New York City Soccer Stadium Approved As Part Of Willets Point Phase II Redevelopment Plan

April 12, 2024
6 mins read
NYCFC new stadium

QUEENS, NY – The New York City Council made history today with an overwhelming vote (47-1) to approve the transformational Willets Point Phase II Redevelopment Plan, completing the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) review process.

The Council’s approval of this monumental initiative is a significant milestone in the long journey to revitalize the area, undertaken by the Queens Development Group (QDG), comprising Related Companies and Sterling Equities in collaboration with Council Member Francisco Moya, and the New York City Football Club (New York City FC).

The Council’s support is a historic achievement for affordable housing and economic development, as the creation of new urban spaces, 100% affordable housing units, and New York City FC’s stadium will bring jobs, economic vitality, and significant community resources to Willets Point. Mayor Adams is expected to sign the ULURP documents officially in the coming days.

Union members, housing advocates, City Council members, and New York City FC fans all celebrated what this project will bring to Queens on the steps of City Hall after the vote. Together, they praised the project for the benefits it will bring to the long-neglected Queens community and New York City at large.

“Housing is the goal — and with today’s City Council vote, I’m proud to say that we just scored the goal of the decade,” said Mayor Adams .

“We’re bringing 2,500 affordable housing units, 150,000 square feet of public open space, thousands of good-paying jobs, and the city’s first soccer-specific stadium to a neighborhood in Queens that used to be known for its junkyards. We’re building a brand-new community out of the ‘Valley of Ashes’, and we couldn’t have done it without all our partners, including Councilmember Moya and the rest of the City Council, Borough President Richards, NYCFC, Queens Development Group, and everyone living in Willets Point who made their voices heard and demanded a new future for themselves. After today’s vote, we’re one step closer to delivering that future.”

“This is one of the most ambitious projects the city has undertaken in decades, and we are proud to finally make good on creating an entirely new neighborhood at Willets Point,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer. “I am thrilled that the City Council has approved the ULURP for Willets Point Phase 2. Thank you to Councilmember Moya, Borough President Richards, Queens Development Group, NYCFC, and the hard-working team at NYCEDC for delivering this historic victory for New Yorkers.”

“I am incredibly excited and proud to have joined my colleagues on the City Council vote in supporting Willets Point Phase II Redevelopment Plan,” said Council Member Francisco Moya .

“This once-in-a-generation project will create a community like no other in New York City, with access to all-affordable housing, a brand-new public school, and New York City’s only soccer-specific stadium. These amenities will support our children’s future, boost the local economy, and benefit our hardworking brothers and sisters in labor who are the backbone of this city. I am thrilled that the residents of my district and across the city will soon experience the completed Willets Point Development Project, and I am grateful to my fellow colleagues in government for recognizing the countless benefits this project will bring.”

“I am grateful for Councilmember Moya’s steadfast leadership and unrelenting tenacity to bring this project to reality; he has known from day one the power soccer has to bring a community together,” said New York City Football Club Vice Chairman Marty Edelman .

“Without our fans and partners like Councilmember Moya, Council Speaker Adams, and the entire City Council, our Club would not be able to make good on a promise we made ten years ago to build NYC’s first-ever soccer-specific stadium in the five boroughs. Today’s City Council vote gets us one step closer to bringing this promise to life in Queens – the World’s Borough will be our home for The World’s Game.”

“History has been made today for Queens and New York City as this monumental project receives approval from the City Council, and we take another major step forward in delivering one of the most ambitious developments in the country and a model for a public-private partnership” said NYCEDC President & CEO Andrew Kimball .

“Thanks to Mayor Adams’ leadership, the tireless work of Councilmember Francisco Moya and other elected officials, and our partners in the private sector, New York City will forever be transforming the ‘Valley of Ashes’ into a brand new neighborhood with the largest affordable housing project in 40 years, much needed open space and infrastructure, a privately financed soccer-specific stadium, and thousands of quality jobs. Willets Point will truly become one of the premier sports and entertainment hubs in New York City and NYCEDC is enormously proud to have played a role in realizing this vision.”

“Thanks to the leadership of Mayor Adams, Councilman Moya, Speaker Adrienne Adams, Borough President Donovan Richards, Andrew Kimball, Adolfo Carrion and so many others we get to cement the future of Willets Point as a vibrant neighborhood with affordable housing at its core. Together, we are going to create 2,500 units of affordable housing – desperately needed homes for families and seniors that will stand for generations. We are going to have a neighborhood in a place that was once a maze of unpaved roads featuring the city’s first soccer-specific stadium. We’re going to finally have a community,” said Jeff Blau, CEO, Related Companies, and Scott Wilpon, partner, Sterling Equities, on behalf of Queens Development Group.

“The approval by the New York City Council of New York City FC’s new world-class stadium is another historic step for Major League Soccer as we continue to build the sport in North America,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “Congratulations and a heartfelt thanks to The City Football Group, New York City FC’s supporters, Mayor Adams, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Councilman Francisco Moya, and everyone who worked so hard over the years and believed in this project.”

“As an original member of the Willets Point Task Force and a strong advocate for this Redevelopment Project, I am elated by the City Council’s vote today to approve the project and complete the ULURP process,” said Queens Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Thomas J. Grech .

“This community investment plan by New York City FC and Queens Development Group is a major win for the Queens neighborhood and business community. I applaud their hard work with teammates like Mayor Adams and Councilmember Moya, and I look forward to working with them in the future as they build New York City’s first soccer-specific stadium and welcome new jobs and businesses into the area.”

“Today’s City Council approval of the Willets Point Phase II Redevelopment Project is an essential step forward to bringing well-paying union construction jobs to the hard-working New Yorkers in this often-overlooked area of Queens,” said Gary LaBarbera, President of the New York City and New York State Building and Construction Trades Council.

“Our members look forward to contributing to this vital initiative, providing family-sustaining wages and supporting their path to the middle class. We are happy to welcome the privately-financed New York City FC stadium to our community, along with the economic promises and the community investment the Club will bring.”

“The Willets Point redevelopment stands at the intersection of the present we’re in now and the future we hope to build for this community. Creating high quality jobs with prevailing wage and benefit standards coupled with affordable housing and a new soccer stadium is the kind of revitalization this area has been waiting for and we’re proud to support. We congratulate NYCFC and Related on their project’s approval. Our members can’t wait to cheer on their home team right here in Queens!” – SEIU 32BJ President Manny Pastreich.

“Today’s NYC Council approval ensures that Willets Point will be a revitalized community with 100% affordable housing, a new school, reimagined public spaces, and a world-class soccer stadium,” said Community Board 7 Queens Vice Chairman Chuck Apelian. We welcome our new neighbors and soccer fans from all over the world to our community.”

The stadium will also house NYCFC’s award-winning foundation, City in the Community (CITC), which will have a permanent home to continue its impactful initiatives.With a history of building over 50 community pitches, serving 30,000 NYC youth, and establishing a strong presence in all five boroughs, CITC will have a permanent home to continue its impactful initiatives.

The Willets Point Revitalization Plan has garnered widespread support from local elected officials, union leaders, and members of the business community, aligning with Mayor Adams’ vision for a thriving, inclusive, and sustainable future for Willets Point and the entire city.

The first phase of the Willets Point transformation broke ground in December 2023 when QDG began construction on the first 880 affordable housing units. Those buildings are expected to be completed by the end of 2026, and 220 additional affordable homes set aside for low-income seniors are expected to break ground next in the Willets Point transformation. In addition, the city and its development partners have undertaken significant environmental remediation of the formerly contaminated soil, which has been completed across a majority of the project site as of July 2023.

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