The Real Deal New York

Days from demolition, businesses hold out in Willets Point

November 24, 2013 02:00PM

 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

  • me

    literally the worst part of New York I know of. an arm pit.

    • nyc

      Untrue, ive had my car fixed there many times, best mechanics in the city.

  • David Brown

    No matter what you think of these businesses (and I think they are dead wrong), you have to admire their toughness, and the fact they survived for Decades in very poor conditions (like no sewers). That said, there is another reason they might not be shutting down, they may fight this in Court. Does it mean they will necessarily win? No (see 5 Pointz), but there is still a possibility of a Judge saying NO to this, or being able to delay it long enough, until January 1st, because Mayor De Blasio may not be as willing as Mayor Bloomberg, to send the wrecking balls in. I will not count out the businesses until they either move, or the Sheriffs come in followed by the bulldozers.

  • Ken L Sacharin

    Leave this neighborhood alone! It works!