Friday, May 2, 2008

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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

News: Major Split in Anti-Development Forces

The Daily News outlines a major break in the coalition fighting the Mayor's plan to develop Willets point. Apparently the coalition of business owners became infuriated when they discovered that ACORN, a pro-affordable housing organization, was only interested in the affordable housing issue and did not care all that much about protecting current businesses.

While both are unhappy with the city, they clearly have a much different view of what matters to them in Willets Point.

Any split in the forces fighting the city's plan should be beneficial to anyone who hopes to see the development go through.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Opinion: Why I Support Developing WP

There's a post on Curbed today about DWP. Joey at Curbed is correct that I don't work for the Mayor nor do I work for the Mets. I am just a Mets fan who thought the letter from Councilman Monserrate opposing the development of Willets Point made absolutely no sense. That alone inspired me to start up this blog.

Now it may sound a little selfish of me, a Mets fan, to say what should happen in the neighborhood next to Shea Stadium. But as a resident of the city and a lifelong Mets fan, I've long felt that Willets Point is a completely missed opportunity. I don't agree with everything Mayor Bloomberg proposes, but in this particular case I think he's hit the nail on the head. Between the Mets season, the US Open, and the potential concerts that could take place at Citi Field - not sure how many there will be, but it's at least possible - a neighborhood like the one proposed by the Mayor could be of great benefit to the city.

I also appreciate the Mayor's proposal on environmental grounds. NYC has the opportunity here to develop a completely green neighborhood that could serve as a model for what other areas of the city could be in the future.

And last but not least, although Curbed speculated about my true identity, I am unfortunately not the left-handed ace who will be appearing on the mound this evening for the New York Metropolitans.

In the Daily News

Queens Borough President Helen Marshall ripped the idea of splitting the Willets Point development plan into two segments. This alternative plan was viewed by some as a possible compromise for the plan to gain support in the City Council. The western portion of Willets Point would be completely developed before the eastern portion began its development.

Marshall points out that developing half of the area at a time would leave brand new residential and commercial property right next to the contaminated wasteland that would be the other half of Willets Point.

Marshall makes a lot of sense here, and I think the city has to go full speed ahead with the entire development plan.

Also in the Daily News, a story about the fictional film Save Iron Triangle which was made as a feel good story that's supposed to make us feel like developing Willets Point would be a horrible thing. Obviously, I completely disagree.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Full Plan Details

For anyone interested, be sure to check out the full plan from NYC. There's a link on the right side of this blog. If you'd like you can go straight to the Environmental Impact Statement (aka EIS) which goes into every detail of the plan.

Monday Morning

Not a whole lot of new news out there so far this morning, but I went to my first game at Shea since I started this site, and Willets Point looked like even more of a waste of space. I've got faith that the Mayor can get this plan through, but it takes all of us getting involved to help push the process along.

Tell your friends to take action and check out this site, and I'll keep updating any ideas I have. If you've got any suggestions, send me an email because I'd love to hear them, too.

And as always, contact your city council representatives!

Thanks to BMF for the mention. They make a great point about making use of Willets Point for tennis, too.

And thanks also to the one and only Metsblog for mentioning Develop Willets Point.

Friday, April 25, 2008

NY Observer Outlines Alternative City Plan

The New York Observer has a good short piece about the alternative plan that was undertaken by the city when it studied how to go about changing Willets Point. The short story is that the city would develop the area in two phases instead of looking at it all as one project. The article suggests such a plan might find better reception in the council.

I'm not a huge fan of making this a two phase project, per se, but the end result would seemingly be the same, and it's an idea that is at least worth a little consideration.

Queens Residents For Cleaning Up Willets Point

Led by Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, a group of advocates from Queens spoke out in support of the development of Willets Point. They focused on the benefits of cleaning up the area from its current condition to a livable, green neighborhood.

It's really great to see a large group of people at City Hall showing their support for this plan. Remember to contact your representatives and tell them that you support this development, too!

Update: The New York Sun mentions some of the other elected officials who were present at the rally: state senators Frank Padavan and Toby Ann Stavisky and Assembly Member Nettie Mayersohn.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Willets Point in the Queens Chronicle

Good article in the Queens Chronicle about this whole Willets Point issue. One of my personal favorites from the article:

"The mayor also announced that the new $3 billion community will become the city’s first green neighborhood and that removing contamination there will help clean the adjacent Flushing River."

This will be a long haul, but the more we let the city know we support this project as Mets fans and city residents, the better the chances are it will come to fruition.

Remember Last Summer?

In case you forgot about it or missed it, there were some reports last summer of stolen car parts taken from the parking lot in Shea Stadium. As it turns out, these parts were sold to the chop shops in Willets Point. John Montone had a segment on the theft back in September on 1010 WINS.

Although they seem to have shifted their argument about opposing the development of Willets Point to affordable housing for those making under $25,000 a year, the opponents of this project still defend the already existing businesses. But are these the kinds of businesses they really want to protect?