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Willets Point redevelopment could include soccer stadium, more housing

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The city released two task force-recommended scenarios to transform the gritty, industrial land

Willets Point, Queens
Nathan Kensinger

The city has released two scenarios for the beleaguered Willets Point redevelopment project near Citi Field—including one that could bring a 25,000-seat soccer stadium to the Queens neighborhood.

A community task force—chaired by Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and City Council member Francisco Moya—recommended two possible plans to the NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) for the city to finally transform a swath of the gritty, industrial landscape into a revitalized mixed-use development.

Last February, after more than 15 years of delays, the de Blasio administration announced it had struck a deal to break ground on a development plan for 1,100 units of affordable housing on six acres, while leaving the newly-convened task force to reimagine the remaining 17 acres for the project’s first phase.

Of the task force’s recommendations, the first would see the land cultivated into “a true, high-density, mixed-use district,” according to NYCEDC documents. The “primarily residential” project would include housing at a range of affordability options, open space, and on-site parking.

A new high school, fire station, police station, and health center would also be included, along with “local and neighborhood serving retail” such as a bank, pharmacy, and grocery store, NYCEDC documents show.

The second option could see a soccer stadium rise in Willets Point, but the 270,00-square foot arena would share parking space with Citi Field.

This plan would still boast community-oriented retail space and create a new fire station, police substation, health center, and a high school with open spaces equipped with programming. Housing at a range of price points would rise on the remanning land, NYCEDC records show.

The Related Companies and Sterling Equities, which the city brought on to build the project, is using the recommendations to draft specific plans that will be submitted to the city for review and additional public comment.

At the moment, there is no deadline for the developer to come back to the city with a concrete proposal.