Thursday, December 5, 2013

Developer to Build 1,200 Hunter’s Point Apartments

TF Cornerstone, the family-owned development firm responsible for transforming a swathe of the Long Island City waterfront, has been tapped to build the second phase of the city’s massive Hunter's Point South complex.  This part of the mega-project will create 1,193 apartments, with 796 units set aside for moderate- and middle-income families and remainder will be market-rate. The developer will construct a 36-story and a 41-story apartment building on Parcel C, located at 52-40 and 52-50 2nd Street. The first phase, developed by Related Cos, is currently under construction.

TF Cornerstone knows Long Island City well, and its six at Queens West towers dominate the waterfront skyline. The new complex will make the community on the banks of the East River more robust, since half of the affordable units will be 2-bedroom apartments, as well as 80 three bedroom apartments.

State Senator Mike Gianaris pushed hard to get the developer to increase the number of 3-bedroom units following feedback from the community.

Under the contract, TF Cornerstone will construct a 36-story and a 41-story apartment building covering a total of 1,200,000-square-feet, with 1,193 apartments. About 400 of the units will be market-rate. The remainder will be designated as affordable, most of them set aside specifically for moderate-income families. As such, the project ranks as the last and largest such development undertaken by the Bloomberg administration.

Out of the nearly 800 affordable units, 100 will be reserved for low-income seniors, leaving roughly 700 for middle-income residents, which translate to a family of four making between $111,670 and $141,735 annually. According to the city’s Department of Housing and Preservation, units will range from studios to three-bedrooms.

At the base, plans call for 28,000 square feet of commercial space, a pre-kindergarten, a medical facility, a rock climbing gym as well as new restaurants.

For the seniors, there will be an on-site recreational center run by TF Cornerstone’s partner, SelfHelp.

In addition, there are approximately 10,000-square-feet of community space for use by local arts-based community groups.

Plans also include approximately 300 parking spaces.  Other amenities include a two-level fitness facility, bike storage, rooftop garden, a children’s play room and a senior recreation center.

The project will adhere to Enterprise Green Communities Criteria which are required on all City-subsidized affordable housing new construction and substantial rehabilitation projects.

Some of the sustainable and resilience features include orientation to maximize passive cooling/heating, and gray-water recycling for irrigation. In addition, the proposal has flood mitigation measures that include locating the building’s mechanical equipment on the second floor and flood proofing the ground floor retail spaces.

ODA designed the two new towers with "stepped terraces that echo the Art Deco skyscrapers of Manhattan." The design also incorporates numerous community green spaces throughout the different levels of the building, including two urban farming plateaus and grey-water recycling for irrigation.

The waterfront development bounded by Borden Avenue, 2nd Street, 54th Avenue and Center Boulevard – once envisioned as the location for the Olympic Village in the City’s 2012 Olympic bid - is likely one of the most important to the outgoing administration.

In 2004 Mayor Bloomberg pledged to build and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing by the end of 2014 under its New Housing Marketplace Plan.

The administration is on track to reach that goal.

The Hunter's Point South development is the largest affordable housing project since Co-op City in the Bronx and Starrett City in Brooklyn were completed more than three decades ago.

When completed, Hunter's Point South will contain 5,000 new units of housing, with a minimum of 3,000 units, reserved as affordable for low-, moderate- and middle-income families, according to the city.

Phase I which includes Parcels A and B is currently under construction and will provide 925 permanently affordable units when complete. When the entire multi-phase Hunter’s Point South development project is completed the City will have added approximately 5,000 new units of housing to the Queens waterfront, a minimum of 60 percent or 3,000 units of which will be reserved as affordable for low-, moderate- and middle-income families.

The entire project will include more than 11 acres of landscaped waterfront parkland, new retail shops, community space and a new school.

A 7-acre waterfront park constructed by NYC Economic Development Corporation, and a new 1,100-seat Intermediate/High School 404-Q, built by the School Construction Authority and slated to open in September for the 2013-2014 school year, have already been completed as part of the Phase I master plan.

Four parcels of Hunter's Point South still remain undeveloped, and will be bid-out during Mayor Bill de Blasio' s administration.

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