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Flushing West is an 11-block neighborhood that sits west of Flushing’s Prince Street and east of the polluted Flushing creek. It includes some parcels along the waterfront that remain underutilized and inaccessible to the public. On other lots, high-end commercial and condominium development is already proliferating as-of-right.Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposal sought to clean up and rezone 60 acres on the Flushing waterfront and form a planned community with waterfront access for its housing and commercial space. The 32-acre study area runs from Prince Street to Flushing Creek on the west, Roosevelt Avenue on the south and Northern Boulevard on the north. The proposal would have created 1,600 units of housing in the area. De Blasio’s plan aims to create and preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing in the five boroughs over the next decade
The Flushing West Neighborhood Planning Study aimed to examine key land use and zoning issues in the neighborhood, but also take a broader, more comprehensive look at current and future community needs to identify a wide range of strategies and investments for Flushing West’s growth and vitality.
The Flushing West Neighborhood Planning Study was a part of Housing New York, the Mayor’s
housing plan to build and preserve affordable housing through community development initiatives and to foster a more equitable and livable New York City. Housing is considered “affordable” if a household spends no more than a third of its total income on housing costs. The study proposes the redeveloping the former industrial land to give the area new public spaces, commercial buildings and affordable and market-rate housing. The Flushing West Neighborhood Plan aimed to include strategies for: Affordable Housing, Economic Development, Community Resources, and Land Use and Zoning.
Since 2016, the Flushing West Plan has been paused but the idea may be reconsidered in the future. Elected officials and community leaders said it was a combination of numerous issues affecting Flushing that ultimately caused the city to put its plan to rezone Flushing West on hold.
“We are disappointed that the plug was pulled from the ambitious Flushing West rezoning, particularly because of how engaged our community was with shaping our future. We held several community visioning exercises and town hall meetings where residents and business owners learned about the city’s development process,” Simon Gerson, president of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce, said on Wednesday. “In that respect, this unfortunate decision shows that the city never really made an effort to understand who we are.”
City Councilman Peter Koo sent a letter Friday that urged the city to not move forward with their plan to create “Flushing West” — one of the 15 neighborhoods targeted for rezoning under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing plan to create more affordable housing.
Koo cited infrastructure issues, the environment and LaGuardia Airport’s flight path in his letter — the latter which would limit the height of new construction buildings. “We need better transportation options, including wider staircases and more entrances to the 7 train, and a way to lessen congestion by MTA buses,” he wrote in the letter.”Environmental and quality of life issues such as the need to truly clean up Flushing Creek and return the FAA’s flight path to pre-2012 routes were also highlighted” in his list of issues. The plan, he said in a later statement, was “a classic example of stuffing 10 pounds of potatoes into a 5 pound bag.” The city proposed to rezone the area between 35th to Sanford avenue, between Union Street and the Van Wyck Expressway.
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