Avella starts petition in bid to halt Willets Point mall

State Sen. Tony Avella (l.) leads a protest in March against the Willets West mall. Photo by Christina Santucci
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State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) has launched an online petition to bolster his efforts to stop developers from building a megamall at the former site of Shea Stadium.

The mall is part of a $3 billion redevelopment of Willets Point into a new neighborhood with commercial, retail and residential space. The project is being developed by the Queens Development Group, a joint venture between Sterling Equities and Related Co.

A group led by Avella slapped the city and the developers with a lawsuit in February challenging the legality of building the mall on land designated as parkland without the consent of the state Legislature.

The lawsuit was heard in court last week, with lawyers representing the developers arguing for the potential merits of the entire project.

“The Willets West project would rob the public and our community of much needed and valuable parkland,” Avella said. “This petition is an opportunity for citizens to let the city and its developers know that the community won’t stand for this shameful attempt to skirt the law.”

Reach reporter Alex Robinson by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4566.

Updated 8:11 pm, August 6, 2014
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Reader feedback

good idea from the borough of queens says:
Good idea. Who would want to shop there.
Aug. 5, 2014, 1:45 pm
anon from Flushing says:
Avella, go back into your hole and stay there. We need progress, growth & Liu.
Aug. 6, 2014, 2:21 pm
anon is ill informed from queens says:
Anon, do you really support Jian Liu the criminal? He must be lining your pockets with China's money. How much did he give you? What is your price to support a candidate who has no respect for the laws of his adopted country? Shame on you.
Aug. 7, 2014, 10:30 am
Tom from Queens says:
I wonder how much extortion money Avella is looking for to withdraw the petition.
Aug. 21, 2014, 8:51 am

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