NEW YORK CITY-On Tuesday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg revealed plans to create the city’s largest green development in an attempt to clean up and revitalize the 60-acre area surrounding the new Citi Field. The long-term plan is expected to create 6,100 jobs and have a $1.5-billion impact on the city’s economy.

The Willets Point peninsula, between Shea Stadium and Downtown Flushing, will be transformed into a mixed-use area that will combine affordable housing, retail, office and park space.

“For far too long, the Willets Point peninsula in Northern Queens has been an area marked by unrealized potential and neglect, inhibiting growth in Downtown Flushing and Corona and steadily becoming more and more polluted,” Bloomberg said at the project’s announcement. “Today, finally, we’re doing something about it. Our plan will revitalize the area, creating a new, vibrant neighborhood with thousands of new jobs and a mix of uses, including affordable housing, parks and open space, cultural institutions, retail amenities, office space, a public school and a convention center and hotel.

Willets Point is considered one of the most contaminated locations in New York City. Petroleum covers a majority of the area due to spillage and neglect, a situation only made worse by the high water table that spreads the pollution into Flushing Bay and Flushing River, according to the mayor. “Through the remediation of heavily contaminated land, the use of innovative green building technologies and the development of considerable parks and open space, Willets Point can and will serve as a model for sustainable development,” Bloomberg said.

Current plans call for the development of 5,500 residential units, some of which will be affordable housing, 500,000 sf of office, one million sf of retail and a convention center and hotel. “We need to reclaim and remediate brownfields and we need to foster the development of green buildings and create mixed-use neighborhoods. When realized, this master plan will do precisely that, and it will dramatically augment Downtown Flushing’s continued growth,” said deputy mayor Daniel Doctoroff.

In order to go forward the project must pass a public approval process through the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure. The process to receive the necessary go-aheads will begin this fall. The city will likely choose a developer in the summer or fall 2008, with acquisition of necessary buildings happening at that time. Environmental remediation is slated to start in 2010.

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