What's the Latest on Willets Point? UPDATED at 11:30 pm

The displaced businesses in the Willets Point redevelopment are angry about the tax breaks issued to the builders.

A New York Daily News article reports that the New York City Industrial Development Agency approved the Queens Development Group's request for a concession on Tuesday.

The Willets Point redevelopment intends to transform the area near Citifield by cleaning up the local waterways, and create a new community with facilities, a public school, stores, a hotel, parking, and public open space.

The project's $3 billion of private investment, the city says, will create 7,100 permanent jobs and 12,000 construction jobs, along with 3,000 housing units, of which over 1,100 will be affordable.

The Queens Development Group LLC is the Manhattan-based developer that has been lobbying the city for concessions on the project. The developer, the Commercial Observer notes, is a joint venture between Related Cos. and Sterling Equities. 

The joint venture projected that the $42.6 million in tax concessions it seeks will benefit the city to the tune of $212 million.

The city agreed, and approved the request yesterday. The Commercial Observer story says that the concessions will run over $50 million, including $27.9 million in property-tax abatements and $14.7 million in mortgage-recording-tax waivers from the city .

Local businesses, mostly auto body and repair garages who are expected to be relocated, are angy and disappointed. The article quotes Arturo Olaya, president of the Willets Point Defense Committee of Small Businesses and Workers, as saying that the tax breaks are terrible. “These people are approving money and money for the developers . . . [and] they’re not giving enough for relocation.”

The Daily News article, which can be accesssed HERE, says that the city has set aside $15.5 million to relocate the businesses.  The New York Economic Development Corp.’s Willets Point redevelopment page, HERE, lists the programs the city is providing free to Willets Point workers.

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