A planned urban community is designed to be self-sufficient and provides housing, commercial and recreational facilities for its residents. This concept has been around since 1942 when Parkchester opened and offered the Bronx luxury apartments. And after all this time, Bronx NY apartments are still thriving – thanks to the success of Parkchester. Now it’s Queens’ turn to experience a new, planned community.
Now there is another planned community like Parkchester, but over in Queens. Ever heard of Willets Point? Willets Point is an industrial neighborhood within Corona, in the New York City’s borough of Queens. Nicknamed locally as the Iron Triangle it is known for its automobile shops and junkyards. In 2011, Willets Point had a population of 10 people and has been described as being “post-apocalyptic” in appearance. Plans for urban renewal in Willets Point were necessary and in 2011, the $4 billion redevelopment project began and continues today.
If you’re a baseball fan, you may recognize Willets Point as the location of Shea Stadium from 1961 to 2008 and Citi Field from 2009 and on as the home field for the New York Mets baseball franchise. The closed Shea Stadium site has a proposal in court currently relating to a development project planned for Willets Point. The plans include a small planned community, a school, an enormous mall, community facilities on 70 acres. The plans are for 5,500 units, of which 1,975 will be designated for affordable housing. The Shea Stadium parking lot is pegged to be a future 200-store Megamall and the issue that will be settled in the courts. Currently, the Shea Stadium parking lot is considered to be park land. The New York State Legislature must now approve the megamall, stalling development even further according to a nyrej.com article published on the 4th of July.
The redevelopment of Willet plans has been in the works for decades now. And now, it’s tied up in a court battle.