Jan. 31, 2023 By Carlotta Mohamed
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. and Empire State Development on Tuesday, Jan. 31, announced the launch of a series of community visioning workshops that will be held to hear input from eastern Queens residents about the redevelopment of the 50-acre Creedmoor Psychiatric Center campus in Queens Village.
The first community visioning workshop will be held on Thursday, Feb. 2, at 7 p.m. at P.S./I.S. 208 located at 74-30 Commonwealth Blvd. in Glen Oaks.
Community members residing in the neighborhoods of Bellerose, Queens Village, Hollis Hills, Floral Park, Glen Oaks, Oakland Gardens, Bellerose Manor and all the communities near Creedmoor, are encouraged to attend the workshops, take advantage of online engagement tools, and sign up for the email list to receive updates.
For a century and a half, Creedmoor, located at 79-26 Winchester Blvd., has had a significant presence in eastern Queens. Now, over 50 acres of its campus will become the focus of a New York state-led community visioning and redevelopment effort.
Richards and Empire State Development (ESD) said that the community’s input will help to share the future of the campus and transform it into an asset that will benefit eastern Queens.
“Where some see decay and emptiness at Creedmoor, myself and others see limitless possibility and a tantalizing litany of potential investments — both on the Creedmoor campus itself and throughout Eastern Queens as a whole,” Richards said. “The potential Creedmoor offers is vast, but the voices that must resonate loud and clear as the planning process begins are those of the families who live in the surrounding communities. I strongly encourage area residents to participate in our visioning workshops this month to ensure the Creedmoor master plan truly reflects the needs and concerns of eastern Queens.”
Hope Knight, CEO and commissioner of ESD, said the redevelopment of Creedmoor presents a tremendous opportunity to breathe new life into Creedmoor Psychiatric Center with community-driven ideas.
“Through collaboration and partnership with the community and elected officials, ESD will facilitate a Master Plan process to ensure any potential development aligns with the needs and priorities of the local community,” Knight said. “This is a path forward with community-driven ideas that offers incredible potential for members of the community to be involved and give bold ideas and thinking to grow Creedmoor to fit the community’s needs and desires.”
The Creedmoor Community Master Plan will serve as the framework that guides how New York State will redevelop areas of the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center campus. Through a comprehensive outreach and engagement process, ESD will work closely with residents, local organizations, civic groups, and elected officials to create a plan that realizes the development potential of the Creedmoor campus while ensuring compatibility with the surrounding neighborhoods. ESD would use the master as a basis for issuing requests for proposals (RFPs) for firms and community organizations to redevelop portions of the site in the coming years.
Local elected officials, such as Senators Leroy Comrie and Toby Ann Stavisky and Assemblyman Ed Braunstein, are encouraging residents and civic associations to attend the upcoming visioning sessions.
“I’m looking forward to a robust discussion about the future of Creedmoor from all concerned stakeholders, and I hope that everyone that has ideas will attend and or share them with ESD, as well as all interested parties,” Comrie said. “I believe that first and foremost there should be a complete restoration of all possible mental health beds and services at the site with some additional independent living facilities and housing for our seniors. I commend Borough President Richards for bringing the community together to begin this important dialogue.”
Stavisky said she “hopes the people in the community participate in this process by letting ESD know how they feel about the changes at Creedmoor and potential development.”
According to Braunstein, any proposed redevelopment of the Creedmore site should be community-driven.
“I strongly encourage northeast Queens residents and civic leaders to sign up and share their perspectives to help ensure that the proposed redevelopment is reflective of the vision and needs of the local community,” Braunstein said. “I look forward to working with Empire State Development, Borough President Richards and my colleagues in government to meet these important goals.”