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City Selects Architect To Lead Sunnyside Yard Development Master Plan

Sunnyside Yard in Queens as of July 2007

Far in the future, a sequel to Hudson Yards could be on the rise in Queens.

The New York City Economic Development Corp. has selected architect Vishaan Chakrabarti and his firm, PAU, to devise a master plan for a development above Sunnyside Yard, Crain's New York Business reports. The NYCEDC denied that a final decision has been made.

The 180-acre Sunnyside Yard sits between the Sunnyside and Long Island City neighborhoods of Queens, a massive rail yard mostly owned by Amtrak. After a February 2017 study by the city found that it is possible to cap 85% of the yard while maintaining its activities, the NYCEDC released a request for proposals in November.

If the largest possible cap is built over the yard, an estimated $19B of development is possible — more than Related Cos.' price tag for the entire first phase of Hudson Yards. Such a massive development would include a mix of parkland, commercial, cultural, retail and residential development. The city estimates that up to 24,000 apartments could be built in Sunnyside Yard.

The initial planning phase, led by Chakrabarti and PAU, could take up to two years before any major decisions are made, according to Crain's sources. That means that any actual development activity is unlikely to begin until after Mayor Bill de Blasio's term ends in 2021. Plans must begin coming together now, the NYCEDC told Crain's, in order to give Amtrak sufficient time to build the capping plans into its own future designs on upgrading its systems.