Willets Point mega mall, 5Pointz conversion win city approval

From left: Renderings of Willets Point and 5Pointz
From left: Renderings of Willets Point and 5Pointz

It’s been a banner day for megadevelopments in Queens. Related Companies and Sterling Equities scored approval to build a mall on the western parking lot of Citi Field, and David Wolkoff’s G&M Realty reached an agreement with City Council to build two condominium towers on the 5Pointz site in Long Island City.

The controversial plan to construct a mega mall on the lot adjacent to the Mets’ Citi Field home, part of a larger-scale $3 billion redevelopment of Willets Point, was green-lighted by City Council after the developers made several key concessions to sway the delegation.

Construction of affordable housing, which originally was going to be delayed until 2025, was accelerated as part of the deal, officials told the New York Daily News.

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The joint venture between Related and Sterling will give $15 million to the newly created Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Alliance, as well as an additional $2.6 million towards a rooftop farm on the future mall.

Wolkoff also reached a compromise with the council on his proposed residential project at 22-44 Jackson Avenue in Long Island City. On behalf of his company G&M Realty, Wolkoff agreed to build and staff the buildings with 100 percent union workers, a point that City Council member Jimmy Van Bramer’s office said would create over 1,000 new jobs in Long Island City.

The number of affordable units in the proposal has been lifted from 75 to 210, and the promised artists’ studio and gallery space will add 12,000 square feet. Johnathan Cohen Meres, an artist from the 5Pointz community, was offered the job of curating the nearly 10,000 square feet of art panels and walls in the building. A 32,000-square-foot park is to be built and a 250-spot public parking garage will accompany the development’s over 50,000 square feet of retail space. [NYDN] and [Brownstoner]Julie Strickland