Days from demolition, businesses hold out in Willets Point

TRD New York /
Nov.November 24, 2013 02:00 PM

 The city may use eminent domain to clear Willets Point, the 62-acre area by the Unisphere of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park used by hundreds of businesses, in order to clean up the blighted commercial zone.

Last week, the Queens Borough Board signed off on Sterling Equities and the Related Companies’ acquisition of 23 acres for the $3 billion Willets Point redevelopment project. The first phase of the redevelopment plan is scheduled to begin next Saturday, but with the wrecking ball only a week away, many business are operating as usual.

“The city wants to close it down and build restaurants, or something else,” a man who goes by Flaco, and has become a veteran Willets Point worker, told the New York Times. “Yes, it looks ugly, but they don’t see that we’re people.”

And with so many immigrant workers with nowhere else to go for work active at Willets Point, it is likely that businesses will still be open on demolition day. [NYT] Christopher Cameron


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NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 17:  A puddle fills a major intersection on June 17, 2013 in the Willet's Point neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Willet's Point Neighborhood, also known as the Iron Triangle, is situated directly next to Citi Field, where the Met's play baseball, and is known for both its car repair shops and lack of paved roads. The future of the neighborhood has been a contentious issue between residents and the city, as the city hopes to further develop the land despite protests from its residents.  (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

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