Willets Point Business Owners to Protest Development Plans Outside All Star Game

Willets point

Today about 100 Willets Point business owners, employees and advocates are expected to protest outside the All-Star Game at Citi Field according to The New York Times. They are objecting to the city’s plan to redevelop the area which now consists largely of auto repair shops and junk yards. Many of them received eviction notices this week. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has championed a massive redevelopment plan here which originally called for about 5,500 units of housing of which 1,900 would be affordable units. But with a slowdown in the housing market, the plan was scaled back and changed. Now the developers, Related Companies and Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul B. Katz, will build a hotel and a massive mall. The housing portion of the plan has been pushed out for another decade or more, not unlike at the Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn. A pastor at a nearby church told the Times, “Bloomberg promised that the big thing in the project would be housing, now it’s a grandiose mall, and in 20 years, maybe, we’ll get some housing. He doesn’t care about the poor.”

Citi Field’s Neighbors to Protest Evictions Before All-Star Game [NY Times]
Developer, Locals Clash Over Willets Point [Brownstoner Queens]

Photo: maxintosh