The City: Anti-Amazon Pols Signal Concerns Over Sunnyside Yard Plans

Originally published in The City on November 26, 2019.

With the city moving closer to potential development atop a sprawling railyard in Sunnyside, apprehensive locals are gearing up for a fight echoing the battle against Amazon.

A trio of Queens politicians, who last teamed against the city’s Economic Development Corporation over the online giant’s plans for a Long Island City headquarters, called out the agency — saying the public input process hasn’t been sufficiently democratic or put enough emphasis on community priorities.

‘Yet Another Mega-Project’

“No one wishes to see the specter of luxury development that is Hudson Yards duplicated in Sunnyside,” reads a joint letter from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, both Democrats.

“The proposal as it stands reflects a misalignment of priorities: development over reinvestment, commodification of public land over consideration of public good.”

In a second letter, state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Queens) writes that the railyard effort appears to the community as “yet another mega-project that inures to the benefit of developers to further gentrification and displacement.”

“This project should be approached with a community-first perspective, with the priority being affordable housing, adequate green space, more school seats and the transformative transportation options western Queens needs,” he added.

Read the full article here

Read Senator Gianaris' letter here