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Queens Chronicle

Willets Point clears hurdle

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Posted: Thursday, August 29, 2013 10:30 am

The $3 billion Willets Point redeveloment plan is one step closer to reality after the city Planning Commission voted on Aug. 21 to approve the project.

If passed by the City Council within 50 days, developers Sterling Equities and the Related Companies will have the green light to build a shopping center and parking garage on the present Citi Field lot and construct shops, restaurants, a hotel and parking on the 126th Street auto shop area.

Promised affordable housing is likely to come later.

The only dissenting vote was from Michelle de la Uz, who said Queens does not need another mall and called “questionable and weak” the city’s efforts that have been made to relocate auto shop owners.

The Queens Housing Coalition, which has been monitoring the project and wants more housing sooner, said the approval “allows the city to rescind on the voted- upon 2008 plan, which included a substantial allocation of low- and moderate-income housing.”

The group added that the mall “may drain business from the existing neighboring stores” as well.

Welcome to the discussion.