While the city reviews proposals for the long-anticipated development of the Willets Point area, a city council source told The Queens Courier that a group is in the process of forming a company, which former Borough President Claire Shulman would lead, to help oversee the project, which is still in its preliminary stage.
The organization, which is likely to be named the Flushing/Willets Point/Corona LLC (Limited Liability Company), is expected to have a wide representation of civic and business leaders.
City Councilmember Hiram Monserrate, who has publicly communicated concerns about the project’s ramifications on surrounding businesses and residents, has already met with Shulman and expressed optimism about working with her on this issue.
“[I have] great respect for her. She was a fantastic and dynamic Borough President. She was a staunch cheerleader for Queens and she delivered,” Monserrate said. “I look forward to working with her and anyone else that will bring tangible results to my community.”
Meanwhile, Monserrate organized a town hall meeting, scheduled to take place Wednesday night, March 14, where concerned constituents could ask questions or voice concern to three representatives from the city’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC).
“I think it’s extremely important in all facets of development to keep the public aware and give them a way to express their input,” he said.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg sent out request for proposals to develop the 75-acre Willets Point site - often referred to as the Iron Triangle - and currently the city is in the process of reviewing eight proposals from prominent development groups.
The project, which would transform an area predominantly made up of auto-repair shops and junkyards into a mixed-use facility containing housing, retail space and cultural institutions, several million square feet highlighted by a convention center and hotel giving the borough the capability to host premier events.
“Located adjacent to a new Mets Citi Field and near Downtown Flushing and Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Willets Point should be a fantastic place for Queens residents and all New Yorkers, and our goal is to help that vision become a reality,” said Andrew Brent, a spokesperson for EDC.
Michael Meyer, President of TDC Development International, whose company has submitted both a sole and a joint proposal with Tishman Speyer and Westfield Property to develop the site, believes that this project is extremely important.
“We want to transform what is a blighted area and create what will amount to a city within a city,” Meyer said.