$850M Flushing development approved

July 29, 2010 06:00PM

Rendering of Flushing Commons

A proposed $850 million mixed-use development was approved for
Flushing, Queens today, after fierce debate between small business
advocates and the pro-development set. The project — known as Flushing
Commons — is spearheaded by developers the Rockefeller Group and TDC
Development and Construction Corporation and will bring 600 units of
luxury housing, a hotel and 420,000 square feet of retail space to
Downtown Flushing. It has met with controversy
in the area, particularly among community groups that fear big
businesses will push out neighborhood-based retailers. Daniel Kung,
co-president of Union Street Small Business Association, said that not
enough provisions have been made to ensure the community’s financial
stability in the wake of the development.

“As a small business
owner and Flushing resident, I have been concerned about the impact of
the construction and pleaded to the City to provide a safety net for
our businesses,” Kung said. “However, we are disappointed that the City
and the developer have failed to finalize a concrete and workable
solution for our small businesses.” Numerous elected officials, however
have celebrated the approval, arguing that the development will bring a
much-needed injection of jobs and business to the neighborhood. “Today
marks a major milestone in our efforts to build on [the neighborhood’s]
vibrancy and position Flushing for long-term economic growth,” Mayor
Michael Bloomberg said. “All told, it will bring 2,600 construction
jobs, 1,900 permanent jobs and more than $700 million in economic
activity annually to the heart of Queens at a time when it’s needed
most.” TRD