Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Another Tower Breaks Ground at Greenpoint Landing

Park Tower Group and L+M Development Partners broke ground last week on another building at Greenpoint Landing, a massive 22 acre project that will construct 10 towers and 5,500 housing units. Elected officials cheered the project for its inclusion of 1,400 affordable apartments, 300 of which are expected to be completed within the next two years. The mega-development will bring 4.2 million square feet of mixed-use buildings to the Greenpoint waterfront over the next eight years.
The developers were joined by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, City Councilman Stephen Levin and others at the corner of Dupont and Commercial streets, on Greenpoint's northwestern tip, to announce the first three affordable housing developments.

One, located at 21 Commercial Street, recently topped-out and will house 93 units when it is completed next year.

Another, at 5 Blue Slip, which will have 103 apartments, is expected to be completed in exactly two years; while a third, at 33 Eagle Street, has a completion date of December 2016.

The affordable units at both 21 Commercial Street and 5 Blue Slip will be marketed for families earning 30 to 60 percent of the area's median income, with rents starting between $400 to $500-per-month. Half of the units will be two-bedroom apartments to provide more housing for families.
A fully affordable building at 33 Eagle St., with 98 units for residents who earn between 40 percent and 120 percent of the area median income, will open late 2016.

In addition to the affordable housing, the three properties that will be finished within the next two years will also have 9,000-square-feet of retail space on the ground floor.

Eventually, high rises will be built alongside the affordable-housing buildings along the waterfront. And as the rest of the project advances, other buildings will fan out along the rest of the site down to Green Street.

Greenpoint Landing is one of the biggest waterfront projects in the city, and will eventually replace a series of parcels, mostly used for industrial storage in a sleepy corner of Greenpoint, with about 5,500 new apartments—1,400 affordable units and 4,100 renting at market rates—along with 9 acres of parks, riverside walkways and open spaces.

Under terms originally negotiated during the Bloomberg administration, the developers would have received $136,000 in subsidy for each affordable apartment created. Now they will be getting $68,000 for each unit, according to city officials, an indication that the initial agreement was too costly for the city.

Park Tower and L+M Development have allotted 25 percent of their proposed units for affordable housing, which is more than the required 20 percent. They will also build and fund four acres of public parkland, and cash for the Newtown Barge Park project.

The School Construction Authority has allotted $45 million to build a 640-seat public elementary school for grades K through 8 on land that the developer set aside.

The development team also plans to install a ferry landing right by 5 Blue Slip. Along with the East River Ferry, expanded B32 bus service, and improvements to the Kent Avenue bike lane and addition of Citi Bike stations would alleviate transit issues.

Greenpoint’s landscape is certainly changing—with condo towers ranging from 30 stories to 40 stories lining a large swath of the waterfront.

The 10 blocks which comprise the overall project, were rezoned along with much of the Greenpoint and Williamsburg waterfront in 2005 to encourage the redevelopment of the neighborhoods.

The entire project is expected to be completed within eight years.

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