P.O. Box 580331, Station A
Flushing, NY 11358
September 3, 2013
New York City Council, Land Use Committee, Zoning Subcommittee
New York, NY 10007
To the Land Use Committee, Zoning Subcommittee of the City Council:
My name is Henry Euler and I am the First Vice President of the Auburndale Improvement Association, Inc. My testimony today is on behalf of my civic organization. We are the oldest and geographically the largest civic group in Queens County and our membership numbers close to six hundred families and individuals living in Auburndale Flushing and western Bayside.
We are very concerned about the three proposed projects to be constructed on parkland at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. These projects include expansion of the tennis center, the building of a soccer stadium and the construction of a huge mall. We oppose all three proposals.
Today you are considering the proposal dealing with the 1.4 million square foot mall to be constructed on the parking lot to the west of Citi Field. This land is parkland and should be off limits to any private development. Parkland is sacrosanct. It belongs to the people, not private developers. With the rate of intense development in Queens, we need all of the green space we can spare.
The asphalt on the unused part of the parking lot to the west of Citi Field should be removed and trees and other vegetation should be planted on the site in order to make it look more like a park once again. There is no shortage of people living in close proximity to the park, or even further away, who could use that refurbished parkland.
Have you seen how many people use Flushing Meadows Corona Park? It is staggering. How could anyone think of usurping land for private gain when people living in overcrowded neighborhoods look to the park as their backyard and a source of relaxation, exercise and tranquility? This park should be a New York City landmark, just as Central Park is in Manhattan and Prospect Park is in Brooklyn. Queens is tired of being ignored!
And what will happen to local businesses if this mall is completed? And what is the impact on traffic and quality of life in the surrounding community if the mall is built? Is this land, where the mall is to be built, stable enough to support the structures to be built on the site? This area was originally wetland.
There are so many questions to consider in this case, and so many concerns. We stand with the coalition known as Save Flushing Meadows Corona Park and our neighbors in western Flushing and Corona. No mall in this location! Just preserve the parkland and find additional funds to sustain and maintain our precious park. Thank you!
Henry Euler, First Vice President
Auburndale Improvement Association, Inc.