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Queens Chamber of Commerce announces partnership with Flushing Willets Point Corona Local Development Corporation

From left to right, President and CEO of the Queens Chamber of Commerce Thomas Grech and Chair of the FWPC LDC Rob Racanelli. (Photo courtesy of Queens Chamber of Commerce)

The Queens Chamber of Commerce and the Flushing Willets Point-Corona Local Development Corporation (FWPC LDC) announced a landmark agreement on Thursday, July 15, partnering on several projects, events and initiatives in northern Queens.

Tom Grech, president and CEO of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, said they’re delighted to reach an agreement with the FWPC LDC, an organization founded by the late Queens Borough President Claire Shulman to revitalize the greater Flushing, Willets Point and Corona neighborhoods.

The two organizations will engage in a meaningful partnership to carry forward the vision of Shulman, Grech said.

“Because of Borough President Shulman’s vision and the FWPC LDC’s hard work, there is a plan in place to develop a thriving community in Flushing and Willets Point creating jobs and economic opportunity for residents throughout northern Queens,” Grech said.  “We look forward to completing this work in a way that both benefits the businesses and residents of Flushing, Willets Point and Corona, and pays tribute to Borough President Shulman, who did so much for Queens.”

Founded in 2007 by Shulman, the FWPC LDC is an organization composed of private and public sector stakeholders that seek to develop a comprehensive set of economic development goals for the Greater Flushing, Willets Point and Corona neighborhoods in northern Queens. FWPC LDC is dedicated to the facilitation of projects that help revitalize and stabilize these neighborhoods.

John Racanelli, chair of the FWPC LDC, said founding and leading LDC was the capstone of Shulman’s amazing life and career. 

“Every project initiated and accomplished by the LDC has been the result of her vision, energy and tenacity,” Racanelli said. “Claire cannot be replaced, but the LDC’s alliance with the chamber will ensure that its work will go forward and endure as a monument to her leadership.”

Borough President Donovan Richards congratulated the chamber and the FWPC LDC for coming together to create a “historic partnership” — one that Shulman would have certainly been proud of, Richards said. 

“With our Queens comeback well underway, we must leave no stone unturned in our efforts to uplift and support our local businesses in any way we can,” Richards said. “My office looks forward to continuing our partnership with these two vital organizations to accomplish that mission.”

In 2017, FWPC LDC completed the Revitalization Plan for the waterfront land in Flushing. Today, they are focused on a variety of issues facing the community, including the expansion of affordable housing, infrastructure improvement, mass transit, open space and streetscape issues.

The chamber will form a committee that will focus on the work of the FWPC LDC and continue to advance projects in the neighborhoods of Flushing, Willets Point and Corona.

The chamber will seek to establish an appropriate naming opportunity in recognition of Shulman’s efforts to revitalize the area.

In honor of Shulman and to support its ongoing efforts, the FWPC LDC and Chamber of Commerce will host a fundraiser, “A Night at the Ballpark” on Tuesday, Sept. 14, at 6 p.m. at Citi Field. The evening will be held in the Empire Suites and will include a reception and the ballgame where the New York Mets will take on the St. Louis Cardinals.

For more information on the event, visit queensalive.org.

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