For the first time in 40 years, a fully affordable apartment complex will be 100 percent union built on Willets Point, announced Mayor Eric Adams on Wednesday at the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

The housing complex is a part of a larger development project that also includes the city’s first major soccer stadium, new retail space and a hotel to accommodate tourists who go to the World’s Borough to enjoy everything it has to offer.

Within the next 30 years, the development will have a $6.1 billion economic impact, according to the mayor’s team. The project will also create 14,000 construction jobs and 2,000 permanent jobs.

“Right now you have a mayor of the City of New York that is the finisher,” Adams said.

The development has been 10 years in the making, with Adams serving as the third mayor to undertake the project and the first to help bring it to the finish line.

The housing component of the project will include 2,500 units for people making $40,000 or less, the stadium, which will also be union built, will seat 25,000 people and the hotel is 250-key.

“We are going to get it done,” said the mayor. “All of the union members that are here played a role in watching the city develop — if you felt as those you have run the wiring in an apartment that you couldn’t live in, you may have been a doorman at 32BJ, but you may not have been able to afford the apartments there, you may have been a painter, but unable to occupy the space, or you may have been the laborers of Local 79, who felt as though and felt that you could not be apart of it. We are saying, that is just not true.”

Adams said that union members help to build the city, and they too can participate in what the Big Apple has to offer.

The mayor also thanked Councilman Francisco Moya (D-Corona), the former state Senator for Corona, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights, who was the brainchild of the Willets Point development.

The Willets Point site was once described as the “Valley of Ashes,” by author, F. Scott Fitzgerald, according to Moya.

“For 100 years, it was just that,” said Moya. “Failed plan, after failed plan has left this corner of Queens, which is my neighborhood, to languish.”

Going forward, the site will no longer be a dumping area, according to the councilman, who is an avid soccer fan.

“More importantly, I’m excited as a New Yorker,” said Moya. “This is a model that puts housing first. We aren’t going to be left with empty promises. This is a project that will fuel our local economy that will create a pipeline for our local hires and support our brothers and sisters in labor.”

The Willets Point development will essentially create a new neighborhood for the city, said the councilman. To alleviate burdens for nearby schools, the project will also include a 650-seat elementary school to accommodate future tenants with young children.

Gary LaBarbera, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Great New York, was one of the first people that Moya had shared his development ideas with approximately a decade ago.

“The important thing to be reminded of is what organized labor offers is not a job, but a career path,” LaBarbera said. “It is critically important for the future of our city, and frankly, the future of our nation is to build a strong middle class. The middle class built this nation and built this city.”

LaBarbera also included that the people working on the construction projects throughout the city, including the stadium, will also look like people who represent the city.

“We promote diversity, inclusion, and equity,” said LaBarbera about the construction union. “What we all want is a good dignified career.”


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