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$43M in Tax Breaks Approved for Willets Point Developers

By Katie Honan | December 10, 2013 1:05pm
 An auto-body shop in Willets Point.
An auto-body shop in Willets Point.
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WILLETS POINT — The city has voted to approve millions of dollars in tax incentives for the developers who plan to overhaul Willets Point, despite opposition from some local shops in the Iron Triangle who say the big businesses have already gotten enough.

The decision will give the Queens Development Group, a joint partnership between Sterling Equities and Related Companies, tax breaks of up to $43 million over the next 25 years for various portions of the site, according to the Economic Development Corporation.

The move was made by the EDC's Industrial Development Agency, which includes EDC President Kyle Kimball and other city officials, according to an EDC spokeswoman.

While some local shop owners and advocates protested the tax breaks — with one grouup calling it "corporate welfare" — the developers say they'll bring in more than $200 million in revenue even with the tax breaks on a planned parking facility, upcoming retail facilities and a hotel.

And the breaks are part of the original deal, which was struck in October.

"These provisions are a small part of the overall $3 billion private investment QDG is making in Willets Point which will reverse decades of contamination and create thousands of new jobs, affordable housing, retail and open space," said Phil Singer, a spokesman for the Queens Development Group.

The group plans to turn the heavily-polluted, 23-acre site from a stretch of auto-body repair shops into a massive retail and residential destination.