If ideas begin at the drawing board, the tables in the cafeteria at P.S. 166 on 35th Avenue in Queens are a good place to start.
NYC Economic Development Corporation and Amtrak have scheduled four community forums about possible development at Sunnyside Yard.
The second public session was Tuesday evening in Astoria, Queens.
The 180 acres that run along the border of Long Island City and Sunnyside are the size of about 136 football fields.
Neighbors, business owners, community leaders and industry representatives participate in the brain-storming sessions. This is the midway point for an 18-month long master planning process.
Get information about future meetings and the project on the Sunnyside Yard website.
Amtrak, MTA and NJ Transit use the facilities, which have been around since the early 1900s. There have been ideas for decades about building over the tracks.
" With Amtrak and MTA currently undertaking critical capital investments in its rail infrastructure, this is a unique moment for the City to coordinate long-term planning for the future of the yard," says the project website.
The public meetings begin with a presentation and a question-and-answer session. Officials want people to know this is the early stages of the project and it's too early to say how any plans would be financed.
A public-private partnership helped create Hudson Yards over the rail yard on Manhattan's West Side. That project was 15 years in the making. Residential and office buildings began to open a few years ago. Shops, restaurants, and public parks opened to the public this month.
Sunnyside Yard is 7 times larger.
Neighbors in attendance at the second meeting at P.S. 166 had questions about community ownership, corporate involvement and affordable housing. They met in the cafeteria in small groups to make a list of ideas and concerns, including public spaces and building size.
People said they want to be involved in a plan for the future and the growth of the city and Queens.
Additional sessions are planned. There would be a review and approval process for any proposals.
Email SunnysideYard@edc.nyc with questions.