The landowners at Willets Point seem to have been inspired by John McCain’s flurry of negative ads. The main group of owners, seeking to resist a Bloomberg administration redevelopment proposal that’s before the City Council this month, just launched a TV ad that smears the Bloomberg plan, complete with deep-voiced narrator.
"It’s a crisis," the ad says. "School cuts—$180 million; police cuts—nearly $100 million; tax cuts on the way. Incredibly, there’s a plan to spend $1 billion on a land grab at Willets Point."
The group, the Willets Point Industry and Realty Association, says it will run on "local cable television." A WPIRA spokeswoman did not provide the cost of the ad purchase, but said it was a "solid buy that will get people’s attention."
Probably fair to point out that the Bloomberg administration has $400 million in its capital plan for Willets Point—not $1 billion—and while many observers feel that that money will not be sufficient to acquire all the property, the city ultimately expects to get much of that money back from developers who ultimately buy the land.
The Bloomberg administration needs approval from the City Council by Nov. 18 for the plan, which would rezone the 61-acre industrial area by Citi Field in Queens.