Tuesday, May 5, 2009

What Willets Point has over Uniondale?

Support from a local government for an economic development and growth plan.

Okay, take away the fact that the area is roughly HALF the size of the Lighthouse project at 60 acres as opposed to almost 150. Forget the idea that in this smaller acreage, they are calling for more than TWICE the number of residences. (And a good portion of them are actually classified as LOW INCOME HOUSING and not SECOND GENERATIONAL.) Put aside the fact that 45 of these acres are/were owned by other people and need to be acquired and/or claimed by the city, and sideline the fact that businesses, jobs and people need to be relocated.

This project is getting an all out "gung-ho" hype from the local politicians and some of our own fans.

Do you know what bothers me about it?

Those 60 acres they want to build homes, stores, a convention center, a school and a park are going to be built on.... HAZARDOUS GROUNDS as admitted and indicated in the NYCEDC'S own brochure.

It will require seven feet of landfill in order to raise the area above the flood level, and that's after they attempt to clean out the area they want to occupy. (Do you really think that digging out and refilling will keep the toxins from escaping especially if they have already hit the ground water level?)

Oh, and about that little "traffic" thing that we make so much of on Long Island. NY seems to have a different way to look at it. "Yeah, there'll be traffic, just about the same amount as there will be by 2017 if we do nothing." Solution? Deal with it.

Check out their information on their final environmental impact statement. Interesting stuff. But hey! They're ready to BUILD, right? Isn't this what we're being told?

Come on Charles and Company! Move to Queens! We're ready to rock if you are! Hell, check their published time line:

Timeline for Willets Point Redevelopment
Below is the estimated timeline for major milestones in the redevelopment initiative.

Spring 2008: Seek ULURP Certification Release recommendations of M/WBE Task Force

Summer 2008:

June 30 - Queens Community Board 7 Hearing and Vote
July 11 - Borough President's Hearing July 30 - Borough President's Recommendations Issued August 13 - City Planning Commission Public Hearing for the DGEIS
September 12 - Notice of Completion for the FEIS

Fall 2008

September 24 - City Planning Commission Vote
October 1 - Launch Workforce Assistance Program

Spring 2009: Select developer

Spring/Summer 2009: Continue site acquisition and relocation

2010: Begin site preparation, remediation, and construction

Notice the swiftness at which the city can move. Astounding, isn't it?

Hello: Town Of Hempstead, Republican Party Chairman, large scale developments CAN actually get done in ONE political term not lifetime.

Now, all this being said, and this is simply my personal (suburbanite mother & housewife) view, I would never want to see my hockey team on this site.

Hockey arenas are generally built with a good portion of the area below grade. As they have already admitted, the ground below grade is "hazardous" from decades of dumping. I'm not very comfortable with my team, my friends or my family sitting in an environmental time bomb for 42 games a year.

Unless they can guarantee me that from hanging out in the underground weight room, Rick DiPietro will mutate and grow two more arms to make incredibly brilliant saves, I'd like to continue to fight for the big grey parking lot in Nassau County that already has a hole in the ground called the NVMC.

Thanks... but no thanks.


Travelchic59 said...

Good to see you tonight, Dee.

One thing about Queens. . .


Unless you plan on flying to Kansas to see the team play. LOL!

After today's bankrupcy by the Coyotes, hold your breath that we are not next. Businesses do it all the time and the CEO's personal wealth is not considered part of the business's assets.

Scotty Hockey said...

Wasn't it the Coliseum that filled with raw sewage at one point?

And you neglected to mention the supreme amount of convenience for fans and teams to travel to a rail-linked arena that would be closer to airports in Queens ...


7th Woman said...

Hey Mary, Yes, Good to see you too on a non-hockey day in May! I'm not worried about them filing bankrupcy. THat's not happening.

Scotty: The raw sewage came from a pipe break that was easily fixed and cleaned. It was not 75 years of dumping chemicals into the ground that will seep through the foundation.

Yeah... more convenient for the city fans, closer to the Rangers. Yeah... that'll make you happy so you don't have to go to MSG, right?

Oliver said...

I would like to ofer some thoughts on a possible move to Queens - the rail link would be the 7 line and everyone should really take a trip on it at (c)rush hour time just to be able to say they survived the experience because it is litteraly the most crowdwd subway line in the MTA bar none.
On the idea of remediating the pollution of the ground at Willets Point from the acre upon acre of junked cars - think motor oil, transmission fluids, gasoline, other distillates, methyl-ethyl-ketones and other carcinogenic solvents with all of them having decades to interact in the soil and possibly forming new compounds not presently known to either science or industry. Dee you are very right to be worried about a structure that must be built below grade in order to improve the quality of the ice surface.
Of course NYC will do the work to "clean up" the site and then certify that the toxic spills have been remediated - to that idea I offer up the sad tale of Maspeth and Newtown Creeks. Driving over the Kosciusko Bridge on the BQE you can look down upon the creek and on some hot summer days the water itself will be on fire and no it won't be your eyes playing tricks on you.
From the late 1800's through to today the area has been the scene of both heavy industrial use and as a transfer station for all of the major oil companies and all of them have done some dumping on the creeks shoreline. The more interesting "dumpers" have been the Oil Companies. When they were first building their storage Tanks on their respective properties they were not liquid tight and thus they tended to leak a wee bit - here a gallon, there twenty more- and today it is estimated that a plume of oil comprised of some 20 million gallons of black oil has migrated under the neighborhood lying to the South of the two creeks. In that neighborhood when you smeel gas in the basement you call the FDNY and not Con Ed. In that neighborhood it is no longer considered to be newsworthy to report that some manhole covers have been blown into the air because it happens far too frequently to be called a new event. It is also in that neighborhood that the only revenue producing Oil Wells working in NYC are pumping out product on a daily basis and still from time to time in the summer the creek will burn because water is supposed to burn isn't it.
If the Islanders end up having to move lets find them a place in Suffolk County that is located near to the LIRR and the LIE plus a parkway or two - perhaps the site in Yaphank that the NY Jets considered as a possible home?
If you run a google search for Maspeth and/or Newtown Creek I am sure you can find the wonderfully written article of all that has occurred to what was once a beautiful watershed that served as George Washingtons left flank defensive position during the Battle of Long Island.