The Real Deal New York

Related, Sterling near deal for Willets Point mall

To accommodate changes, city withdraws plan to use eminent domain
May 03, 2012 08:30AM

The Related Companies and the real estate firm controlled by the New York Mets ownership, Sterling Equities, are closing in on a deal to develop a mall on Willets Point, the Wall Street Journal reported. The proposal calls for significant changes to the vision laid out by the Bloomberg administration, most notably bringing more retail to the long-awaited $3 billion project’s first phase.

As a result, the city and Related must go through another review process, which would likely push the ground breaking date past the final days of Bloomberg’s mayorship. Other alterations to the initial plan, which facilitated the rezoning of the area for mixed-use development, have not been finalized.

The city has set aside $400 million to acquire the land and prepare the land while holding out hope that a private developer will fund the rest of the ambitious project. A portion of that land was to be acquired through the controversial use of eminent domain, but the city withdrew its bid to do so — at least for now — because of the changes requested by Related.

The Journal said Related believes the site would not be financially feasible without the increased retail component. [WSJ]