A New York state appellate court halted plans by a group of developers, including public and private entities, to build a shopping mall and movie theater on a parking lot next to Citi Field.
The court determined that the parking lot is protected by a law designating it for use as a stadium, and that the state legislature would have to change the law in order to allow the development to proceed. The decision reversed a lower court’s ruling dismissing the case, the New York Times reported. The City Council already approved plans for the project.
Related Companies and Sterling Equities conceived of the project, dubbed Willets West, in partnership with the city. It would have been part of the larger overall development of Willets Point. The developers acquired 23 acres from the city in 2013 for $1.
“Today’s decision sends a message loud and clear — our parks are not for sale,” said State Senator Tony Avella of Queens, one of the plaintiffs in the suit.
Sterling is owned by Fred Wilpon and Saul B. Katz, the majority owner of the Mets. [NYT] — Tess Hofmann