BY SUZANNE MONTEVERDI
The New York State Court of Appeals decided on Monday that it would consider the Queens Development Group’s appeal to review the ruling that shot down their proposed $3 billion project in Willets Point.
Queens Development Group, a partnership of Related Companies and Sterling Equities, announced their plans for the site back in 2012, which includes building housing, a hotel, a large shopping center and a movie theater complex.
The now-contested ruling was announced on July 2 after four appellate judges overturned the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of the developers, explaining that the project cannot move forward because the intended development space is part of Flushing Meadows Corona Park, designated public parkland, and the developers did not acquire the proper authorization necessary to transfer the land to a nonpublic entity.
Since its inception the project has received criticism from state Senator Tony Avella, who stands by the court’s original ruling.
Upon hearing about the Court of Appeals’ decision, Avella expressed his disappointment.
“It is unfortunate that the Willets West developers have chosen to continue this legal battle. I, along with the City Club of New York, Queens Civic Congress, NYC Park Advocates, members of Willets Point United, as well as nearby residents and business owners, know that we stand on strong legal ground, and the Appellate Court agreed. The fact of the matter is that this is parkland–it belongs to the people–and my fellow petitioners and I are confident that the Court of Appeals will issue a fair ruling,” Avella said.
Should the court rule in the developers’ favor, they would receive clearance to move the project forward.
Crain’s New York first reported Monday’s ruling by the Appellate Court.