Unlike the proposed 1.4 million sq. ft. Willets Point Mall project the City/Related Company and Sterling hope to build in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park without replacing the mapped parkland, the City is requiring MLS to replace all parkland it would take for the project. MLS however has not publicly provided details of where the replacement parkland would be located. (Photo: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates)
According to two recent presentations given to city officials the USTA has looked at numerous pieces of land it would need to aquire in order to be allowed to seize, or "alienate" the public parkland to build the new stadium. In addition to land bordering Flushing Creek, some of it M.T.A.-owned, and a city-owned plot near the Rego Park Crescent, the July presentation indicates the league has also looked at a bunch of tiny little plots scattered around the neighborhood, including the .04-acre site at Roosevelt Avenue and 90th Street, the .02-acre site at 108th Street and Van Cleef, and a .03-acre site at Xenia Street, Westside Avenue and the Long Island Expressway.
Critics point out replacing current Flushing Meadows-Corona Park land with broken up land scattered in numerous solutions would not provide the same usefulness, location or value.
The league estimates it also needs 4,100 parking spots for fans, and 300 spots for players and VIPs.
In August it was revealed that the league was working on a detailed memorandum of understanding.
Major League Soccer has asked SHoP Architects, the firm that designed the new Nets stadium in downtown Brooklyn, to prepare initial designs for a Major League Soccer stadium in Queens, according to Capital.
SHoP's name is on a July Major League Soccer proposal given to city officials, and obtained by Capital. Last night, MLS confirmed that SHoP is indeed working on the initial schematic designs for a stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
That MLS is working with a New York firm that just successfully delivered an architecturally well-regarded stadium to Atlantic Yards, perhaps the city's most disputed development site, may indicate something about the seriousness of the league's intent to build in Queens, political controversy and byzantine development processes nothwithstanding.
The two presentations obtained by Capital, one from June and the other from July, reveal some other interesting tidbits about the league's intentions.
According to a presentation given to city officials in June, the stadium will create 2,000 construction-related jobs, and 300 full-time and 900 part-time jobs. It will also need 4,500 parking spots for fans—who would park in the Mets parking lots—and 375 parking spots for players and VIPs.
According to Major League Soccer, those numbers have since changed. Now, the league anticipates creating more construction-related jobs—between 2,100 and 2,300 construction-related jobs, and fewer full-time and part-time jobs, 160 and 750, respectively.
Also, the league now estimates it needs 4,100 parking spots for fans, and 300 spots for players and VIPs.
If indeed the league ends up building on the site of the park's historic, yet long-disused Fountain of the Planets, which won't happen without a fight, it will have to replace the acreage it occupies by creating new parkland elsewhere.
In addition to land bordering Flushing Creek, some of it M.T.A.-owned, and a city-owned plot near the Rego Park Crescent, the July presentation (entitled "The World's Sport in the World's Park) indicates the league has also looked at a bunch of tiny little plots scattered around the neighborhood, including the .04-acre site at Roosevelt Avenue and 90th Street, the .02-acre site at 108th Street and Van Cleef, and a .03-acre site at Xenia Street, Westside Avenue and the Long Island Expressway.
Gregg Pasquarelli, a principal at SHoP, declined to comment for this article.
Capital - August 31, 2012 - By Dana Rubinstein
A Walk In The Park - October 2, 2012
A Walk In The Park - September 20, 2012
A Walk In The Park - September 15, 2012 - By Geoffrey Croft
A Walk In The Park - July 31, 2012
A Walk In The Park - June 23, 2012