BY ANGELA MATUA
The city has chosen architect firm
PAU to come up with a plan to develop
the 180-acre Sunnyside Yard, a project
Mayor Bill de Blasio has said could
produce up to 24,000 housing units.
In February, the Economic Development
Corporation (EDC) produced a
study to determine the feasibility of
building a deck over the yard, which is
owned by the MTA and Amtrak. According
to the EDC, the project could cost
between $16 and $19 billion.
Crain’s New York reported on March
29 that architect Vishaan Chakrabarti
and his team won a request for proposals
issued by the city in November to
create the plan. The city and PAU did
not confirm the deal to the outlet.
The EDC proposed last February
several different test cases that would
focus on developing a mostly residential
project, a “live/work/play” project or
making it a “destination” project with
mostly mixed-use development.
The residential option would create
between 18,000 and 24,000 units of
housing. About 5,400 to 7,200 of those
units would be considered affordable
housing. According to the test case,
13 to 19 schools would also be built on
the property if that option was chosen.
18 APRIL 2018 I LIC COURIER I www.qns.com
The second test case would contain
office space, retail, 10 to 14 schools
but less housing. The third option would
create no office space but would contain
16,000 to 22,000 units of housing,
600,000 to 800,000 square feet of
neighborhood retail and 10 to 14 schools.
The study found that decking and
construction is feasible in 80 to 85
percent of the yard and 15 to 20 percent,
primarily over the Main Line, is
infeasible. Areas of the yard that are
“cost prohibitive” or infeasible could
become parks, roads or open spaces.
According to the study, the project
could take 15 years to develop, when
Mayor de Blasio is no longer in office.
The work to come up with a design plan
could take up to two years and according
to Crain’s, the city has argued that
it’s crucial to have blueprints before
Amtrak begins constructing a new High
Speed Rail Facility in Sunnyside Yard
to accommodate new trains.
EDC and Amtrak have agreed to a
plan that will allow the city to build above
this new facility.
“We remain on track with the original
schedule for this project,” a spokesman
for the EDC told Crain’s. “We continue
to work closely with Amtrak, and we will
also engage community stakeholders
before beginning any master-planning
Photo courtesy of Jim Henderson/