What Queens needs is jobs. And housing. A major development project planned for Flushing will bring more of both.

The City Council is set to vote today, Dec. 10, on approving the Special Flushing Waterfront District, a plan that will see 29 acres of decrepit, depressing land on the edge of Flushing Creek redeveloped. Thousands of new housing units, including some designated as affordable; offices; retail space, including some meant for small shops; and open space along the waterfront are all part of the proposal. And it’ll generate lots of tax money.

The plan is not perfect, but what is? More affordable housing units would be preferable, but the developers at least have agreed to keep talking with the city as officials try to get more of them. More infrastructure upgrades would help, but at least sewer and stormwater systems will be improved. And so on.

The project will result in more of those gleaming, squat residential towers that have radically altered Flushing in recent years, but that’s nothing new. The developers could have built an as-of-right project without any of the public benefits they did agree to in the end. Instead they’ll be coordinating local hiring and contributing money directly to an existing small business group.

The city is hemorrhaging jobs and the revenue needed to pay for vital programs. We cannot afford to keep turning down large developments to maintain the status quo everywhere. This site is especially disgusting and cries out for a cleanup. We hope the Council approves the SFWD plan today.

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