Work set to start on Flushing waterfront redevelopment

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The owners of 29-acres coveted Queens land have hailed the
City Council’s approval to rezone it as a special district, paving the way for the
creation of a new community of 1,7000 apartments, shops, offices and hotels.

FWRA LLC, a joint venture of F&T Group, Young Nian and
United Construction which owns the site, said on a statement: “The City Council
vote in favor of the Special Flushing Waterfront District provides a better
future for Flushing when needed most.

“We are so appreciative of the Council Members who have recognized the importance of 3,700-plus permanent jobs, a new traffic-alleviating public road network, affordable housing, a publicly accessible waterfront, $164+ million in projected annual tax revenue and much more for the Flushing community and New York City at large contributing to the City’s collective economic recovery,” said the JV in a statement.

“As the owners of this project, we are incredibly thankful
to Council Member Peter Koo, Chairs Francisco Moya and Rafael Salamanca,
Speaker Corey Johnson and the Department of City Planning for the support
leading up to this moment. Council Member Koo has been an incredible advocate
for the future of Flushing and the immigrant communities he serves. With his
support, Queens and New York City will move forward with this next exciting
chapter. 

“We would also like to recognize former Queens Borough
President, the late Claire Shulman, whose immense support, vision, and
unwavering passion for the progression of Queens drove this project forward.
Bringing this project to fruition is a testament to her work and legacy.

“After decades of false starts and stops to activate the waterfront, we could not be more honored to be part of the solution. Today and together, we move Flushing forward.”

The developers have promised to try to figure out a way to increase the number of affordable units currently stipulated in the plan.

The go-ahead for the massive redevelopment plan came after the
developers hammered out a deal with labor unions to pay building and hotel
workers union-scale wages. They also agreed to a local hiring program and upgrades
to sewer and storm drain infrastructure and to contribute $2 million to support
local small businesses over the next decade.

 The developers also agreed to try to work out away to increase the number of affordable units from its current 90 by engaging in “good faith discussions” with the city’s Housing and Preservation department over the next three years to explore securing financing and funding for affordable housing on the site.

FWRA LLC will also carve out 20,000 s/f for community facilities, public playgrounds, plazas, art installations and pedestrian pathways, as well as 1,000 s/f of dedicated space for the La Jornada food pantry.

The project will transform the derelict Flushing River waterfront.

Council Speaker Corey Johnson hailed the rezoning deal
saying it would bring “good jobs, open space … and economic opportunity to Queens.”

City Councilmember Peter Koo, who represents Flushing, applauded
a deal that will he said will created $116 in local tax revenue and “ensure
quality jobs in Flushing, public waterfront access, expanded open space,
environmental cleanup, local workforce development, a long-term commitment to
affordable housing, and more.”

Queens Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Grech
said, “We are excited to work with the developers and 32 BJ and the Hotels
Trade Council to ensure that local firms and residents benefit from this
project, especially MWBEs, and that residents of the Bland House and Latimer
Gardens can benefit from the employment opportunities created.”

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