Six months ago Mayor Bloomberg was standing in a polluted pile of dirt in Queens for the groundbreaking of a $50 million capital project that would pave the way for the development of Willets Point, and it was considered a significant accomplishment. Any development of that site has now been delayed by at least two years, after the City said it was withdrawing almost all of the legal findings upon which it based its case for the eminent domain taking from property owners in the Queens scrapyard district known as the Iron Triangle. What happened, after it looked like the City was steamrolling the opposition on its way to massive redevelopment deal? The proposal for the mixed use development did not meet current zoning regulations, according to the Times, so the City will have to conduct a new environmental impact study which will almost certainly be challenged in court by the group Willets Point United.
WPU was jubilant not just at their
legal logistical victory, but at the personal defeat it represented to Mayor Bloomberg. "[The] about face means that the entire project must be sent back to the drawing board and its unlikely that anything will be accomplished before the billionaire mayor flies off in his private jet into retirement." Flush with a sense of victory, WPU is not just ready to continue its fight against the redevelopment of the Iron Triangle, but to exact vengeance on those who sought it. "What remains is to bring to justice those who have had the audacity to violate the law and threaten our property ownership."
· Zoning Slows Mayor’s Plan to Remake Willets Point [NYT]
· Bloomberg's Collapse at Willets Point, WPU's Fight Vindicated [WPU]
· Willets Point coverage [Curbed]