Tuesday, January 5, 2010

We have not yet begun to fight!

From the Daily News:

The city Economic Development Corp. expects to issue a request for proposals this year to selected developers to rezone the southwest section of Willets Point, a spokesman said.

But some property owners in the downtrodden, 62-acre Iron Triangle say there are still obstacles the agency must overcome before it can bring in the bulldozers.

"The focal point in the new year is going to be on the evaluation of the [building of] ramps off the Van Wyck Expressway," said Richard Lipsky, a lobbyist for Willets Point United, a group of business owners.

For the city to condemn the land for redevelopment, plans for traffic flow to and from the north-south thoroughfare must be approved by the state Transportation Department and the Federal Highway Administration, Lipsky said.

The city is confident an agreement will be made on the new construction.

"The project would completely debilitate the Van Wyck," said Michael Gerrard, a lawyer for...Willets Point [United]. "The amount of traffic would create a multi-mile, perpetual gridlock."

The group vowed to continue fighting the city to keep it from taking the land.

"It will be a very contentious year at Willets Point," Gerrard said.