Does Queens Need Two Convention Centers?

willets Does Queens Need Two Convention Centers?

That big thing in the corner is the Willets convention Center. (NYC EDC)

After Mayor Bloomberg and the city won a key Willets Point case back in 2010, a slew of colleges and development companies are competing to redevelop the iron triangle. As part of Bloomberg’s plan, a convention center—the first outside of Manhattan—will be a focal point of the project and will rocket Willets Point into “New York’s next great neighborhood.”

But now that the gigundo casino-and-convention complex is in the works at nearby Aqueduct, is there room for two convention centers in Queens?

That’s what The Times is asking today, and the answer they find is that the city’s biggest borough has room for two.

“Willets Point right now looks like something in a third-world nation, and if we’re going to be able to maximize economic opportunities it’s going to require full redevelopment,” Queens Chamber of Commerce president Jack Friedman tells the Gray Lady.

The Bloomberg administration does not appear to have changed its mind, either. A spokeswoman for the city’s Economic Development Corporation, which is leading the Willet Point’s redevelopment, would not address the Cuomo casino/convention plan but did say that “our plans have not changed.”

mewing@observer.com