Borough presidents get specific about development plans

January 29, 2014 11:10AM

New schools, revitalizing East New York and better transportation to the Rockaways were just a few items on the borough presidents’ agendas in their first joint public appearance Tuesday.

The city’s five borough presidents gathered at a Crain’s forum to outline their visions for developments in their respective zones of the city, noting the influential role their office often plays in bringing projects to fruition.

For Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, additional public input on Flushing Meadow Park and Willets Point, plus improved transportation to the Rockaways, were key issues. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said the question of Madison Square Garden’s future was a key concern, along with the possible development of affordable housing atop an 80,000-square-foot parcel in East Harlem.

For Brooklyn’s new Borough President Eric Adams, keeping home prices down and revitalizing poorer neighborhoods such as East New York and Brownsville were key concerns. Staten Island’s Borough President James Oddo discussed “smart development” in his borough, noting that his approach would not be a sharp change from that of his predecessor James Molinaro. And Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., the only returning incumbent in the bunch, pointed to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s plan to add four Metro North stations in the Bronx as a promise he would make sure is not broken. [Crain’s]Julie Strickland