Willets Point court ruling puts mayor in tough spot

Related, Sterling won't be able to proceed with plans until a law is changed

TRD New York /
Jul.July 09, 2015 01:20 PM

After a New York state appellate court shut down plans to build a shopping mall and movie theater on a parking lot next to Citi Field earlier this week, Mayor Bill de Blasio has found himself in a difficult position.

He is now faced with deciding whether or not he will support the mall, the New York Times reported. Those in favor of project, which was proposed by the Related Cos. and Sterling Equities, have said that the mall is needed to help the redevelopment of Willets Point and the creation of affordable housing there.

The court decided that the lot is protected under a law that designates it as parkland connected to a stadium, even thought the former stadium — Shea Stadium, where the Mets used to play and has since been replaced with Citi Field — is no longer there. In order to move forward with the plans for the mall, the law will have to be changed.

The developers had proposed a 200-store mall that would also include movie theaters and restaurants that would open in 2018. They also proposed cleaning up environmental damage at the location with a $40 million city-funded grant.

Meanwhile, de Blasio hasn’t publicly commented on the court’s decision, saying that the litigation prohibits him from commenting. [NYT] — Claire Moses


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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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