City looks to push out Willets Point tenants

August 20, 2013 09:30AM

The city is urging 90 tenants at Willets Points to move out of the area near Citi Field by the end of November to make way for a planned redevelopment project spanning 62 acres, the Wall Street Journal reported. The city is offering a year’s rent to sweeten the deal.

In addition to rent subsidies, valued at $3.5 million, the city is also offering up to $9 million to assist with relocation, Patrick Muncie, a spokesman for the city’s Economic Development Corp., told the newspaper.

The new funds will help “ensure that this transformative neighborhood redevelopment will continue,” Muncie said.

But the tenants – mostly auto-repair shops, said that the tight time period doesn’t allow them enough time to find a suitable new location. They told the newspaper that they would look to recreate their current community at Willets Point, which is essential for their survival.

“In order to actually avail themselves of the funds they need to give up where they are currently operating and move to some fictitious place that does not exist,” Ted De Barbieri, an attorney who represents 55 businesses that want to relocate together, told the Journal. [WSJ] Hiten Samtani