The up-and-coming Queens West in the Hunters Point area is generating complaints from residents, who say the area's skyscrapers are out of character with the neighborhood. Borough reporter Ruschell Boone filed this report.
Queens West is an up-and-coming neighborhood and tourist destination in the Hunters Point area, with high-rises that look like they would be at home in Manhattan.
"We have the million-dollar views of Manhattan," says Joe Conley, a former community board member.
But some say the skyscrapers are out of character with the borough, something many residents predicted and fought against during the project's developing stages.
"A lot of the people in the community, they want development, they want it responsibly. They don't want 17-story-high skyscrapers," a Hunters Point local told NY1 back in 1994.
Queens West took more than a decade to plan. The city broke ground in 1994.
Conley, a community board member at the time, remembers the contentious battle to transform the industrial waterfront.
"You had people that were here who were third-generation [residents] that had great concerns, being overshadowed by new buildings coming to the community. But we took great care to talk to New York State when they were going through the development," says Conley. "And at the end of the day, we see a very vibrant and very important community growing."
But the more things change, the more some things remain the same. New residents say the neighborhood lacks amenities. People who have lived there for a long time have complained about that for years.
"Transportation issues, the number 7 train remains to be overcrowded, parking issues. Where do you go shopping?" Conley says. "Some things are yet to come and that's what we are working on."
A library and school are in the works, along with 5,000 housing units to be built in Hunters Point South, the area once envisioned as an Olympic Village in the city's failed 2012 Olympic bid.
"We are going to see a lot of affordable housing that will be coming to the community," says Conley.
There will also be shops, restaurants and 11 acres of waterfront parkland that will continue to attract residents and tourists alike.