FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 13, 2008
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND QUEENS OFFICIALS PRAISE APPROVAL OF TWO MAJOR QUEENS DEVELOPMENT PLANS AT HUNTERS POINT SOUTH AND WILLETS POINT
Hunters Point South Will Be New York City's Largest Permanently Affordable Housing Development Targeted Primarily to Moderate - and Middle - Income Families
Willets Point Development Plan Will Transform Contaminated 62-Acre Site Into New 'Green' Neighborhood with Housing, Parks, Office Space, Retail, and a Convention Center and Hotel, Creating 5,300 Permanent Jobs, 18,000 Construction Jobs and $25 Billion in Economic Activity
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg commended the New York City Council today for its approval of the City’s development plans at Hunters Point South and Willets Point in Queens.
Hunter's Point South - a 30-acre, largely vacant waterfront site in southern Queens - will accommodate 5,000 new units of housing, 60 percent of which will be affordable primarily to moderate- and middle-income families. Additionally, the City will pave the way for 500 units of housing reserved for low-income families to be developed over time in the surrounding area. The project will also include more than 11 acres of landscaped waterfront parkland, new retail shops, community facility space and a new school.
The Willets Point Development Plan calls for the remediation of what is today a heavily polluted 62-acre site in the heart of Queens that sits on the Flushing River between the thriving neighborhoods of Flushing and Corona and adjacent to Flushing Meadows Corona Park and the new home of the Mets, Citi Field. The plan will create 5,500 housing units, 35 percent of which will be dedicated to low-, moderate- and middle-income families, eight acres of open space, parks and playgrounds, 500,000 square feet of office space, 1.7 million square feet of retail space, a new school and a hotel and convention center. In addition to creating 5,300 permanent jobs and 18,000 construction jobs, the plan is expected to generate $1.3 billion in direct tax revenue and at least $25 billion in economic activity over 30 years. The plan, which will produce the City’s first LEED-certified neighborhood, also includes a comprehensive Willets Point Workforce Assistance Plan - to be administered by LaGuardia Community College - that will be available to all 1,700 workers at Willets Point.
"For nearly half a century, Willets Point has been an environmentally degraded area in the heart of Queens, but today, it finally has a brighter future - one that will create more than 5,000 permanent jobs, thousands of units of affordable housing, and generate $1.3 billion in tax revenue and $25 billion in overall economic activity over the next 30 years," said Mayor Bloomberg. "The Council’s approval of our plan to create 5,000 units of housing at Hunters Point South is equally important. It will be New York City’s largest development that includes permanently affordable housing targeted primarily to moderate- and middle-income families - our police officers, teachers, nurses and vocational workers, among others. Together, the projects will provide more than 10,000 units of housing, about half of which will be include income targets, which will help us achieve our goal of building and preserving affordable housing for half a million New Yorkers."
"The City Council’s affirmation today of our plan to transform Willets Point from a contaminated 62-acre site into the City’s first ‘green’ neighborhood shows that while the economy may be in a downturn, we will continue to make strategic investments in New York City’s future," said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert C. Lieber. "We initiated the public approvals for these projects in April, and thanks to invaluable input from Queens Community Boards 2 and 7, Borough President Helen Marshall, the City Planning Commission and the City Council, as well as an array of labor, civic, business and environmental groups, the plans are stronger and the future of these two areas is brighter. I want to thank Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Council Members Melinda Katz, Hiram Monserrate and Eric Gioia, Borough President Marshall, Congressman Joseph Crowley and former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman for their leadership. I also must thank Economic Development Corporation President Seth Pinsky, Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Shaun Donovan, City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden, and their teams for helping move these monumental projects to this important milestone."
"The creation of affordable housing is the challenge of our time," said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. "At a time when we are losing middleclass housing faster than we are producing it, these projects are a great example of how we can foster development projects that will literally build middle class communities. The Willets Point Redevelopment and Hunter's Point South will constitute the largest investment in affordable in decades, and I am proud to support both of these plans."
"I am proud to stand with the Bloomberg Administration and Deputy Mayor Lieber to support a plan that puts people first: the people of Queens," said Council Member Monserrate. "This new and improved plan reflects the true potential of large-scale development projects. It proves that we can include the best long-term planning and the smartest allocation of resources while keeping our moral responsibility to the families and workers affected. I am proud to say this plan creates a gleaming industrial, commercial and residential community that any New Yorker from any walk of life could benefit from."
"We have an affordable housing crisis in our City, and it reaches across all income bands," said Council Member Eric Gioia. "This project is a big step in the right direction as we both make room for the middle class and jumpstart further affordable housing in the neighborhood. For my entire lifetime, the waterfront has been cut off from the people of Queens. Today we are opening it up with parks, schools, and housing for all New Yorkers. We must continue to work diligently to address this crisis and identify opportunities for more affordable housing."
"The Willets Point Plan is a complex urban renewal plan and rezoning that came together with the cooperation of all parties," said Council Member and Land Use Committee Chair Melinda Katz. "This plan will create jobs, affordable housing, a world class convention center and bring stability to this area for years to come. With this vote, during tough economic times, we will be also creating conditions on the ground that will allow the private sector to respond when the market rebounds. I look forward to walking through this new neighborhood and knowing that I was fortunate enough to be a part of the birth of a new community. With our vote today for Hunters Point South we will be creating a vibrant, sustainable and well designed middle income community and waterfront park in Hunter’s Point South on abandoned manufacturing land just minutes from Midtown."
"The revitalization and restoration of Willets Point has been a great collaboration between Queens business leaders, community groups and elected officials," said Congressman Joseph Crowley. "I am proud to be a part of the leadership team that is bringing sustainability and environmentally-friendly economic development to Willets Point and I applaud this step forward by the City Council."
"The Hunters Point South and Willets Point plans are enormously important for Queens’ future, and I’m trilled to have played a role in shaping them and moving them forward," said Queens Borough President Helen Marshall. "When complete, the plans will provide tremendous benefits to Queens residents and all New Yorkers. I thank Mayor Bloomberg for his strong leadership."