Is Sunnyside Yards the Next Hudson Yards?
One of the highest-trafficked railyards in the U.S., Sunnyside Yards in Queens, is the subject of NYC Economic Development Corporation’s planning for a future mega-development.
The project calls for a multi-billion dollar deck to be constructed over the railyard, much like Hudson Yards, bringing unprecedented changes to the area just across the Pulaski Bridge. More background from Gothamist:
Sunnyside Yard, owned primarily by Amtrak and the MTA, is one of the busiest rail yards in the country. It covers an area more than six times the size of Hudson Yards, adjacent to the neighborhood of Sunnyside Gardens at one end and Long Island City at the other. The EDC determined through a 2017 feasibility study that, for about $16 to $19 billion, it would be possible to cover the yard in decking and then build on top of it, a pricey endeavor because the deck would need to be built while trains continue to pass under it. There will also have to be a massive investment in sewage and other infrastructure. The development costs would be partly defrayed by gross land proceeds from sales to developers as well as tax revenue, according to the feasibility study.
Based on the use cases examined in the feasibility study, the city determined the development could hold up to 24,000 new housing units, 52 acres of open space, and new schools, community facilities, and retail space. But the EDC told Gothamist that after the feasibility study was conducted to determine whether the development would be possible, it started the planning process over with a blank slate. Monday’s event was the third community planning meeting the EDC has held, in addition to public workshops on individual components of the plan such as transportation and open space, in an effort to garner residents’ feedback and inform the master plan.
Gothamist also reports that many activists and community members spoke out at Monday’s meeting with concerns that Sunnyside Yards will replicate the government subsidies given to Hudson Yards to construct luxury buildings.
The Sunnyside Yards Steering Committee is leading the masterplan process.