NEW YORK CITY—A group of architecture students and recent graduates from New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) redesigned a neighborhood in Queens 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.

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 said.

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.