Anti-Amazon Lawmakers Take Aim At Sunnyside Development Plans

Steve Burns
December 03, 2019 - 4:02 pm
Sunnyside Queens

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The lawmakers that teamed up to stop Amazon from building a second headquarters in Long Island City are now trying to stop another mega-development in Sunnyside.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, state Sen, Michael Gianaris and City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer are looking to halt major development in Sunnyside, saying the project excludes community input and priorities.

The city's Economic Development Cooperation has been looking over a plan to deck over the massive Sunnyside rail yards in Queens where Amtrak, NJ Transit and Long Island Rail Road store their trains.

According to The City, the space would be six times the size of the similarly controversial Hudson Yards development. It would include everything from housing to schools, to greenspace.

A letter from Ocasio-Cortez and Van Bramer to the EDC, however, calls the project a “misalignment of priorities.”

“No one wishes to see the specter of luxury development that is Hudson Yards duplicated in Sunnyside,” read the letter

Gianaris also told the EDC the project, as it stands now is “yet another mega-project that inures to the benefit of developers to further gentrification and displacement.”

An EDC spokesperson tells the news outlet, they recognize there will be questions and concerns in any long term planning process.

“Sunnyside Yard presents an opportunity to build a stronger New York for generations to come and meet the needs for more open space, transit, housing, jobs and green infrastructure in Western Queens,” a spokesman said in a statement. “We recognize that in any long-term planning process there will be questions and concerns, and community engagement is critical. It’s why we’ve hosted multiple public meetings, conducted interviews with numerous organizations and received guidance from a steering committee that includes community leaders, technical experts, and public officials. We look forward to continuing to engage with members of the community.”