A state court ruled on Thursday that two developers cherry-picked by the city in 2012 can't build a mall and movie theater next to Citi Field as a part of the massive Bloomberg-era Willets Point revitalization project because the land eyed for the development is legally parkland belonging to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Related and Sterling Equities, operated by the Mets' principal owners, had plans to construct the 1.4 million-square-foot Willets West development on a a parking lot where Shea Stadium once stood, the Times reports. The appellate court decided that a 1961 ruling that okayed the construction of Shea Stadium only authorized the construction of a stadium and couldn't be used to uphold the Willets West development. The decision overturns a lower court's move to throw out the suit. The city and developers can now take the plan to the state's Court of Appeals if it agrees to see the case.
"We strongly disagree with today's ruling and will be appealing the decision. The community driven plan is the best way to rejuvenate Willets Point, a neighborhood that has been neglected for decades," a spokesman for the developers told NYDN. But State Senator Tony Avella, who brought the case along with a group of advocates told the Times, "Today's decision sends a message loud and clearour parks are not for sale."
· Near Citi Field, Plans For Willets West Are Ruled Illegal [NYT]
· Court halts 'Willets West' mall project in Queens park near Citi Field [NYDN]
· Willets Point Celebrates Court Victory [Willets Point]
· City Officially Reveals Redevelopment Plan for Willets Point [Curbed]
· Archicritic Says Megaproject Will 'Destroy' Flushing Meadows [Curbed]
· All Willets Point coverage [Curbed]