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Huge Flushing Waterfront Development Vote Delayed Until December

City Council Member Peter Koo distributes food in September.

The Flushing waterfront in Queens is the site of New York City's latest land use clash. 

The New York City Council postponed a vote on a development proposal in the area until next month after a group of 12 council members signed a letter dissenting with local Council Member Peter Koo, The Real Deal reported

“It would be irresponsible to approve the application without deep community benefits like real affordable housing and commitments to provide good jobs for local community members,” the council members stated in the letter. 

The proposal, put forth by developers United Construction & Development Group, F&T Group and Young Nian Group, would create a Flushing Waterfront District that would enable the team to build 879 hotel rooms, 287K SF of retail and 1,725 multifamily units, including one 304-unit building with 75 to 90 affordable units. 

Typically, council members defer to the local member when presented with land use and development proposals, but this tradition has been shaken this year. This fall, council members publicly dissented from Council Member Carlos Menchaca’s vocal opposition to the Industry City rezoning proposal in his district. Ultimately, Industry City's owners withdrew their application. 

Fervent disagreement over large-scale development projects, such as the Flushing Waterfront District and Industry City, have come to define the city's development landscape this year.

In Flushing on Tuesday, two community groups — one in support of the project and one in opposition — each congregated around the Queens Crossing shopping center, owned by F&T Group, yelling at each other and voicing approval or disdain for Koo's support of the project, The City reported

Earlier this month, the City Planning Commission pushed the measure through to city council in an 11-2 vote. Those who voted in favor of the project said it would provide jobs and economic recovery, while those who voted against took issue with the number of affordable units compared to the extent of commercial development, TRD reported at the time. 

“The proposal falls far short of committing to meet the affordable housing and public school seat needs for the area,” Commissioner Michelle de la Uz, who was one of two commissioners to vote against the measure, said during the City Planning Commission meeting. 

Related Topics: Peter Koo, Flushing Waterfront