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Tricky Planning Politics for New York's Sunnyside Yard Mega-Project

An 18-month planning process is unfolding in a part of New York City that has not taken kindly to large, corporate visions of the future.
July 15, 2019, 6am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"A team of city planners and consultants is two-thirds through an 18-month master planning process for what could be a megadevelopment on the Sunnyside Yards—a site six times the size of Hudson Yards between Long Island City and Sunnyside," according to an article by Shannon Ayala.

"If their first year of work is any indication, the planners’ task over the next six months will involve navigating a western Queens fraught with development-wary parties from elected officials down to the grassroots advocates and ordinary residents."

The politics of development in the area already scuttled, for instance, one of the two announced locations of the new Amazon headquarters (the other is still preceding in Northern Virginia).

The planning team tasked with navigating this project through the challenges of local development politics represents a "sprawling body of agencies, consultants and a steering committee of local community leaders," according to Ayala. The process already has encountered complaints about lack of community involvement and the substance of the development plans taking shape.

A feasibility plan completed in 2017 "proposed scenarios that included up to 24,000 units of housing—including up to 7,200 affordable units—in residential buildings as high as 69 stories, surrounded by as much as 52 acres of open space."

Another article, picked up by Planetizen in 2018, provides additional details about the development potential of the site.

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Published on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 in City Limits
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