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Van Bramer, Nolan, Denounce City’s Lastest Sunnyside Yard Announcement, Say City Did Not Seek Their Input

via EDC

May 3, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez

Elected officials representing areas of Long Island City and Sunnyside have already rejected the city’s next step in the Sunnyside Yard project just announced earlier today.

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer and Assemblymember Catherine Nolan both expressed outrage over the city’s announcement that a consulting team has been selected and a community group has been formed to work on the master plan for the 180-acre yard.

Both officials were blindsided by the announcement, and were not briefed as to the makeup of the group.

But the city’s Economic Development Corporation, the agency overseeing the master plan, claims all local elected officials at the city, state, and federal levels of government have been invited to participate and or send representatives as part of the process.

Nolan, however, said Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, who is listed as co-chair the Sunnyside Yard Steering Committee along with Tony Coscia, Chair of the Amtrak Board of Directors, did not reach out to her about the steering committee.

“I am incredibly disappointed that Deputy Mayor Glen did not reach out to get my input as the elected representative of this district for over thirty years,” Nolan said in a statement. “I have worked closely with the Mayor on many issues and it is shocking to see community voices denied in this process at the very beginning.”

Nolan said the steering committee consists of many talented community leaders, but has to be more diverse and reflective of Western Queens. She demands that local elected officials be able to recommend people to the panel.

The Assembly member, who has staunchly opposed developing over Sunnyside Yard, said she will be introducing legislation to give the state and the legislature more input into the process.

Van Bramer, also been a vocal opponent of decking the yard, said the EDC’s roll out of the master plan details was “botched.”

He said the agency did not inform him that an announcement regarding the master plan would be made today.

“It probably would have been a good idea if they had convened all of us [elected officials] to talk about it,” Van Bramer said. “It certainly would have been wise to give folks a serious heads up that this was happening. I think catching people by surprise is the last thing you wanna do on something this controversial.”

Van Bramer said the idea of developing over the yards is deeply concerning, and something he would “never” support.

“I think, once again, this is part of the problem with this administration where they have a vision of what they want our community to look like, but it’s not our vision,” he said. “The fact that they are moving forward in the way that they’re moving forward is outrageous, and I am not going to support a plan to build massive towers over Sunnyside Yards.”

In a statement, the EDC said: “All local elected officials have been invited to participate in the Sunnyside Yard Steering Committee. The master planning process will include many opportunities for elected and stakeholder engagement. It’s our goal to ensure that the many diverse communities surrounding Sunnyside Yard have a seat at the table in the planning and visioning process.”

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19 Comments

LICfly

Neighborhoods evolve, some for better, some for worse. If you don’t like it, do something more than ranting on some internet board. If you don’t want to make that effort, move somewhere else. Good riddens!




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ginobrino

Sunnyside yards is urban blight – basically an enormous parking lot for trains. Why wouldn’t any reasonable person want to develop that huge piece of land to connect LIC, Astoria, Sunnyside and other nearby neighborhoods.
It needs to be done responsibly though. Require a large percentage of affordable housing, build schools,parks, mix in office and retail development so that people don’t have to travel to Manhattan, add a train station or two as well as parking for residents.

I know a lot of people on this website are complaining about it only being for the “rich” – but guess what? That ship has sailed a long time ago. Single family homes in Astoria/LIC/Sunnyside are already over a million dollars.

This can be done in a responsible manner and be a benefit to the existing communities.




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Basta

Sunnyside yards “urban blight”? Are you crazy? Sunnyside yards looks like NYC, and if you grew up here you would know that. I’m tired of all these transplants from other parts of the country, and other parts of the world, trying to tell local residents what is best for their city.

Sunnyside yards actually looks nice to some of us, and at the very least it plays a part in keeping the overcrowding down (although that is not nearly enough to stop the rampant development).

Building over Sunnyside yards will absolutely destroy the character of the surrounding neighborhoods, but I see that plenty of the newcomers are just fine with that.




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Native NYer

1000% correct.
This entire area of Queens is at capacity as far as residential numbers in relation to the schools and public transit. The thousands of new residents brought in by this proposed development is the real “urban blight”
It perpetually amazes me how people who have lived in this city a hot second have it all figured out.




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NoMoreTaxes

Where are we going to fit 10,000 new subway riders, school children, drivers, delivery recepients… in your head? Thanks Jimmy and Kathy!




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LIC resident

The issue is not the development of western queens, but the missing infrastructure that should go with it. If they want to built it them a new subway line must be included, the 7, E, M are already at capacity. Also kids in LIC don’t have sufficient school now!




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Aaron

Why do these reps not want to develop Sunnyside Yards? I live in LIC, and of course I want the city to develop it. Do we need new representatives, because this seems like an easy choice – an eyesore rail yard acting as a giant fence in the middle of LIC or something nice like the Hudson Yards development?




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LIC resident

Sunnyside Yards has a nice post-apocalyptic urban desert feel to it. Few places in the city inspire the sense of dread and despair on such a large scale. It would be a shame to cover up such an icon.




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MRLIC

Aaron are you a developer? You sure do sound like one. All or most of this rail yard housing will be for the rich and not affordable along with where will these people fit on the trains and buses along with the multitude of other new development being built. Maybe you are new to LIC and don’t know what is going on. LIC is being over built and something needs to be done about it NOW> People are not afraid of development just OVER development. There are not enough stores or green space in the area either. On Vernon Blvd, one restaurant closes and another one opens. Do some reading Aaron before you a crunched into ever crowded trains and buses more than people are today. Roads and sidewalks won’t be fun to traverse either.




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Aaron

Hi MRLIC. I am not a developer. I work in advertising in Manhattan. In the spirit of debate, how can you possibly know that “all or most” housing will be for the “rich”? Making generalized blanket statements like that indicates that you actually do not know. In fact, no one knows as it is in the early planning stages. Why not at least look into it? Part of the development might be city park, but I’m guessing you don’t want all that wildlife in LIC either. Since you guessed that I’m a developer, I’m going to guess that you are longtime resident who doesn’t like change, and you dislike all the new residents. Long Island City is growing, whether you like it or not. It will continue to grow. Let’s incorporate smart growth and welcome anyone who wants to live such a great area!




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LICfly

I agree with Aaron and support growth. I’m not a developer, just a LIC resident for the last 9 years in the grind like most of you. It’s bizarre that one would prefer to keep abandoned railyards/tracks.




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ANON

I feel most people don’t have a problem with development, as long as it’s useful to the community. That means… no more hotels or residential buildings.




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MRLIC

It figures you would agree with Aaron. Why o you want to ruin what is left of a once great neighborhood where middle class families once thrived. What you have now an what you will get is Manhattan all over again. Crowded and congested with little Green Space outside of Central Park. If Central Park wasn’t there already there would be office buildings. There are so many tall buildings around central park now residents there say the sun doesn’t hit the Park much anymore. Is this what you want for LIC? I do believe the rail yard is not abandoned as LIRR and Amtrak use those tracks. There is also an LIRR repair facility down the tracks near where the 7 turns and goes into the tunnel to Hunters Pt. Station. LIRR trains are seen moving there quite often. Leave the rest of LIC alone. It was fine before. Sunnyside is also against this development. The people in Sunnyside saw what happened in LIC and don’t want their quaint neighborhood to wind up as LIC did.




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Anonymous

It’s not development of the tracks that is objectionable. Yes, let’s put something there that helps the community and, most importantly, provides infrastructure, open space, transit and other services that can support the people here. What we’re witnessing now in this neighborhood is all-out building without adequate planning for the impacts of the new population. It’s just stupid.




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MRLIC

Aaron, maybe you are or aren’t a developer. You sure do sound like one. Based on all the development so far the track record is gentrification and no planning. Unaffordable for most means for the well off. Anything done so far by the city has ruined areas for retail and the middle and low income residents. There was an article in the Post a week or so ago that was titled “Vacant City”. It dealt with just the length of Broadway in Manhattan. 188 vacant properties because of greedy landlords waiting for high end tenants that aren’t coming. This is happening all over the 5 boroughs. Rents causing vacancies on High end apts. also. DeBlasio wants aa vacancy tax on these retail properties. He should expand that to apts. also. Yes, I am a long time resident. The community doesn’t want it in LIC and Sunnyside does not want it either. Where will these people fit on the trains and buses. WAKE UP. The yards were there before and no one called them bight. If you don’t like it stay in Manhattan where you belong.




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Good Morning Remix

MRLIC – go to that stretch of Broadway in Manhattan. I read the same article (and like the Post) and also walk that strip every day. There are certainly empty spaces, but there’s also a lot of retail. It may not be retail everyone wants – banks, Duane Reades, bodegas, coffee places, etc., but it’s not as desolate as the Post article makes it sound. It also includes completely empty buildings that are being re-developed, which is a bit disingenuous.




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LICfly

so u are saying railyards = green space. gotcha. gtfo.




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Basta

MRLIC, thank you for speaking up, and for speaking the truth. It is scary how many of the people commenting here can’t see the simple truth the way that you do. It’s scary how all of these newcomers have no problem destroying the character of a neighborhood because they don’t have the slightest clue about it. It isn’t where they grew up (probably some lifeless, boring place), so why should they care?

These people are disgusting in their attitudes and lack of foresight. They can’t even comprehend how much of a disaster this would be for the neighborhood.




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