Earlier this month we wrote about Dan Doctoroff’s idea of decking over Sunnyside Yards and putting a convention center on it. It definitely got people talking, including our local electeds, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan in particular. Here’s a choice bit from Jimmy’s statement in the NY Times:
The neighborhoods that border Sunnyside Yards — Long Island City, Astoria, Dutch Kills, Sunnyside and Woodside — are thriving working- and middle-class communities. The sentiment that Sunnyside Yards “carves a nasty scar through the heart of Queens” is not held by residents.
These communities, however, have pressing needs that are typically excluded from discussions of building over the yards. Western Queens has a need for affordable housing, schools, parks and for more reliable and abundant transportation options.
Here’s party of Cathy Nolan’s commentary in the Daily News:
We need a plan that recognizes that thousands of us — from Sunnyside Gardens to Hunter’s Point, from Dutch Kills to Ravenswood, have already chosen Western Queens for our homes, businesses, education and creative community. We are not going away just because the big boys in Manhattan have decided to tear down the Javits Center and develop luxury housing on the far West Side.
It is not NIMBY to say that our community will not support proposals if we have no say in their development. Those of us who decided to live, work and love our neighborhoods with the Sunnyside Yards as they currently exist must be included in any plans.
Then there’s this rendering of potential development in the area. Pretty incredible and seems like overkill.
Parkland is at the top of the image and affordable housing is toward the bottom.
Doctoroff continues to beat the drum on this topic (NB: he is CEO of Bloomberg L.P.). There are definitely proponents for it. Apparently it would be the “largest development project in city history,” developing the 192 acres that would hold 31 million square feet of space. It would take about 30 years to complete the whole thing. And if Javits is demolished, that presents the chance for developers to pounce and create more towers on the Manhattan waterfront.
More from the Daily News:
The new center would provide an anchor for creating a Queens neighborhood above the rail yards — complete with new homes, office space, parks and up to 5,000 hotel rooms for convention guests. Ideally, the new business hub in downtown Queens would also create tens of thousands of new jobs while creating a “technology corridor” along Northern Boulevard.
The recent news from Lonely Planet announcing Queens as the best place to visit in the US in 2015 will no doubt be more evidence for pro-development voices that Queens could be a viable alternative for convention visitors to Javits in Manhattan.
We will definitely keep our eye on this story. As always, we welcome your comments and tweets.
A Project in Queens [NY Times]
Any plan to develop Sunnyside Yards will dramatically affect the surrounding community, and needs strong local review [NYDN]
New proposal suggests moving Javits Center to Queens in a bid to increase convention business, affordable housing [NYDN]
The Question of the Redevelopment of Sunnyside Yards [WHLIC]