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Willets Point Development Project Suffers Another Setback

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Plans to transform the area adjacent to Citi Field have suffered another setback, leaving the future of the project up in the air.

Willets Point is a shanty town of sheet metal and sweat, littered with rusty car parts, and crisscrossed with roads that haven't seen a street sweeper in decades, WCBS 880's Alex Silverman reported.

Eight years ago, Mayor Michael Bloomberg promised to turn the area into the next great neighborhood, but the project has been troubled ever since.

Willets Point Project Suffers Another Setback

A judge put phase one on hold this summer and at the deadline Wednesday the city chose not to appeal. Negotiations broke down over affordable housing, according to the New York Times.

Under the existing plan, the developer could've paid to get out of its obligation to build any affordable housing, which is unacceptable to the de Blasio administration, Silverman reported.

The developers said they are still willing to work with the city, which has already poured $400 million into the effort, according to the Times.

The workers who remain in the area after years of uncertainty are cynical.

"I think this area is earmarked for casinos, hotels, big business. It is not for the little guy. It is kicking out the little guy for the big guy" said Matthew Cashman, who works in the area. "It's kind of a place that the city forgot."

"I'm worried about my future, but I got no say in the matter whatsoever," another worker said. "Whatever they're going to do, they're going to do."

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