The Brooklyn Queens Connector Trolley, also called BQX, has brought with it a big discussion about interests between the parties involved.
Two Trees Management and an advocacy group are involved in regular phone discussions with public agencies over the planning of the trolley line and how it will affect the real estate panorama.
This revelation comes after a growing concern that the project could benefit the developers involved at the expense of housing affordability.
The executive director of the advocacy group Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector, along with representatives from Two Trees and Durst Organization, takes part in calls twice a month with the city’s Department of Transportation and Economic Development Corporation. The two “in effect, run the call” – told one source to the New York Post.
Unfortunately, the city dismissed the idea that the developers are taking charge of trolley project. “Neither the Friends of the BQX or Two Trees Management has any role in the planning of the Brooklyn Queens Connector,” an EDC spokesperson told the Post while commenting that the calls are merely happening to discuss the involvement of the community in the project.
Ya-Ting Liu, executive director of the BQX’s project said in a statement: “Like the Friends of the High Line and many other non-profit groups, Friends of the BQX is a diverse coalition of community, NYCHA, business and transportation leaders formed to advocate for a project with tremendous public benefit. In this role, leadership of the Friends were invited to meet periodically with BQX officials to discuss opportunities for community engagement and public education.”
The trolley line is planned to connect Red Hook and Astoria along the East River waterfront. The de Blasio administration plans to pay for the project by issuing tax-exempt bonds and hopes to begin construction in 2019 and complete it in 2024. A city analysis found that adjacent properties to the project could experience a raise of 3.5 percent.
The only thing left to do is wait and see how this story of interests develops.