YESTERDAY the ‘official’ study regarding the plan to deck over Sunnyside Yards and build housing on top was released by the city. Actually, three separate plans were released, each containing a different mix of residential/office/other space that would yield between 14,000 and 24,000 new apartments.
As expected, the study, commissioned by the Mayor, confirmed that the plan is both feasible and at a cost of $16 – $19 billion …uhh reasonable? The release was accompanied by the usual canned ‘huzzah’s such as this one by deputy-mayor Alicia Glen: “Sunnyside Yard represents one of our greatest opportunities to invest in the affordable housing, good jobs, open space and public transit western Queens needs,”
Here at LICtalk we see through such non-sequitur’s and are completely opposed to pursuing the Sunnyside Yards proposal any further. Given all the non-decked over growth that will occur in Long Island City over the next 5-6 years, which will roughly double the existing housing stock, why is there any hurry to look to the next phase whilst having zero knowledge of how the current excessively-expansionary one will play out?
The obvious answer to this is the need to put numbers on the board affordable-housing wise. Or at the very least to create the appearance of doing so for political reasons. Thus it is personal and logic won’t necessarily prevail. Nevertheless we’ll pursue our line of thinking in the hopes of fomenting a groundswell of populist opposition in the hopes of making LIC, and Queens, great as always.
Even without Sunnyside Yards, our biggest worry is in regard to transportation choke points. All the ferries and trolleys and other contraptions can’t make up for the fact that the subway is the best way to get around NYC and it’s capacity is extremely constrained. Furthermore, despite their reviled status by certain New Yorkers, having access to a car in LIC still makes for an easy endeavour due to the reasonable north-south traffic in many places on this side of the river. Yet with all this growth, those days may be coming to an end. Of course there is very little simpatico in this small pleasure from those who can avail themselves of helicopters and seaplanes.
In addition, LIC is not the only place in Queens seeing rapid growth. Due to the economy, low interest rates, and a compliant administration, more units are being added further out, especially along the subway lines, further ‘sardining’ riders.
Finally, we have the price tag. Admittedly I haven’t looked too closely at the specifics, yet I know that whatever the estimate is, given the extremely long lead time, it’s going to multiply, even if the variables are correct. Worse, the unusual engineering required – it’s over twice the size of Hudson Yards, worries me that this will become #BigDigNYC. $19 billion? I’d definitely take the over.
At the heart of the Sunnyside Yards proposal1 lies a sense of “Let’s make everyone currently living in Queens a little more miserable so we can build more housing.” The only problem is there is no way to measure now the degree of that misery. Of course that pain won’t be felt until way out in the future, so maybe there will be Jetson’s-type flying cars. Or maybe not, and it will just suck for everyone.
//ALOBAR has a new chef and with the change comes his new menu with items such as Oyster Pan Roast, Spaghetti Squash Cacio e Pepe, and Veal Meatballs. Fear not, maple bacon popcorn is still available.
De Blasio’s Sunnyside Yard Plan Would Cost Up to $19 Billion – it could be done, but it wont come cheap
Alobar’s New Menu – one of everything on the right side please
The Dramatic Exposed Joints of Toby’s Estate LIC – oh those crazy architect fanatics
Latest Dutch Kills Development to be Manufacturing/Resi Hybrid – 76 units on 6-7 stories
CB2 Meeting Gets Raucous – and yields this from Dennis Walcott “the long-delayed, cost-overrun-burdened Hunters Point Library would be opening in September, after being stocked and otherwise made ready during the summer. He fully expected that this branch will be very popular and heavily-used, given the great residential population increase in the area”
Dry Cleaner to open on Jackson Ave Next to Chipotle – salsa drips on white shirt…
- as well as expansionary zoning districts, one of which is in LIC [↩]