Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Park Protest - Mall's No Good Either

NY1 has a good story on a growing community opposition to the use of Flushing Meadows Park for a soccer stadium-and they're none too thrilled about the Mets mall as well:

"Members of the community say they want some input on the project that would see a shopping mall go up near Citi Field and a Major League Soccer stadium where Industry Pond now sits.

In addition to the shopping and sports complex, the U.S. Tennis Association is lobbying for a new stadium at the site as well. Opponents say they don't want their park gutted

This underscores our critique of the Crain's article from yesterday that presented a rosy picture of the support for the soccer stadium-everyone in favor except, as it turns out, the people who use the park for recreation:

"Why don't they just build the stadium in Central Park?" said City Councilman Daniel Dromm. "That's the question all of us have here. Whenever they want to build something, they don't ever think about putting it in their flagship park in Manhattan."

"What we want to kind of show today is that this community is organized," said Javier Valdes of Make The Road New York. "This community wants to be part of those conversations. This community wants to be thinking about what is the future of Flushing Meadows Corona Park

NBC News follows up on this trending opposition-something that the electeds are going to have to be very cognizant about going into an election year:

"Many folks are saying, we don't want to only watch soccer, we don't only want to watch professional athletes play soccer -- we also want our families to actually use the park to play soccer," said Theo Oshiro of the community group Make the Road New York.

"We're really upset right now that the city's taking away our space without even asking or letting us know what they'll do," said Maria Alvarez of Corona

The mall is also looked at with disdain: "As for another project that has residents upset -- plans to build a mall and another development just outside the park -- the city says it would create more than 7,000 permanent jobs and 12,000 construction jobs. The plan was approved by the City Council years ago, in 2008."

Well, not quite right Ida Siegal. This crappy mall was not even considered four years ago and the added traffic-right next to the park-has CM Ferreras worried, as it should:

"I'm hoping that we can find a middle ground and something that's beneficial to the community, because at the end of the day, it is their park -- they're going to have to deal with the traffic, they're going to have to deal with the impasse," said councilwoman Julissa Ferreras of Queens."

The city is planing a drastic makeover for Flushing/Willets Point and Corona and we're wondering where that sharp[ local development corporation run by the evanescent Claire Shulman stands on all of this. We know one thing for certain. They don't stand with communities that they have never represented-only the rapacious developers who pay the bills. The more local folks see what's planned for them, the greater will be the resounding opposition to this crackpot planning that the city's doing in Queens.