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City Selects Architecture Firm to Develop Master Plan For Sunnyside Yards: Report

Sunnyside Yards, via EDC.

March 30, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez

The city has selected an architecture firm to come up with a master plan for Sunnyside Yards, the first major step since it released a study last year that considered the feasibility of a large-scale development over the 180-acre area.

The Economic Development Corporation has selected PAU, a Park Avenue-based firm headed by notable architect Vishaan Chakrabarti, sources told Crain’s. Chakrabarti is behind the Domino Sugar Refinery project in Williamsburg and is also known for his work on Chelsea’s High Line.

PAU declined to comment on the appointment, and the EDC said it has not officially designated a team, Crain’s said.

EDC documents show the agency released a request for proposals for a Sunnyside Yards master plan in the fall of 2017, and expected to begin the one to two year master plan process in early 2018.

The master plan is expected to shape a long-term vision for a future overbuild of the site, which includes figuring out a zoning framework, the development’s phasing, and which components could be built out first, according to the EDC.

The feasibility study released last year says about 80 percent of the yards can be decked over, which allows for a variety of development scenarios to be built out. The study envisions three types of scenarios for the entire yard, which include residential, a live/work/play mix, or a destination type. All the concepts include thousands of residential units, schools, retail, and other mixed-use spaces.

Amtrak, which owns most of the Sunnyside Yards, approached the city in 2014 to discuss the possibility of a large-scale development above the yards in 2014. Mayor Bill de Blasio has publicly supported building over the yards, calling it a “tremendous opportunity” to bring housing and other amenities to the area.

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64 Comments

Curlicue58

There’s no movie theater between LIC & Sunnyside this is an amenity greatly needed. We could use a Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and Fairway our choices are slim and not very good. Maybe something like the Marketline on the LES with different purveyors. The greenspace would be icing on the cake.




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Pam Rhoda

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Bill

Wait, there’s no cemetery there yet? Obviously that is what is needed most. How can any urban planner overlook this? There should be no parks or open space at all, only tall condo buildings, cemeteries, “affordable” 2800/month 1BR housing, and clunky architecture. For good measure throw in a concrete park with no trees where we can play volleyball! Don’t forget to give the developers their much needed 421a tax abatements so Sunnyside Yards can be Murray Hill East with skyrocketing rents in 5 years. And Corporate Cuomo, make sure to do nothing about improving transportation in NYC and kick the ball until after the election.
That’s how we cement Queens branding!




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Optimist

You people are all stuck on the 7 train. I’m telling you LIRR via East Side Access and a new intermodal station connecting to Penn Station and you have two minute access to Manhattan. No more pressure on the 7. It would be insane for planners not to do this.




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Fan of doughboy park

many do not know that underneath some of the most famous address in new york is many different old trains. some day we’ll look back and wonder why there isn’t a train under every house




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Al’s Mom

I think the land should be used totally for housing for the homeless. I think all the homeless should be housed there. It is an isolated area so we never have to see or smell them. There will be plenty of room for their shopping carts and blankets and boxes. They don’t work so they will not put a strain on the 7 train. If we need to bring them supplies we can just drop them by helicopter. Perfect idea. Let’s see if deBlasio has the guts to do this. Why does his last name start with a small “d” and is he related to Jacob deGrom from the Mets.




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El loco

Now I know why Al from Sunnyside is so stupid. Just look at his mother. Regardless of their problems homeless people are human beings. On this Easter and Passover weekend this is not how we should be thinking. I say a big no to Al and his mother.




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Al from Sunnyside

Visham Chakrabati has always been my favorite architect. I’ve followed his career right from the beginning.




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Sunnysider

Developing every inch of Queens without doing any significant changes to our trains = The DOT imposing protected bike lanes everywhere in Queens against great opposition. Hmm. Well, If you are lucky, and happen to be of the age and physical shape to ride a bike to work, your best bet is to start now. If you are not, sorry, the city does not care about your overly crowded train commute. Rise up, go to every cb2, town hall and write your local politicians and city dept.s daily. “The Creative Class” by Gentrifyer in chief, Richard Florida. Look it up.




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Jimmy van pooch

What makes you think they’re not going to do significant changes to the trains? There will probably be a lot of new ways to get around by the time this thing is built. Hoverboards, hover cars, hovercrafts, who knows what else.




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“Vin Dieselsmoke”

I think a “Rifle Range” and a “Drag Strip” would be great, and maybe a “Go-Kart Track” for the Kids. Definitely not any more “High Rise Housing”, Developers have already gouged enough concessions from City Government.




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Anonymous

No, because the people of Sunnyside would never walk that far. There’s plenty of parking if you’re willing to schlep 10-15 minutes to a less populated area. Lazy, entitled, selfish people here.




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Oil beef hooked

I thought this plan was scrapped?

We will all be dead before it is near completion.




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Rikki

Why can’t I catch a brake? Some day you will all be commuting in reverse (trains go backwords). Just watch




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Fan of Dough boy park

Was the question “ what mode of transportation is used by people who feel Stop signs and red lights are optional to them?”




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Ming lee

Yeah I love it. Keep building. The neighborhood is already ruined so just totally destroy it and get it over with. So funny. Try driving from Sunnyside to astoria it’ll take 40 mins. Name the neighborhood some dumb hipster name like
L.I.C.A.S.S.U.N.
(Long Island city/Astoria/sunnyside) stoooooopid! It’s going to be like a foreign country. Even worse than now. Much like China. Overpopulated. Disgusting. Move now.




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SuperWittySmitty

Stop with all the driving already- this is western Queens, not the suburbs. If you want to go to Astoria, it’s easily accessible by mass transit. I ride over there on my bike all the time. With the exception of crossing Northern Blvd, it’s quite pleasant. It would be even nicer if the roads weren’t so congested by so many motor vehicles. I wish we could effectively discourage drivers from driving everywhere on our already too-congested and too crowded streets. Pedestrians far outnumber drivers, yet we give them the lion’s share of space. We need to make business districts pedestrian-only zones with places to park around the perimeter like they do elsewhere.




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George

Lets turn it into a tent city like all the other liberal ( formerly the democratic party ) cities like California have. What a testament to the success of Democratic politics and Progressive Liberalism.




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ann

I agree with George, who would want to live in one of these dumb liberal cities when you could live in a place like… Kansas. people are flocking to Kansas! Chew on that liberals. Hahaha




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Carbie Barbie

It is “conservatism” of the “corporations and the rich can do no wrong” variety that has brought us to that sad fate. Unfortunately the Democrats are infected with corporatism almost as badly as the Republicans.




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Donald J Trump

How does 350 gleaming black and gold glass towers sound Queens!? Ill be finished with this thing in DC in 2020. Just in time to polish of my gold plated ceremonial shovel!! See ya soon, Queens!!!




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Woodside Mom

The Hudson Yards developer gave the MTA $1 billion, some of which helped with the #7 extension (which was completed before most of the buildings opened at HY). Hoping something similar can happen with Sunnyside Yards.




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LIC Neighbor

Should become a park above the Sunnyside yards, the city has a couple of thousand of empty lots which they can easily convert and build into affordable housing, but if the Mayor gets his way it will house his community homeless shelters, his community jails upon the closure of Rikers Island. They will push for the trolley and bring it up to the yards, they will push for new tunnels, our tax rates will skyrocket, our DEP Water rates are going upm 800% over the next the ten years. DiBlasio floated around a plan of building 11 thousand apartments over the yards. Crazy, just crazy!!!




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WESLEY RYAN CLAPP

transportation – transportation – transportation… non of this matters if the MTA continues to decay and breech under its own weight. The 7 train is ALWAYS packed … especially at rush hour. We need MORE cars on 7 line. And I second the PARK idea above… big beautiful park would be great!




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Optimist

think about it. all they need to do is create a station where on the East Side Access line and residents there will have a 2 minute ride into Grand Central.




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rikki

How about thinking backwards make the yards a commercial district where people reverse commute to a job from the city and Brooklyn and put lots of affordable basic no frills housing so people might actually walk to work and only allow a few ultra-high rent luxury buildings that face manhattan. Therefore the affect on the 7 train would be minimal




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Al’s Mom

Ricky always has some moronic idea that has no chance of ever being enacted. God bless her.




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Al from Sunnyside’s Mom

Ricky always has some moronic idea that has no chance of ever being enacted. I guess that happens when you don’t work. God bless her.




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Tikki Tavvi

The ol’ reverse a roo commute! Your one solution for everything. It will cure the common cold.




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Barbara

On Q32+60 bus everyday to manhattan and the crawl down queens blvd to the Qboro bridge is bumper to bumper past the sunnyside yards.Three lanes of traffic with trucks entering and blocking traffic at Van Dam and 2 lanes coming from Northern Blvd to converge onto 2 lane bridge. It is a nightmare even with traffic guards trying to manage 5 kanes of trucks, buses cars and Ubers! Trains run slowly. The plaza is now all built up with tall high rises in every available spot I cannof image building on the one available open space. A construction nightmare. Where are our Queens representatives?




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Gardens Watcher

Good point. Endless construction projects here and in Manhattan are rarely mentioned in congestion pricing discussions. But they are a huge part of the traffic problem especially on QB bridge. Imagine how much worse if Sunnyside Yards project ever takes off.




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Axolotyl T. Salamander

This should not even be considered without first addressing the issues of infrastructure. Firehouses, surface transportation, Sanitation Garages as well as Utilities are all underdeveloped and at overcapacity now. The only development for the Yards should be more Greenspace like what was done to Randall’s Island.




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Carbie Barbie

Where will all those people park their cars? Everybody knows on street parking is guaranteed in the Ten Commandments and the Bill of Rights.




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Rikki

This one gets the award for stupidest letter. Why is your mommy letting you stay up this late?! I would really like to see him plastered to the front of a Q32 bus.




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Carbie Barbie

I would just like to point out that you’d like to see someone killed by a bus for posting a jokey internet comment and you’re claiming someone else’s “letter” is the “stupidest.”




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Rikki

I”ve reporeted your harassament to Dell Computer company. I would ERASE your account soon or there will be a cyberlaw suit in your name.




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Carbie Barbie

CYBERLAW!
The only way I could be more frightened is if you started a cyber-claw lawsuit.
Cyber-claws. Those are scary.




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Albert

A century ago the city built the 7 line BEFORE any major development began. We need to start planning more and better transportation options before we build for the equivalent of a small town. Also. Parks would be a great addition as well. There’s no law that says we need to over develop everything.




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An Astoria Mom

Yes, whatever happened to the idea of using the space to expand/ develop public transportation? I dont recall the exact details, but it included actually adding connecting lines somehow. Omg, cant imagine that vast, open space becoming another wall to wall towering complex!!! We’ve seen this movie before,& hopefully the City, especially, has now learned what NOT to do when “developing”. NYC was outplayed by big developers in L.I.C. Please, not again…




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rtfmidtown

totally agree! the 7 is already at full capacity! gonna be a nightmare when all these massive new buidling open up in queensboro plaza! we need to improve our subways and mass transit before we build more buildings in sunnyside yards!




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DO

Light and air, folks. Any home dweller living east of the air and light barrier proposed–think of high rises with teensy street/”parks” corridors–ALL of Queens eastward, would be impacted. Sunnyside type community planning, the actual commitment and, yes, tenderness to common interests, trampled underfoot. Political payoffs, anyone?
Welcome to: Manhattan streets/noise/killer Uber/Lyft unfettered numbers.
Read political payoffs for Economic “Development.”
The architect PAU is onto the big bucks all rights.
This is a scandal.




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Zinsu

Hoo boy. The city certainly needs housing, and the yards are an eyesore, but I really hope they don’t screw this up. Gotta have adequate public transit and lots and lots of green space.




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ann

How can this be considered, when the 7 train is at capacity? All the ‘signal improvements’, good as they made be, will only permit a few more trains to run per hour. Infrastructure cannot support all the new buildings in LIC as it is. The only serious objective here is to make developers rich. A missed opportunity to make a fantastic park and recreation area for an area sorely lacking.




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rtfmidtown

can we improve the subways first!? more people more congestion without the infrastructure to support them!




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