Pratt Center Project

Sustainable Community Development

Fairness Coalition of Queens

A diverse coalition is fighting to preserve open space and expand affordable housing in the face of several unaccountable development proposals.

The Fairness Coalition of Queens (FCQ) – an umbrella group of a dozen faith groups, immigrant and youth-serving agencies, and housing advocates – united in 2012 to respond to three unaccountable, unsustainable development project proposals.

These projects would have collectively transformed Flushing Meadows Corona Park and the densely-populated surrounding neighborhoods of Corona, Flushing, and Elmhurst.They included:

  • The New York City Economic Development Corporation’s (NYCEDC) plans for a major revamping of Willets Point, which would add a new 1.4 million square foot mall on mapped parkland while delaying completion of 1,115 affordable housing units until at least 2028;
  • Major League Soccer’s proposed 25,000-seat soccer stadium inside the park; and
  • The National Tennis Center’s proposed expansion that would add over 7,000 new seats, plus luxury suites, retail space, and additional parking, as well as reconfigure roads into and within the site.

Collectively, these three projects could have added 9,000 parking spaces to the park and its surroundings by 2018, with another 4,000+ spaces to be added in later phases, transforming the heavily-used and under-maintained northern half of Queens’ flagship park into a largely commercialized “destination” serving a citywide audience.

FCQ has worked tirelessly to force the City and other developers to honor the City’s initial commitments for affordable housing, maintain desperately needed park space, drop the plans for large scale commercial development projects unresponsive to the community’s needs, and support sustainable community development. To support this important campaign, Pratt Center is providing technical assistance to FCQ. We are undertaking data gathering and analysis on land uses, housing needs, and the economic impact of the proposed projects; assisting FCQ in formulating alternative development scenarios that include significant affordable housing in the project’s early phases; facilitating community planning workshops; advocating for community-driven park stewardship; and supporting FCQ in strategizing and negotiating as it works to pressure the City to honor the agreement for much needed affordable housing.

FCQ has successfully won a $10 million commitment from the National Tennis Center to invest in park maintenance and upkeep and derailed MLS’ plans for a new stadium. With our support, FCQ will continue the fight for accountable sustainable development, with a focus on securing much-needed affordable housing.