After criticizing Mayor Bill de Blasio's plan to build 11,250 affordable housing units over Sunnyside Yards by issuing a statement that "the MTA uses Sunnyside Yards as an important facility for our transportation system," Governor Andrew Cuomo appears to have thrown some measure of support—or, at least, legitimacy—behind former Deputy Mayor (under Bloomberg) Dan Doctoroff's proposal to use the rail yard as the site of a new convention center. In a Wednesday morning interview with NY1, Cuomo told Pat Kiernan, "There have been a number of uses proposed [for Sunnyside]. One of them is to make that a convention center site to supplement the Javits convention center."
There's a major distinction between something that is "proposed" by the current mayor in his annual State of the City address, and something that is "proposed" by a former deputy mayor in a New York Times op-ed, and it's a distinction that Cuomo is deliberately not making. Possibly, that's because he is planning to claim partial credit for the idea, having already proposed a Queens convention center (at the Aqueduct racetrack, not Sunnyside Yards) in his 2012 State of the State speech. If it's even relevant, the people of Sunnyside seem to hate the convention center idea even more than they hate the affordable housing one.
In any case, the stage (or should we say platform) is now set for the what Daily Intel has already called "New York's Next Great Political Battle."
· Cuomo comes back to the convention-center thing [Capital NY]
· New York's Next Great Political Battle Will Be a Railyard in Queens [Daily Intel]
· Sunnyside Yards coverage [Curbed]