City Makes First Buyouts at Willets Point [UPDATED]

After months of trying to cut deals, the city has made its first two agreements to buyout landowners at Willets Point, the 61-acre site by Shea Stadium slated for redevelopment, the city announced today. The first to give in were Sambucci Bros., an auto salvage business, and BRD Corp.

The news comes on the same day that a local community board is holding its first hearing on the redevelopment, which is expected to attract considerable resistance from a well-organized group of major landowners.

Taken with a public endorsement of the project by members of the Central Labor Council last week, the deals represent a few steps forward for the city in a project that met major resistance from the City Council when it first started the city’s land use approval process in April.

Update 4:05 p.m.

Seth Pinsky, president of the city’s Economic Development Corporation, said the two deals happened within the two weeks, and the city is not disclosing prices as it is negotiating with others on the site.

“Notwithstanding public posture, we’ve been having very productive conversations with a number of businesses and landowners," he said. "We’re pleased that these two entities accepted our offers now, but we are confident that this isn’t’ going to be the last this isn’t you’re going to hear from us.”



Release below.


Includes Deal With One Of The Largest Landowners

New York City, June 18, 2008 – The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today announced that it has signed property acquisition agreements with two of the landowners with whom it has been negotiating at Willets Point, Queens. The deals are the first of what NYCEDC intends to be a series of such agreements in the coming months as the City proceeds through the Uniformed Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP).

“NYCEDC is pleased to have completed the first property acquisition agreements,” said Seth W. Pinsky, President, NYCEDC. “They provide tangible evidence that we will make good on our promise to achieve fair, negotiated deals with as many businesses and owners as possible in connection with the Willets Point redevelopment.”

Sambucci Bros. Inc. Auto Salvage has agreed to have NYCEDC acquire 52,000 square feet of land on two parcels of industrial space. The sale is contingent upon ULURP approval.

“From our perspective we’re glad we reached a deal with the city,” said Dan Sambucci, Jr., of Sambucci Bros.Inc.” We are now able to begin planning our relocation.”

BRD Corp., a landowner, is selling 22,000 square feet of land that includes three parcels.

Under the City’s plan, the industrial and automotive environments in which Sambucci and BRD Corp. had been operating will be remediated and prepared for a new mixed-use community that will include housing, restaurants, stores, parks, and a school. The project will also provide 18,000 construction jobs and more than five thousand permanent jobs.

NYCEDC has been engaged in active relocation negotiations with many businesses of all sizes since announcing its redevelopment plans last year.


City Makes First Buyouts at Willets Point [UPDATED]