Plan Will Only Benefit Developers, Willets Point Neighbors Claim

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — City officials said Wednesday a $1 billion shopping mall in the parking lot of Citi Field will spearhead development in a blighted section of Queens.

But opponents said the proposed mall would only benefit developers, and push out local businesses.

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As 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reported, both sides testified Wednesday at a City Planning Commission meeting.

Irene Presti owns property at Willets Point, and she sounded off against the controversial redevelopment plan in no uncertain terms.

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“What the city is getting for its overall investment of around $500 million is a mall and a parking lot. Everything else is simply smoke and mirrors with no guarantees whatsoever,” she said. “Making it so much worse is that the city administration to the City Council that it would recoup its investment when the selected developer was chosen, and instead the city has decided to gift the property to (the) Related (Companies) and Sterling Equities for $1.”

The City Planning Commission has to vote on the project before it heads to the City Council for a final decision.

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