Sunnyside Yard eyed for development — again

Queens leaders want to build affordable housing, not Olympic facilities atop Amtrak rails

From left: Sunnyside Yard and map of proposed development area
From left: Sunnyside Yard and map of proposed development area

Queens community leaders voted to push Borough President Melissa Katz to study whether new development could be built atop a rail yard located between Long Island City and Sunnyside.

A feasibility study would be an early step in building a platform on top of tracks owned by Amtrak, the Queens Courier reported. Community Board 2 chair Joseph Conley brought up the issue for approval last week and suggested such a project would focus on the portion of the rail yard located in Long Island City, which runs from roughly Jackson Avenue and 21st Street to Thomson Avenue or Queens Boulevard, the newspaper reported. Conley said the site would be ideal for affordable housing.

The idea is not new. At least as far back as 1971, the city has considered building a neighborhood above the rails.

Former deputy mayor Dan Doctoroff also has the yard in his sights. He recently renewed an old plan to construct Olympic facilities on it as part of a bid for the 2024 summer games.

Other projects are taking shape nearby. Tishman Speyer and H&R Real Estate are developing a 1,600-unit rental building near the yard. [Queens Courier]Tom DiChristopher