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$2B Flushing Waterfront District Approved By City Council

Rendering of the Flushing Waterfront District

After a year filled with political resistance to new developments, the New York City Council approved the Flushing waterfront development Thursday afternoon after several delays.  

Developers United Construction & Development Group, F&T Group and Young Nian Group are set to create a new district in the Queens neighborhood that will include hotel rooms, retail and housing. 

“We have worked tirelessly with community members for years to activate what is currently an empty and polluted waterfront and finally give Flushing the future it deserves,” the development team said in a statement to The Real Deal.

The approval comes after two key committees, the Committee on Land Use and the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises pushed the measure through to a full vote Wednesday. The committees' passage was contingent on a deal that the development team reportedly brokered an agreement with the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, according to TRD.

A vote on the $2B proposal was delayed last month when 12 council members penned a letter opposing the measure without adding “deep community benefits like real affordable housing.” The proposed project would contain 75 to 90 units of affordable housing and 1,725 total housing units. It would also add 879 hotel rooms and 287K SF of retail space. There was both community activism for and against the rezoning at the time the letter was written. 

The authors dissented from local Council Member Peter Koo’s stance on the proposal, an unusual move of dissent for a council that typically gives deference to the local member. It echoed the events of the failed Industry City rezoning earlier this year when council members voiced support of the proposal after local Council Member Carlos Menchaca said he opposed it. 

In addition to Industry City, the 2018 Inwood rezoning was temporarily reversed when a district Supreme Court justice, Verna Saunders, ruled that the city didn't do enough to appraise the impact the rezoning would have on the community. This decision was later struck down by an appeals court in July and finalized rezoning was further reinforced when the state Supreme Court's appellate branch said it wouldn't hear an appeal