The Mets' season may be long over, but things are just getting warmed up beyond the right field wall of Citi Fieid. There lies Willets Point, aka the Iron Triangle, site of one of Mayor Bloomberg's most controversial, ambitious and downright zany redevelopment plans. Now, with the one-year anniversary of the rezoning win fast approaching, there is Willets Point news to report. The city's Economic Development Corporation has announced a new set of acquisition deals with landowners in the, er, colorful area, bringing the total amount of iTri land acquired to about 70 percent. And now the bigger headline: The EDC has issued a Request for Qualifications to interested developers. Could this crazy plan actually be happening? You gotta believe!
Coming before the more serious Request for Proposals, the RFQ (get yours here!) asks interested parties to "demonstrate their understanding of the Willets Point project; their expertise in developing similar large-scale, multi-use projects; experience with public/private initiatives; and other criteria to determine eligibility to receive future RFPs." Think of it as a mid-term before the final exam down the road. The deadline on the RFQ is December 7, and it'll be interesting to see who wants in on this mixed-use megaproject in these rough financial times. The EDC's press release spells out some development guidelines:
The City is contemplating moving forward with a staged development strategy for Willets Point that will first focus on the southwest portion of the District that includes approximately 18 acres of development area and streets and about four acres of an interim buffer zone. The maximum development for this area includes 980,000 square feet of destination and entertainment retail; 2,000 units of mixed income housing; 500,000 square feet of office space; 400 hotel rooms; a school; and open space and parking.
"Contemplating" moving forward on Willets Point? C'mon, EDC, the mayor didn't send in the garbage men for nothing!