Pending $70M deal will decide fate of Willets Point plan

The city, Related and Sterling Equities must hammer out an agreement this week

Willets Point rendering
Willets Point rendering

The future of the Related Companies and Sterling Equities’ plan to overhaul Willets Point with a mega-mall could rest on whether the city is willing to shell out $70 million for traffic ramps leading to the development.

Two days before the City Council’s vote, Queens officials today sought a guarantee. The city has vowed to pay for the ramps, though no funds in the capital budget have been allocated to the project.

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The ramps are intended to address a key criticism about the project — that not enough groundwork is being laid for the residential component of the project that may arrive as late as 2025. The ramps would boost accessibility to the site for residents arriving years from now.

Queens council member Julissa Ferraras, who is in talks with the city, requested that the ramps be included in a deal the city set up last year with the developers, according to a report from Crain’s.

Two City Council subcommittees are set to vote on the plan Wednesday. The full council could make a final decision as soon as next week. [Crain’s]Mark Maurer