New York Construction Report staff writer
The next phase of the Willets Point transformation 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 and be constructed on an accelerated timeline in Queens.
Through a partnership with 2021 Major League Soccer (MLS) Cup champions New York City Football Club (NYCFC) and Queens Development Group (QDG) — the plan also includes New York City’s first soccer-specific stadium, over 40,000 square feet of public open space, a 250-room hotel and ground-floor retail shops.
The entire project is expected to create 14,200 construction jobs.
“With thousands of union construction jobs, a new privately funded stadium, new schools being built, and infrastructure projects, the Willets Point project will not only revitalize an important section of Queens, but it will also drive the long-term economic growth we need in New York City,” said Mike Prohaska, business manager, Mason Tenders District Council/Local 79. “This project will put a paycheck in thousands of workers’ pockets; it will pay mortgages and put food on the table for thousands of families. Our members could not be more proud to support a new professional stadium in New York.”
There will be 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.
Also, 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 20,000 strong New York City District Council of Carpenters is proud to support this visionary project that will create thousands of good-paying union jobs in New York City, in addition to historic investments in affordable housing, infrastructure, and education,” said Joseph Geiger, executive secretary-treasurer, New York City District Council of Carpenters.
“The stadium and surrounding development will serve not only as a world-class economic and cultural attraction, but also as a reminder of Mayor Eric Adams and Councilmember Francisco Moya’s commitment to the smart policies needed to make New York City affordable for the middle class once again.”
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.
There are currently 21 infrastructure projects in construction in the Queens, with a value of $980 million.
“Our members are excited to be a vital part of creating a privately funded stadium, especially because it includes new schools and better infrastructure for Queens,” said Joseph Azzopardi, business manager and secretary-treasurer, District Council 9, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades.
“As the city continues its recovery, it is important to make sure New York continues to build for the future, to build smart projects that create new, good-paying jobs. We are ready to get to work and build something New York will be proud of for years to come.”
The significant infrastructure investment for this project will include additional environmental cleanup — supplementing the ongoing remediation work — as well as installation of new storm and sanitary sewers, reconstruction of streets, and improvements to the existing streetscape.
“This project is about building the future of New York. As our city continues to rebound from the economic challenges of COVID, this project will put union members to work while building a whole new, completely affordable community where our members can afford to live,” said Kyle Bragg, president, 32BJ SEIU.
“The 2,500 units of affordable housing will be transformative for New York. Our members need good jobs, our members need housing, and our members are going to be excited to watch championship soccer right here in Queens. The Willets Point project has it all.”