BY JOE MARVILLI
Could Flushing West be one of Queens’ next residential hubs?
The Dept. of City Planning will launch a planning study to answer that very question, exploring the feasibility of transforming the mostly-industrial area near Flushing Creek. Although it is in its early stages, the study would look at bringing affordable housing, open space and retail opportunities to the area.
The study is part of a City-wide effort to find neighborhoods that could be rezoned, allowing for greater residential development. The effort is part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s goal to create or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing in the next 10 years.
The study for Flushing West will build on work done by the Flushing-Willets Point-Corona LDC. LDC head and former Borough President Claire Shulman said the general boundaries of Flushing West are between Northern Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue and between Prince Street and the edge of Willets Point. The Dept. of City Planning said part of its study will be figuring out what boundaries to set for its revitalization efforts.
“We will work towards shared goals of providing new housing options, necessary services and economic development opportunities in each borough and throughout the City,” Carl Weisbrod, Chairman of the NYC Planning Commission and Director of the Department of City Planning, said at a testimony before the City Council.
The Dept. of City Planning will work extensively with the community, as well as other agencies that have their own projects.
Any potential development in Flushing West would have to include the Dept. of Environmental Protection’s remediation for Flushing Creek, one of the most polluted waterways in the City. Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) took a tour of the area with DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd to assess the situation.
The DEP is in the process of putting together a Long-Term Control Plan that would increase the system’s combined sewer overflow treatment capabilities through a combination of green and gray infrastructure projects.
“Now that the City has officially announced they are looking to develop the land along the waterfront, this is a great opportunity to shine a brighter light on this longstanding problem,” Koo said.
Flushing West has already seen some development, with Sky View Parc, a 448-unit luxury condominium located on the edge of the territory. The Sky View Center mall and the Parc Hotel are also recent additions to College Point Boulevard.