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Study of Hudson Yards-style development eyed for Sunnyside delayed

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It’s fueled more doubts about the ambitious development proposal

The Sunnyside Yards has been called the site of New York’s next megadevelopment. But it doesn’t look like anything is going to happen there soon. A study to examine the feasibility of building a platform over the Sunnyside railyards to support development—a la Hudson Yards—is incredibly delayed, reports Crain’s.

The city asked FXFowle Architects, Parsons Brinckerhoff and HR&A Advisors to conduct the study more than one year ago. Although it was due this summer, "the study will not be completed for several more months or even a year from now," Crain’s found out from a source.

It’s caused plenty of skepticism over an ambitious development plan pushed by Mayor de Blasio. During his State of the City speech in 2015, he envisioned as many as 11,000 affordable apartments, housing 30,000 people, built on top of portions of the 180-acre yard, which is currently used by Amtrak, New Jersey Transit and the Long Island Rail Road.

The project would likely cost billions to build—and FXFowle Architects, Parsons Brinckerhoff and HR&A were hired by the city to evaluate whether it would be financially feasible. Not only that, the team was tasked with analyzing the configuration and requirements of deck structures over the yards, infrastructure and utility requirements, local impacts, environmental issues and actual implementation strategies.

The delay with the feasibility study is not the first setback for the potential megadevelopment. Governor Cuomo stated the yards couldn't be developed for years as they are needed as a staging area for the East Side Access project. City Hall responded by saying it could instead develop a 113-acre swath owned by Amtrak. The Governor came around (sort of), but there’s still been plenty of concern expressed by Sunnyside residents. Basically, no one can deny that any development moving forward will be insanely difficult.

The proposed redevelopment swath.