Aug. 29, 2019 By Shane O’Brien
Officials continue to work on drafting a master plan for the massive Sunnyside Yard and the city is hosting yet another public meeting where residents can get to weigh in.
The meeting will take place at Aviation High School at 45-30 36th St. in Long Island City on Monday, Sept. 16 and is the third in a series of public meetings organized by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and Amtrak, which owns the majority of the site.
The city has been working on a master plan for the 180-acre site since May 2018 and expects to complete it by the end of the year.
The master plan will lay the groundwork for future development, which is likely to involve building a deck over the railway yard and constructing thousands of housing units, commercial space and community facilities. The plan will address the area’s transportation, school and green space needs.
The September meeting will focus mostly on open space and infrastructure. The announcement/invitation for the meeting reads:
“For the past several months, we’ve gathered your insights and input at a variety of events, and we’ve done extensive research to help form a vision for the Sunnyside Yard Master Plan. Come be a part of the conversation that will continue to shape the future of this area.
“Based on input from public meetings, workshops, and hundreds of interviews, there will be some early concepts to help address open space and infrastructure needs and better connect existing neighborhoods. This is part of an iterative process with opportunities for ongoing feedback.”
The master plan is being developed by a team of architects, engineers and urban experts–among others–who have been working with a local steering committee.
The committee, called the Sunnyside Yard Steering Committee, is made up of about 40 local leaders and stakeholders who are helping to shape the plan.
The EDC said that the Sunnyside Yard site presents an opportunity for the city to provide housing and industry for New York’s growing population.
The EDC anticipates that New York City’s population will grow by 500,000 within 20 years, with Queens’ population set to rise by 80,000 during that period. It says that the growth will place additional strain on the city’s infrastructure and housing supply–and that Sunnyside Yard will help the city address these challenges.
However, the population of New York City has been on the decline in recent years, according to census numbers that were released in April.
The population of New York City shrank by nearly 40,000 people between 2017 and 2018, while the population of Queens County fell by 18,000 in the same period. New York City has not experienced population growth since 2013, according to those figures.
The EDC’s meetings have generated a lot of interest since the master planning process began. Hundreds of people attended the previous meetings that took place in March 2019 and October 2018.
For more details on the meeting or to RSVP visit www.sunnysideyard.nyc