Connect with us


Mayor Adams Celebrates Largest All-Affordable Housing Project in 40 Years



Mayor Adams Celebrates Largest All-Affordable Housing Project in 40 Years

April 11, 2024

Watch the video here at

Willets Point’s 23 Acres of Land Will Include All-Affordable Housing Project, New Hotel, Over 150,000 Square Feet of New Public Open Space, and Soccer Stadium

Willets Point Development Will Add Over $6 Billion in Economic Impact, Create Over 14,000 Construction Jobs and More Than 1,500 Permanent Jobs

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today celebrated a historic win for affordable housing and economic development in the city of New York after the City Council voted to approve the Willets Point Phase 2 development as part of the Uniform Land User Review Procedure (ULURP). The complete Willets Point Transformation – which Mayor Adams announced in November 2022 with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), New York City Councilmember Francisco Moya, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, the New York City Football Club (NYCFC), and Queens Development Group (QDG) – will feature the largest 100-percent affordable housing project in 40 years and include more than 150,000 square feet of new public open space, over 20,000 square feet of retail space, a 250-key hotel, and the city’s first soccer-specific stadium that will be privately financed by NYCFC.

The project is expected to generate over $6 billion in economic impact over the next 30 years – creating over 14,000 construction jobs and over 1,500 permanent jobs. Mayor Adams’ vision for the transformation of Willets Point builds on core goals in his “Rebuild, Renew, Reinvent: A Blueprint for New York City’s Economic Recovery” and “Housing Our Neighbors: A Blueprint for Housing and Homelessness,” including leveraging neighborhood infrastructure investments to catalyze equitable community development and creating housing opportunities in neighborhoods with strong access to jobs, transit, schools, parks, and other amenities.

“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, our union members, 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.”

“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 public-private partnership” said NYCEDC President and CEO Andrew Kimball. “Thanks to Mayor Adams’ leadership, the tireless work of Councilmember Francisco Moya, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, 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.”

“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 New York City Councilmember 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.”

Construction for the first phase of 100-percent affordable housing at Willets Point is already underway, a year ahead of schedule. In December 2023, Mayor Adams and city officials broke ground on the first 880 units of affordable housing, which are expected to be completed by the end of 2026. The next housing development to commence construction will be an additional 220 affordable homes set aside for low-income seniors.

The Willets Point Phase 2 project will deliver the remaining 1,400 of the 2,500 total affordable homes, as well as a new 250-key hotel, and a soccer-specific stadium that will be the permanent home of NYCFC. The 25,000-seat stadium will be the first privately-financed major league stadium in New York City in generations. No new parking will be created for the stadium. Instead, NYCFC will utilize parking at Citi Field on match and event days based on an agreement with the New York Mets. Additionally, the stadium will be the first fully-electric stadium in Major League Soccer and the first fully electric professional sports stadium in New York City. The stadium is expected to be completed and operational by the 2027 MLS Season. Phase 2 will also deliver key infrastructure that builds upon the work of Phase 1 and enables Willets Point to grow and function as the city’s newest neighborhood.

With the creation of a new soccer-specific stadium, Willets Point will become the city’s premier sports hub, with the New York Mets’ Citi Field and U.S. Tennis Association’s Billie Jean King National Tennis Center both within walking distance of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Mets-Willets Point subway and Long Island Rail Road station.

The proposal was first recommended in 2018 by the Willets Point Task Force, a group of Queens stakeholders represented by state and local elected officials; Community Boards 3, 4, and 7; economic development groups; community-based organizations; and local civic associations. Over four months, the task force identified community priorities and produced recommendations for the city-owned land, including a scenario that reimagined the neighborhood as a hub for a new soccer stadium with public facilities, programmed open space with active and passive uses, and new homes at a range of affordability levels.

The 2,500 100-percent affordable homes will cover seven buildings, including one with 220 homes for low-income seniors. Additionally, QDG will participate in HireNYC, a city program that connects local residents to jobs. They will seek to achieve high standards of environmental sustainability through either LEED Gold U.S. Green Building Council certification or Enterprise Green Communities.

New York City has made a significant investment to support the development of the Willets Point neighborhood, including the remediation of close to 200,000 tons of contaminated soil and infrastructure investments, such as new streets, signage, sidewalks, curbs, trees, lights, draining, stormwater management, water mains, hydrants, sewers, and utilities. Additionally, because Willets Point is in a flood-prone area, the city is taking a holistic approach that centers on resiliency by raising the new streets and buildings out of the 100-year floodplain to protect from future storms.

“There is only one way to solve a severe housing crisis and that’s with big, bold solutions like building a brand-new neighborhood with the largest affordable housing project in decades. Today isn’t just a victory for Willets Point, it’s a victory for every person who has struggled to find affordable housing in New York City,” said New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. “We’re going to solve this housing crisis because in this city we say ‘yes’ – ‘yes’ to housing in our neighborhoods, ‘yes’ to economic opportunities, and ‘yes’ to a brighter future.”

“This site will soon be transformed into a hub for economic growth and job opportunities, alongside thousands of new affordable homes for New Yorkers,” said New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) President Eric Enderlin. “HDC is proud to partner with the city on developments like Willets Point as we seek to advance bold solutions that address the housing crisis and strengthen our local economy.”

“This is a transformative project that, with today’s approval, will allow great planning to turn into great results, and deliver thousands of income-restricted affordable homes, billions of dollars in economic activity, good jobs, open space, and a new stadium that will benefit New Yorkers for decades to come,” said New York City Department of City Planning Director and City Planning Commission Chair Dan Garodnick.

“DDC is always very active in Queens and has close to $1 billion in infrastructure work taking place throughout the borough, installing new storm sewers, adding new green infrastructure, and upgrading streets and public spaces,” said New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner Thomas Foley. “An incredible project like this deserves the best infrastructure we can deliver, and DDC is ready to take on whatever work is necessary to complete the city’s newest neighborhood in Willett’s Point.”

“DEP’s project engineers have done tremendous work in building new storm sewers and water mains to support this community,” said New York City Department of Environmental Protection and Chief Climate Officer Commissioner Rohit T. Aggarwala. “This new underground infrastructure is built to last for more than a century and will benefit more than just Queens – it will also keep New York harbor waters clean by adding sewer capacity and reducing combined-sewer overflows during storms.”

“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 New York City’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.” 

“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,” said Jeff Blau, CEO, Related Companies, and Scott Wilpon, partner, Sterling Equities, on behalf of Queens Development Group. “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.”

“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, 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 NYCFC 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,” said Manny Pastreich, president, SEIU 32BJ. “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!”

“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 Don Garber, commissioner, Major League Soccer. “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 Thomas J. Grech, resident and CEO, Queens Chamber of Commerce. “This community investment plan by NYCFC 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 New York City Council approval ensures that Willets Point will be a revitalized community with 100 percent affordable housing, a new school, reimagined public spaces, and a world-class soccer stadium,” said Chuck Apelian, vice chairman, Community Board 7 Queens. We welcome our new neighbors and soccer fans from all over the world to our community.”

Continue Reading