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City to Study Feasibility of Sunnyside Yards, Amid Concerns

[Photos by Nathan Kensinger/Curbed]

Despite the endless complications of building over Sunnyside Yards, the New York City Economic Development Corporation will soon embark on a formal feasibility study of Mayor De Blasio's proposed affordable housing megaproject.

According to the EDC—which issued an RFP on Friday—the study will assess the practicalities of building a massive rail platform over the train tracks and developing 11,250 affordable units. The study will encompass a large variety of specific factors, including possible changes in the configuration of the rail yards, requirements to maintain rail operations, geotechnical conditions of the site, the infrastructural requirements of the proposed platforms, and the financial costs of the project.

However, local opposition to the project is already mounting. State Senator Michael Gianaris, whose district includes Sunnyside, recently expressed concerns and vowed to fight against the project if it is not supported by the community-at-large.

"As any possible discussion surrounding Sunnyside Yards continues, I will intensify my efforts to see these needs addressed before anyone proposes adding thousands of new residents to our area," he wrote in a letter to constituents. "I will stand with you every step of the way as we work to ensure that our infrastructure keeps pace with continued growth and residents like you have the say you deserve in determining the future of our neighborhood."

Beyond the political ramifications of the project, the logistical problems are myriad. There are the aforementioned issues of ownership, given that the MTA, Amtrak, and various other entities all control portions of the rail yard; the price will be exorbitant (as a comparison, the platform over the Hudson Yards megaproject will cost around $750 million); and it will likely take over a decade for the project to even get past the planning stages.

Nevertheless, responses to the city's RFP are due by March 20.
· City Actually Moves Forward on Studying Sunnyside Yards Development [Queens 'Stoner]
· Sunnyside Yards Feasibility Study, Consultant Services RFP [NYCEDC]
· Gianaris mailer cites concerns about Sunnyside proposal [Capital NY]
· Sunnyside Yards Development Will Be Costly and Time-Consuming, Experts Say [DNAinfo]
· All Sunnyside Yards coverage [Curbed]