December 4, 2011
King Size Problems with Queens
There are several hurdles that have to be resolve for Queens to become a real option for Wang/Islanders.
1) Zoning: The Willets Point redeveloping project isn't zoned for an ice arena. Therefore, if Wang wanted to join the project the entire thing has to be rezoned for an hockey arena.
2) Cleaning: Willets Point has been a neighborhood filled with chop shops and lacking the things most community take for granted like sewers. The City is willing to pay for adding a sewer system, but they want the developers to pay for the area to be cleaned up. Cleaning up decades off pollution from automobiles will be no small bill.
3) Timing: Is there enough time for a deal to be worked out between New York City and Charles Wang. This project is being built in four stages, which the convention center is in the later stages of the project. I bring up the convention center, since some local politicians want to add ice making to it to get around the zoning issue. I have no clue if that is actually allowed or how it would work?
4) Broke Wilpons: If the Islanders just wanted to build in Citi Field parking lot and avoid the hassle of working with the Willets Point Project there is one problem. The Wilpons are still in financial trouble and are having trouble holding on to the Mets. Things could of turned out a lot worse for them with the lawsuit against Sterling Equities, but things still aren't pretty.
These are the major hurdles that Wang has to overcome in order for Queens to become more than a pipe dream.
Thanks for the articles Steve/Gear316