So ‘what do you think of the just-released Sunnyside Yards Plan?’ asked no one in particular. ‘However,’ as the foremost authority on this topic, I’ll share my thoughts, but first the salient details.
The plan would create 12,000 apartments 100% of which would be classified as ‘affordable housing.’ Roughly 1/3 of the total acreage would be dedicated to “open spaces and parks, new libraries, 10 to 12 new schools as well as office, industrial and retail space” according to The Wall Street Journal. In other words the usual stuff that would, and should, accompany 12k new housing units. Finally, “the cost of building the deck, the streetscape and necessary structures for utilities and continued train operations below would be $14.4 billion.” Note that this $14.4 billion dollars does not include the price of the apartment buildings and all the other amenities.
After the quantitative numbers above, the release yesterday discusses that the timeline for fully building it out is decades, and acknowledges that “the plan is a nonbinding document that sets out a flexible, long-term development guide …Details could change with planning and public input.”
Given the squishiness above, it’s not worthy of your time or mine, to dig into the details as the plan Plan delivered yesterday is really just a very loose blueprint for the future. It’ll be up to successive administrations and generations to give the green light.
When they do the first thing they’ll have to reckon with is the financing, which has been left completely open-ended. In so doing, it brings into question whether this project works being 100% affordable – I mean like pie-in-the-sky without major
taxpayer government assistance – and a reason I labeled it NYC’s version of the ‘Big-Dig.‘ For the time being though the ‘affordable’ declaration assuages the noisemakers, and the non-committal timeline assuages critics like me who are willing to let sleeping dogs lie…
New Queens Project To Include 12,000 Affordable Apartments – WSJ article breaking the news