Development Framework for Downtown Flushing was
prepared by the City’s consultant team in close
cooperation with EDC, DCP, other City and State agencies
and a working group consisting of local community leaders.
The planning firm of Cooper Carry Inc. and Economics
Research Associates led the consultant team. Other members
of the team include Jeanne Giordano, Inc., Thomas Baisley
Associates, Eng Wong Taub, and Geto & de Milly.
Department of City Planning is responsible for the
City's physical and socioeconomic planning, including
land use and environmental review; preparation of
plans and policies; and provision of technical assistance
and planning information to government agencies, public
officials, and community boards.
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