The proposed project would redevelop the Willets Point area to include portions of the CitiField stadium parking areas. The proposal would redevelop the Willets Point/CitiField area with a mix of uses to be completed by 2032. It would incorporate a development substantially similar to that anticipated and analyzed in the 2008 Willets Point Development Plan Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement (FGEIS), as well as a major entertainment/retail component and parking adjacent to CitiField. The project is anticipated to proceed in three phases: by 2018, the remediation and development of an approximately 23-acre portion of the Special Willets Point District with a 200-room hotel, approximately 30,000 square feet of retail space, and a 2,800-space surface parking area/off-season public recreation space; the development of the parking field west of CitiField with “Willets West”—an entertainment and retail center of approximately 1.4 million square feet (one million square feet of gross leasable area) and a 2,900-space parking facility; and the development of a structured parking facility on the westernmost CitiField surface parking lot south of Roosevelt Avenue; by 2028, the surface parking area in the Special Willets Point District would be replaced with approximately 4.23 million square feet of residential, retail, office, hotel, public school, enclosed parking, and public open space uses; and the development of additional structured parking facilities on the CitiField surface parking lots south of Roosevelt Avenue; and by 2032, completion of the full build-out of the Special Willets Point District substantially as anticipated in the FGEIS. The potential development of retail and office uses on a portion of the CitiField leasehold along Roosevelt Avenue (Lot B), as analyzed in the FGEIS, is also assumed to be completed by 2032. It is also assumed that the recently approved Van Wyck Expressway ramp improvements would be completed by 2024.
The project site consists of three discrete areas. The “Willets Point” portion (the Special Willets Point District) comprises approximately 61 acres. The “Willets West” portion comprises an approximately 30.7-acre section of the surface parking field adjacent to CitiField. The “Roosevelt Avenue” portion comprises three CitiField-related surface parking lots (South Lot and Lots B and D) along Roosevelt Avenue, totaling 16.8 acres. In total, the project site comprises 108.9 acres.
The project site is located in Queens, within the northern portion of Flushing Meadows Corona Park adjacent to the CitiField stadium, and within the Willets Point peninsula east of 126th Street. The Willets Point area comprises 128 tax lots and one partial lot located on 14 blocks. Since the FGEIS was completed in 2008, the City has acquired a number of the lots within the District. The portion of the project site east of 126th Street is within the Special Willets Point District and is in Community District 7; the remaining portion of the project site is City parkland and lies outside community district boundaries.
On August 28th, 2012, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, as lead agency, issued an Environmental Assessment Statement and Positive Declaration for the project and directed that a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement be prepared. At the same time, a Draft Scope of Work for a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement was issued for public comment. To receive public comments, a public Scoping Meeting was held on Thursday, September 27, 2012, at P.S. 19 Marino Jeantet, 98-02 Roosevelt Avenue, Queens, New York, at 4:30 P.M. Translations of the project overview that was presented by representatives from the City and the Queens Development Group at the September 27, 2012 public Scoping Meeting were made available in Spanish, Chinese AND Bengali. Written comments on the Draft Scope of Work were accepted by the Mayor’s Office of Environmental Coordination until 5:00 P.M. Friday, October 26, 2012. The Final Scope of Work was issued on March 11, 2013.
The Notice of Completion for the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) was issued on March 15, 2013, which marked the beginning of the public comment period on this document. On Wednesday, July 10, 2013, at 10 AM, in Spector Hall, at the Department of City Planning, 22 Reade Street, in Lower Manhattan, a public hearing was held concurrently with the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure public hearing to receive comments related to the DSEIS. The comment period for the DSEIS remained open through 5 PM on July 22, 2013. On August 9, 2013, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development issued the Notice of Completion for the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, marking the completion of the project’s CEQR environmental review.
The environmental review documents can be downloaded from CEQR Access.