The Related Companies and Sterling Equities have requested $43 million in city tax breaks for their joint $3 billion redevelopment of Willets Point.
The city will review the request at a public hearing tonight. Then, on Tuesday, the Industrial Development Agency will make the final decision, amid oppositions from residents and local politicians.
In October, the City Council approved the project, which would replace several auto body repair shops with a megamall on the western parking lot of Citi Field. There would be a 32,000-square-foot park, 250-spot public parking garage, 210 affordable housing units and more than 50,000 square feet of retail. Then, last month, the city’s $1 sale of 23 acres of land to the developers was made official.
“This whole thing has been a disaster from beginning to end,” state Senator Tony Avella of Bayside, Queens, told the New York Daily News. “How do you justify (giving) tens of millions of taxpayer money when you’re selling the property to the developers for a dollar?”
In October, Related received a $328 million tax break from the city for the construction of an office tower and a mall at its Hudson Yards megaproject, as previously reported. [NYDN] – Mark Maurer