The Real Deal New York

Related and Sterling’s Willets Point plans subject of Monday community board hearing

May 10, 2013 05:30PM

UPDATED, 10:22 a.m., May 11: Queens Community Board 7 will hold a public hearing on Monday to discuss the Related Companies and Sterling Equities’ Willets Point and Willets West development plans, as part of the city’s public review process of the 62-acre Queens project, according to a blog operated by advocacy group Willets Point United.

The development includes a 200-room hotel and the conversion of a parking lot into 1 million square feet of entertainment and retail space, as previously reported. Plans also now call for nearly doubling the Willets Point site from to 109 acres, according to the blog, which is run by a coalition of business and land owners that oppose the developers’ plans.

The neighborhood group did not include comments from the developers in their post. [Willets Point United]Zachary Kussin

Clarification: A previously published version of this post said that, according to Willets Point United, a Community Board 7 subcommittee had voted 7-2 against Related and Sterling’s development plan in a non-binding vote. According to a spokesperson for the project, the vote that took place determined whether the subcommittee would vote on the issue at that meeting, and was not part of the public review process.

  • Phil Konigsberg

    I am a member of the CB 7 Building/Land Use Committee and was at the May 8, 2013 Building/Land Use Committee meeting (which in one instance seems to be referred to as a subcommittee above) which voted ON THE MOTION to approve the Willets Point Redevelopment application by the Joint Venture of Related Companies/Sterling Equities. The motion was made by CB 7 member Joseph Sweeney and seconded by CB 7 member Arnold Wagner. The vote was taken and the MOTION WAS DEFEATED by a 7-2 vote. The result of the committee meeting, the motion to approve being defeated will be reported to the full board in the public hearing. The committee report is a guide for the full board to go by in making their decision. IN MOST CASES, the full board will go along with a committee report since credence is given to a committee that has delved into an application in much detail (usually just 1-3 previous committee meetings). Since we have met four times as of last Wednesday, and the Chair of the Board, Gene Kelty, the 1st Vice Chair and Building/Land Use Committee Chair, Chuck Apelian and 3rd Vice Chair and Parks Committee Chair Kim Ohanian voted AGAINST THE MOTION TO APPROVE, In addition to four other committee members the full board should weigh very heavily on the committee vote that rejected the proposal.

    I wish to publicly salute the three above officers of CB 7 for their “No” vote on the motion. Without their support to oppose the application, it would have passed.

  • Fact Checker

    Zachary Kussin: The “Clarification” portion of the article above contains absolutely false information that must be corrected. The community board committee did indeed vote on the MERITS of the proposed Willets West mall / Willets Point Phase One development, and the vote tally was 7-2 to deny the application (i.e., a motion to approve was defeated, 7-2). A “spokesperson for the project” is attempting to confuse the issue, and conceal the fact that the committee voted to deny the application. That vote was taken after four separate committee meetings, lasting for a total of roughly 13 hours, during which the developers and the City were free to present any information they wished, in support of their plan. They did so — and having heard everything, the committee vote to deny the application.