A local politician has a green idea for a long-vacant, overgrown lot in Flushing.
Located at 24-19 Francis Lewis Blvd., the corner lot is set to go up for auction on Jan. 20. But, according to state Senator Tony Avella, this is not the first time the plot of land will go up for sale: most recently, the lot failed to be sold at a Sept. 9, 2016, auction.
The property — which is owned by the New York City Tax Lien Trust (NYCTL Trusts), a trust owned by the city of New York — fails to attract buyers because of its “undevelopable nature” and has been a nuisance to the community for decades, according to Avella.
In response, the lawmaker has sent a letter to the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) and Tower Capital Management, which services NYCTL Trusts, suggesting the land plot instead be transformed into green infrastructure under the city’s Greenstreets initiative.
“Why should the city pawn this property, that cannot be developed, off onto an unsuspecting buyer when we can easily transform it into green infrastructure that can benefit the whole community?” Avella said in a press release. “This abandoned lot has been a nuisance for decades, it’s about time we do something positive for the community. I hope DPR, and Tower Capital Management take this recommendation into serious consideration prior to their upcoming auction.”
Launched in 1996 by the city’s Parks Department, the Greenstreets initiative was created to transform unused road areas into green spaces meant to beautify the neighborhood and provide social and environmental benefits. Since the program’s inception, 2,500 Greenstreets have been built throughout the five boroughs, the NYC Parks Department website reports.
According to the DPR website, traditional Greenstreets are still built in any community, but only if it comes with “independent and full funding.” Projects are rated by priority using a list of criteria set by DPR.
For more information about the initiative, visit the DPR website.