NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — State Senator Tony Avella (D-Bayside) joined residents and community activists on Saturday, at a rally to take back the parkland of Flushing Meadows.

The group does not want to see a 200 store mall built on what is technically park land, 1010 WINS’ Roger Stern reported.

The land was initially paved over for Shea Stadium and again for the parking lot that replaced it.

State Senator Avella has filed a lawsuit to block the building of the mall.

“Once you make it a mega-mall it’s no longer park land and you can’t do anything with it, where as the parking lot is still used for park activities,” Avella said.

Avella told WCBS 880’s Jim Smith that the proposed mall is illegal.

“They’re violating state law in the fact that the city has not asked the state for parking alienation legislation,” he said.

When the plan was approved, the Bloomberg administration said that the proposal was legal under the 1961 law that allowed the construction of Shea Stadium.

The mall is part of a redevelopment project planned for Willets Point which developers say could trigger economic growth.

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