Cruz Contractors, Holmdel, N.J., has officially broken ground on the first phase of a  $150-million, 62-acre New York City Economic Development Corp. redevelopment project at Willets Point in Queens. The $50-million first phase is for remediation and redevelopment and includes construction of a sanitary sewer main and reconstruction of a storm sewer and outfall. This phase is in line with PlaNYC’s goal of improving the quality of the city’s waterways and is the first step in the remediation of the long-contaminated Willets Point site, connecting the area to the city grid for the first time, EDC says.

Rendering Courtesy of NYCEDC

The sewer and outfall part of the project are expected to provide more than 350 construction or construction-related jobs, EDC says. Both sewers are scheduled for completion in 2013.

Hunter Roberts Construction Group, New York, is the construction manager for the project, which includes up to 68,000 sq ft of retail space; up to 400 housing units with 35% qualified as affordable; a hotel; two acres of open space; and a parking area. 

Phase one is expected to create 1,800 permanent jobs and 4,600 construction-related jobs.

The EDC is reviewing proposals from developers and expects to select a developer in early 2012, with construction beginning in late 2013.

Infrastructure improvements have been under way since October and have included staging and off-site preparatory work, EDC says. They will continue through March to prevent any impacts during baseball season at Citi Field,which sits adjacent to the site, the agency adds.

“The offsite infrastructure work at Willets Point is a critical component of the Bloomberg Administration’s ambitious plan to turn this neighborhood from a contaminated area, lacking in basic infrastructure, into a model, mixed-use community,” says Seth W. Pinsky, EDC president.