Steve Cohen’s team releases community-based report regarding development of 50 acres of asphalt around Citi Field

A new poll shows a majority of respondents in Queens are in favor of a proposal to build a casino on the parking lot west of Citi Field. (QNS/File)

New York Mets owner Steve Cohen and his team at North Shore Strategies have released a report of what the public would like to see done with the 50 acres of asphalt around Citi Field. The report is based off door-to-door conversations with nearby residents, which was based off community feedback from 200 meetings with community leaders and 15 community workshops.

According to the feedback collected from community members, 89% of the local residents who responded support a vision that would include public green space, thousands of well-paying jobs, a Queens Food Hall featuring local restaurants and vendors, community athletic fields and bike paths, new connections to the waterfront and community, space for community groups and local artists, improved public transit and parking infrastructure and a hotel with a live music venue, casino gaming and conference spaces.

“Developing the area around Citi Field would offer real community benefits,” Boys and Girls Club of Queens CEO Costa Constantinides said.

Prior to receiving this feedback, a poll was conducted, which showed support from 78% of the community to build something around the community. This was done when the community members who responded learned about the framework of the project.

According to the polling report, 65% of respondents were more supportive of the project if it included a hotel with live music, casino gaming and conference spaces. Upon becoming more familiar with the casino’s features, they became more supportive of the gaming feature. Approximately 68% of those who responded were more likely to support the project with the casino acting as the main economic engine. The belief is that this would help attract people to the area year-round.

Even after receiving this much feedback for the report, Cohen’s team at North Shore Strategies is still trying to get thoughts from as many members of the community as possible. His team is has been taking these conversations door-to-door in Corona, East Elmhurst, Lefrak City, Jackson Heights and Flushing. In order to maximize feedback and transparency, the canvassers are fluent in English, Spanish, Korean and Chinese.

According to North Shore Strategies, in just over a month of going door-to-door, more than 10,000 conversations have been performed with local residents. This has result in much more insight and feedback on the effort.

Among the vast majority of residents who supported “building something great” on the 50 acres of asphalt, 32% prioritized green space, 23% prioritized well-paying jobs and 16% prioritized a food hall. The conversations made it clear that residents in the area would like to see more done with the area around Citi Field. They would like to see a shared space created where people can be proud to come and enjoy what it has to offer.

“Our opportunity is to bring thousands of new, good-paying local jobs to the area,” Pastor Young of the First Baptist Church of Corona said.

Based in Queens, North Shore Strategies empowers its clients to deliver on their goals by applying a powerful mix of grassroots marketing and community mobilization. Its high-impact services and strategies have been applied to a vast array of for-profit companies and non-profit organizations, including political campaigns, labor unions and causes.