Community Files Lawsuit, Says Parking Lot Sits on Parkland

By Catherine Yang, Epoch Times
February 11, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

State Senator Tony Avella and other community groups filed a lawsuit Feb. 10 against a $3 billion mega-development in Willets Point, Queens, saying the planned parking lot cuts into parkland.

The development includes plans to build retail space, a hotel, and 5,850 units of residential housing. The city has, in the past five years, allocated $400 million in efforts to develop Willets Point, including buying 23 acres of land and investing in infrastructure like an improved sewage system. 

The city reached and agreement with Related Cos. and Sterling Equities in 2012 to design, construct, and operate the development next to Citi Field.

The development includes a 1.4 million square foot mall in a Citi Field parking lot, which was originally designated as parkland. Senator Avella and the advocacy groups are seeking to stop construction of the mall.

A similar suit came about recently when community groups filed a suit to stop New York University’s expansion plans. 

State Supreme Court Justice Donna Mills decreed that three parcels of the land NYU wanted to build on were public parks. Mills said NYU would ultimately not be prevented from going forward with the expansion, but would not be able to build on the park land without State approval.