Sep 15, 2013; New York, NY, USA; A general view of game action between the New York Mets and Miami Marlins during the ninth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Redevelopment Set To Get Underway Near Citi Field

According to the New York Daily News, Fleet financial group has plans to break ground in June on a convention center and 25 story hotel that will rise at Northern Boulevard, right by Citi Field.

The convention center and hotel will be the first tangible visible evidence of the massive redevelopment set to get underway near Citi Field/Willets Point.

Back in October, the Willets Point Development Plan was approved by the City Council, paving the way for construction to begin near the Iron Triangle (and slamming the door shut on Willets Point businesses who had hoped to remain in the unkempt area).

Rising Apple outlined in October that the redevelopment by Citi Field will include much more than the convention center and hotel:

The redevelopment of Willets Point, which will be carried out by the city, Fred Wilpon’s Sterling Equities, and other private parties, has been one of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s key agenda items for years.  Now that the final hurdle has been cleared, construction can begin on what will be a hotel, school, convention center, restaurants, bars, shops, housing, and parking.  The bulk of the construction will take place next to Citi Field on 126th street, where the auto body shops/Iron Triangle currently are.

Another part of the development, that was added in more recently, will be the construction of a mall where Shea Stadium once stood, at a location next to the ballpark that is currently being used for Citi Field parking.

According to the Queens Chronicle, Phase 1 of the plan will focus on demolition and cleaning up the area where the chop shops currently are on 126th street.  After that is complete, the hotel, shops, restaurants, and bars will begin to rise (construction on that portion of the plan is scheduled to be completed by 2016).


No matter how good a plan seems, there will always be dissenters.

As one commenter posted should be clarified, the hotel and convention center aren’t part of the plan that will take shape by the Iron Triangle. It is, though, part of the redevelopment of the area that Michael Bloomberg championed during his time in office.

In the case of the Willets Point development, some worry about the involvement of Fred Wilpon’s Sterling Equities, and some (understandably) feel for the businesses in the Iron Triangle that have been uprooted.

In the grand scheme of things, though, this redevelopment will make the area around Citi Field much more attractive and much more enjoyable during game days.

I can do without the mall rising where Shea Stadium was, but if that’s the price to pay for shops, hotels, restaurants, and bars, so be it.


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  • Queens Crapper

    This project is not part of the Willets Point redevelopment and Sterling has nothing to do with it. It’s on the other side of the Grand Central Parkway. The convention center was taken out of the Willets Point plan quite some time ago. Now the grand plan is a mall in the parking lot, with the auto body shops across 126th Street being razed and made into a replacement parking lot. Housing is no longer required, nor guaranteed and there probably won’t be shops, hotels, restaurants, and bars there, either. It’s all about the mall.

    • Danny Abriano

      The article doesn’t say that this is part of the Willets Point plan. As far as your statement that the “grand plan” is the mall in the parking lot, that’s incorrect. The mall is set to be built by 2018, two years after the completion of lots of construction near the Iron Triangle. Your claim that housing is no longer required is also wrong. Housing was one of the major sticking points that was argued before the City Council agreed to the redevelopment. You’re also incorrect in your assertion that there probably wont be shops, hotels, restaurants, and bars. That portion of the construction is scheduled to be completed in 2016, two years before the mall is finished. You should read the articles that were in the Queens Chronicle in October.

    • Queens Crapper

      From the Queens Chronicle 10/17/13: ” 40 percent of the housing units will be affordable but housing will not be built until 2025 even though the mall is scheduled to be completed by 2018.”

      From Crains 10/7/13: “The Willets Point development will split the roughly 5,800 units of housing it promises between two phases, pushing off the development of 3,300 apartments to 2030.”

      “If the ramp construction is not completed by Dec. 1, 2025, the developer, the Queens Development Group (aka the Wilpons and Related), is under no obligation to build any affordable housing whatsoever. And the Queens Development Group itself will decide when the ramps are built, if it takes construction over from the city.” – Senator Jose Peralta

      Bottom line: They don’t have to build the housing unless highway ramps are built, and the city has not agreed to fund them completely. They did put some money aside, but by 2025, that money is likely to be used for other things. The developer is not likely to build them. Half the council members who voted on this are gone, and the other half will be gone by 2025. The only REQUIRED items are a mall in the parking lot, a parking lot on the Iron Triangle and nothing else. Sterling-Related would never have signed a contract that would force them to build housing. The money maker for them is the mall, which was never part of the original RFP.

      Logically speaking, how can the shops possibly be constructed 2 years before the mall is completed if the replacement parking is where the shops would be?

    • Danny Abriano

      Nice that you did all that research, but the agreement the City Council signed off on includes the building of the ramps.

    • Queens Crapper

      The agreement they voted on was for funding for the ramps, but does not require that they be built by the City or anyone else. That is the key. And if they are not built (which they won’t be), then there won’t be any housing on the east side of 126th Street. Once again, this was always about the mall and fake promises of affordable housing were used as a smokescreen for that.