10 Years Into Willets Point Plan, Community Sifts Through ‘Gobbledygook’

Read the full article on the Queens Daily Eagle website.

Amazon generates the headlines, but there’s another controversial city-backed project in the works in Queens. And it’s been going on for a while. 

Ten years have passed since the start of the Willets Point Development Plan saga, which reached a milestone on Dec. 20. That was the contract deadline for the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) to exercise a “call option” that would enable the city to reclaim two acres of land from the site developers — Queens Development Group — based on contract conditions.

Or maybe it wasn’t.

The NYCEDC, which owns the 23-acre parcel of land and turned development over to QDG — a joint venture between Mets owners Sterling Equities and The Related Cos. — for $1, discussed the plan at a Community Board 7 meeting Wednesday night. There, they told the members that the Dec. 20 call option deadline was not a hard and fast date, said Chuck Apelian, the first vice chair of CB7 and Rolando Bini, the executive director of the organization Parents in Action.

“[Wednesday’s meeting] was one of the most frustrating meetings we’ve ever had,” Apelian said. “It was just more gobbledygook … I’ve been on the project for 10 years and we’ve gone nowhere. Nothing has changed.”

The city has a 30-day grace period after the Dec. 20 deadline and plans to exercise the call option before moving ahead with the next, as yet undisclosed, phase of the development plan, officials said.

Read the rest on the Eagle website.

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