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Related, Sterling Equities and NYCFC Present First Look at New Renderings To Community Board 7 Members For Once-In-A-Generation 100% Affordable Housing And Stadium Construction Project

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  • Related, Sterling Equities and NYCFC met with Queens Community Board 7 again to share latest update on proposed plans for a new, community-centered neighborhood at Willets Point
  • New renderings build on broad demonstrations of support from the local community, including a recent public scoping hearing on the project’s environmental review as part of the ULURP process

Queens, NY: Tonight, Related, Sterling Equities and New York City Football Club (NYCFC) met again with Community Board 7, unveiling a new set of renderings at their quarterly meeting that outline early proposed visualizations for the Willets Point Revitalization Plan— set to deliver the largest 100% affordable housing development in 40 years and New York City’s first-ever 25,000-seat soccer-specific stadium. This builds on Mayor Adams’ November announcement unveiling a new vision for Willets Point backed by broad support from local elected officials, union leaders, business community members, and more. The proposal is set to enter ULURP for additional community input later this year.

Queens Development Group’s (QDG) – the Related and Sterling Equities joint-venture – proposed plans to deliver 2,500 units of 100% affordable housing anchor a larger neighborhood that will be constructed with pedestrian-friendly, 21st Century urban planning principles. The renderings show active open common areas—providing ample space for sitting, food carts, greenery, exercise, and other recreational uses for the community. Between buildings, residents and visitors will have access to pedestrianized community thoroughfares allowing for family-friendly amenities including small business retail and passive recreation. Additionally, the housing will be centered around a safe, pedestrian-friendly main street populated by additional local retail and other small businesses. The neighborhood will also include over 40,000 square feet of public open space, a 650-seat school, a 250-key hotel, and ground floor retail shops.

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The latest update to the community board with draft renderings showed NYCFC’s $780 million, privately financed, 25,000-seat soccer-specific stadium— New York City’s first. The stadium will provide a long-overdue home for the 2021 MLS champions and 2022 Campeones Cup victors, and build on over a decade of investment in local communities across the City. It will also provide a permanent home for the Club’s award-winning foundation, City in the Community (CITC), that has built 50 community pitches, served 30,000 NYC youth, and established a strong presence in all five boroughs.

The presentation to the Community Board 7 gives the first look to the local community and others about the Club’s vision to build a stadium that is integrated in the local community to be a resource on non-match days. The new renderings further contextualize the stadium’s five core design principles: creating the best live fan experience in NYC, authentically representing our city, embedding the stadium into the community, building a “future forward” stadium, and modeling sustainability.

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“As if the dynamic plans to transform Willets Point to an affordable new community for thousands of New Yorkers and a destination for so many others were not inspiring enough, these initial designs make it even more so,” said New York City Councilmember Francisco Moya. “The integration of the residential buildings with the open space and stadium is a true model for how neighborhoods should be built, and is a critical step for how this vision will come to life in a way that puts housing first, prioritizes the pedestrian experience and will be built with union labor. The welcoming “front door” to the new Willets serves as a powerful symbol of investment in a corner for Queens that has languished for too long but stands to become a beacon for the borough and the City.”

“We cannot talk our way out of our city’s affordable housing crisis — we must build our way out. But we must do so in a responsible manner that holistically addresses the unique needs of the surrounding communities,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “The Willets Point redevelopment plan provides an unprecedented opportunity to make North Queens a true live, work and play community, but there is more work to be done to ensure surrounding neighborhoods like Corona and Flushing benefit the most from this project. I look forward to working with all our partners to ensure the needs of families in those communities and across Queens are met as this project proceeds.”

“From the beginning, New York City Football Club has understood the importance of strong communication and collaboration with Mayor Adams, Councilmember Francisco Moya, Borough President Richards, and the local Queens community as we move forward with plans for a privately financed soccer-specific stadium,” said Marty Edelman, Vice Chairman, New York City Football Club. “This continued investment in New York City will create a long-overdue home for our First Team, and create a new neighborhood for Queens.”

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“This project presents an incredible vision for Queens, and as we continue our community engagement process, we are grateful to see how impactful it will be for the people of the world’s borough,” said Jeff Blau, CEO, Related Companies; and Jeff Wilpon, Sterling Equities. “Delivering 2,500 affordable homes – and working with NYCFC to build a world-class stadium that is truly integrated into the community – will enable countless families to realize the dream of a high-quality home.”

“Wow. These images tell the story we have long sought in advocating for the equitable, smart and inspiring transformation of this long-blighted area,” said Thomas J. Grech, president and CEO, Queens Chamber of Commerce. “This proposal will provide affordable homes for thousands of families, catalyze economic activity that supports small business and create another great destination in Queens. The prospect of a truly integrated community through thoughtful, people-focused design that connects the housing to the stadium and allows for numerous public activations makes this proposal a winner that everyone can get behind. The Queens Chamber looks forward to proudly supporting it as it advances through the public approval process.”

“With each step forward in the plan to transform Willets Point, the vision first established by the recommendations from Willets Point Task Force, first convened in 2018 and chaired by Councilman Moya — is becoming more inspiring,” said Larinda Hooks, President of the East Elmhurst Civic Association. “Knowing this area will no longer be a negative eyesore is a wonderful thing to envision becoming a reality. These renderings of the new Willets Point honor the priorities of public facilities and programming, open space, and housing with a range of affordability levels. Our community also knows that affordable homes alone aren’t enough. To thrive, our neighbors need steady jobs, access to reliable transit, good schools, and recreational space. I’m proud to see all of this taking shape and even prouder that the community needs and wants are being heard by NYCFC.”

“In the midst of a crisis of housing affordability and supply, innovative strategies to revitalize parts of New York City that currently are underutilized are needed more than ever,” said Rafael E. Cestero, CEO, the Community Preservation Corporation. The redevelopment of Willets Point gives us a model for how communities should be planned by putting the development of affordable housing first. This commitment to locking in affordability and ensuring that low- and middle-income New Yorkers will be able to put down roots and grow with their new community, is essential. I applaud this progress and the advancing vision of how this connected community will thrive as Phase 2 of the Willets Points Redevelopment moves forward.”

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"The design of NYCFC's new stadium celebrates diversity, community and the love of the sport, creating a hospitality-driven experience unique to its location in Queens, the world’s borough," said Rashed Singaby, principal and senior project designer at HOK. "Our design team has created a sustainable, technology-driven experience and integrated the stadium into the context of a future district. Our goal is to establish a connected urban amenity for the community and an unprecedented live event experience. We’re looking forward to the stadium becoming a centerpiece for the vibrant Queens community."

New renderings unveil the stadium’s iconic, activated cube entranceway that will serve as a warm, experiential welcome to fans and community members alike. On match days, the cube will be illuminated with vibrant imagery inspiring a dynamic experience from the moment you approach NYCFC’s new home.

Aerial views of the neighborhood showcase how this project will transform this long-blighted patch of land into an interconnected new community– one that seamlessly integrates a world-class sports facility with 100% affordable housing. Additionally, these views demonstrate access to public transit via LIRR, 7 line subway, and Q48 bus that will support the local residents and the majority of fans attending matches at NYCFC’s soccer-specific stadium.

The newly released images also include a headquarters for NYCFC’s foundation, City in the Community (CITC), and its award-winning work– striving towards the goal of activating this space on both match and non-match days. Ultimately, NYCFC envisions the stadium being inclusive and available to all as the organization continues to bring free soccer programming to youth throughout the five boroughs.

Following the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) approval process, construction on the $780 million project aims to be completed for the Club to play in its new stadium for the 2027 MLS Season.

Queens Development Group, a joint venture between Related Companies and Sterling Equities, will oversee the stadium and district’s development. The entire project will enter the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) approval process later this year and will be reviewed by the New York City Public Design Commission. NYCFC will work to finalize the stadium design to align with entering the ULURP approval process later this year.

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