Photo Courtesy of Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office
“This is what it means to build a ‘City of Yes,’” Mayor Adams said.
By Forum Staff
Mayor Eric Adams recently unveiled his administration’s vision for the next phase of the transformation of the Willets Point community.
Through a new partnership with 2021 Major League Soccer (MLS) Cup champions New York City Football Club (NYCFC) and Queens Development Group (QDG) — a joint venture of Related Companies and Sterling Equities — Willets Point will be anchored by 2,500 new affordable homes, the largest 100-percent affordable, new construction housing project in New York City in 40 years, which will be constructed on an accelerated timeline. Developed in close partnership with City Councilman Francisco Moya, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, and community members, Adams’ said his plan will also bring the Big Apple’s first soccer-specific stadium to Willets Point along with over 40,000 square feet of public open space, a 250-key hotel and neighborhood-serving, ground-floor retail shops that will create good-paying jobs for community residents.
The plan will bring significant long-term economic opportunity to a community that has long been underserved, Adams added. The entire project is expected to generate $6.1 billion in economic impact over the next 30 years, creating 1,550 permanent jobs and 14,200 construction jobs. With the creation of a new soccer stadium, Willets Point will become the city’s premier sports hub, with the New York Mets’ Citi Field and U.S. Tennis Association Billie Jean King National Tennis Center both also within walking distance of the MTA’s Mets-Willets Point subway and LIRR station.
“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a brand-new neighborhood, a Willets Point that offers real opportunity for working people and all New Yorkers,” said Adams. “Our plan will deliver 2,500 affordable homes — New York City’s largest fully affordable housing project in decades. And with a fully privately financed soccer stadium, a hotel, and local retail, we will create not only homes but also quality jobs, $6 billion in economic activity, and a true pathway to the middle class. This is what it means to build a ‘City of Yes.’”
NYCFC plans to construct the privately financed, 25,000-seat soccer stadium with union labor, aiming to open it in 2027 — following the highly anticipated 2026 FIFA World Cup™ that New York and New Jersey will help host. The new stadium will make New York City a national soccer capital, laying the groundwork for the next chapter in NYCFC and MLS’ history. This stadium represents a major opportunity to capitalize on professional soccer as a growing attraction that can bring investment and economic opportunities to New York City, as well as grow love of the sport to more New Yorkers.
The 2,500, 100-percent affordable homes will cover seven buildings — including one with 220 homes for low-income seniors — with construction on the first buildings set to begin in 2023, one year ahead of the original timeline. Additionally, QDG will participate in HireNYC, a city program that connects local residents to jobs. They will seek to achieve the highest standards of environmental sustainability through either LEED Gold U.S. Green Building Council certification or Enterprise Green Communities.
The Phase 2 plan builds on Phase 1 of the city’s development in the community, which includes the first 1,100 of the 2,500 total affordable homes as well as a new 650-seat standalone public school, new public open space, and significant infrastructure investment. QDG has undertaken significant remediation of the formerly contaminated soil on the Willets Point site, allowing construction of the first affordable homes to begin early.