The Real Deal New York

Not dead yet: Willets Point mall gets another chance

Despite de Blasio's snub, the state's high court agreed to hear Related and Sterling's appeal

November 24, 2015 03:30PM

From left: Fred Wilpon, rendering of Willets West in Queens and Stephen Ross

From left: Fred Wilpon, rendering of Willets West in Queens and Stephen Ross

The Related Cos.’ and Sterling Equities’ plans to redevelop a Willets Point parking lot may not be doomed after all.

The New York State Court of Appeals on Monday agreed to hear the development team’s appeal of a lower court’s decision that halted the $3 billion redevelopment project, which includes a shopping mall, 23 acres of housing and a movie theater, Crain’s reported.

The chance to appeal follows a series of setbacks for the developers. In July, a New York state appellate court sided with the project’s opposition, ruling that the development’s site — a parking lot next to Citi Field — was designated for stadium use only. A month later, the developers lost a key ally when the de Blasio administration decided not to join their appeal. Many predicted that the loss of the city’s support heralded the project’s death, at least in its current form.

Related and Sterling have faced virulent opposition to the project since they bought the property from the city in 2013 for $1. For most of the battle, however, the developers had the city on their side. It seems the de Blasio administration was banking on the state’s high court declining the appeal, which would mean officials could pressure the development team to speed up affordable housing construction. [Crain’s] — Kathryn Brenzel