The mayor’s executive budget released yesterday called for $389.7 million in city funding for the proposed Willets Point redevelopment, an amount that would be one of the largest direct city contributions for an economic development project during the Bloomberg administration.
The money would be used for acquisition and infrastructure work, according to a city summary of the mayor’s budget plan, with the capital budget calling for the money to be spread over a 12-year period, with the bulk of it at the start.
The city’s plan to redevelop Willets Point, a 61-acre industrial area next to Shea Stadium, has been criticized by numerous members of the City Council, including almost every member from Queens. The Council’s approval is needed for the city to proceed on its plan, and thus it seems unlikely to move ahead until the city addresses some of the Council’s criticisms, which include concerns over the use of eminent domain and treatment of existing landowners and workers.
As means of comparison, the city previously pledged $350 million for the expansion of the publicly owned Javits Center and $200 million for Brooklyn’s Atlantic Yards development.