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Feb 16 2012

NYIT Architects Work on City Initiative for the Redevelopment of Willets Point

New York, N.Y. (February 16, 2012) – A group of architecture students and recent graduates redesigned a neighborhood in Queens, N.Y. as part of a city-wide initiative to redevelop the area as an engine for economic growth for New York City.

The group prepared design submissions for the Willets Point area to address New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Willets Point Redevelopment Plan, which includes mixed-income housing, a public school, retail and entertainment amenities, a hotel and convention center, office space, parks, and playgrounds. Willets Point, which is near Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, currently suffers from widespread petroleum contamination and many environmental issues.

Eleven graduate students from the School of Architecture and Design visited the site during the fall 2011 semester, and submitted nine individual and group proposals in response to the city’s request for proposals (RFP) from architects and developers throughout New York.

“Teaching by example is an important part of my students’ experience,” said John Meder, an adjunct professor of architecture at NYIT, who guided the students in the real-world project.

Frank Mruk, director of the master's program for the School of Architecture and Design, said the graduate program’s studio attempts to investigate sites that are hot points for the evolution of New York City.

“What happens at the Willets Point site has important ramifications for the future of New York City,” he added.

One student’s design focuses on the misuse of the land. George Zeiss (M.Arch. ’11), a recent graduate of the urban and regional design program, proposed a sustainable community of commercial, residential, business, and convention areas.

“This project gave me the opportunity to work on a very real problem in an urban environment. There were so many ideas I had for the project, the hard part was putting them all together in a coherent way,” said Zeiss.

“Once I had the pieces, they fell into place themselves,” he added.

The city broke ground on the infrastructure phase of the redevelopment of Willets Point in December 2011. Proposal review from architects and developers are now underway.

About NYIT

New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) offers 90 degree programs, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees, in more than 50 fields of study, including architecture and design; arts and sciences; education; engineering and computing sciences; health professions; management; and osteopathic medicine. A non-profit independent, private institution of higher education, NYIT has 14,000 students attending campuses on Long Island and Manhattan, online, and at its global campuses. NYIT sponsors 11 NCAA Division II programs and one Division I team.


Led by President Edward Guiliano, NYIT is guided by its mission to provide career-oriented professional education, offer access to opportunity to all qualified students, and support applications-oriented research that benefits the larger world. To date, 89,000 graduates have received degrees from NYIT. For more information, visit  


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