Elected officials break ground on high rise ‘affordable’ housing in Long Island City
By Christian Murray
March 5, Long Island City, NY: Public officials broke ground on two high-rise residential towers on Monday, marking the first phase of a 5,000 unit middle-income development at Hunter’s Point South.
The groundbreaking represented a significant step in “Phase I” of the development, which includes the construction of two residential buildings comprised of 925 affordable apartments and roughly 17,000 square feet of retail space.
Phase I also includes a new five-acre waterfront park and a new 1,100 seat school; however, the school and park are near completion.
The two residential/retail buildings—to be located at 1-50 50th Ave and 1-55 Borden Ave.– are expected to be ready for occupancy by the end of 2014.
The 50th Avenue building will be 37 stories and will include 619 affordable units and 13,700 square feet of retail space. The Borden Avenue property will be 32 stories, comprised of 306 affordable units and 3,000 square feet of retail space. Both buildings include new measures to ensure that they can withstand severe flooding.
The buildings will include public terraces, a fitness center, bike storage, children’s play room and party rooms.
“After years of planning and partnership, we’re breaking ground on the first large-scale middle class development to be built in our city in more than three and a half decades,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
All of the units will be rented to low-income and middle-income earners.
Of the 925 units, 308 units have been reserved for those earning up to $191,000 (assuming a family of four); 430 units have been set aside for families earning up to $148,000; 155 units for families that earn less than $41,500; and 31 for a families that earns less than $33,200. There will be one unit for the superintendent.
The rent with vary from as low as $500 per month to as high as $4,000, according to officials.
The park is approximately 70 percent complete and includes a playground, basketball court, dog run, train track “rail garden,” and large “oval” that will serve as a place for active recreation and passive uses.
The 1,100-seat Intermediate/High School is approximately 70 percent complete and slated to open in September.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said that the “groundbreaking represents another milestone in the ongoing transformation of Hunters Point.” He said that in addition to the affordable units, “we will gain more retail, a new bike lane network, and a city park complete with green space and a state-of-the-art dog run.”
Plans are in the works for Phase II of the development, which will include the construction of 1,000 units on the south side of Borden Avenue. At least 50 percent of the units will be reserved for low-to-middle income earners. Bloomberg is putting that project out for bid next month.
When complete, the Hunter’s Point South development will include approximately 5,000 new units of housing, more than 11 acres of landscaped waterfront parkland, new retail shops, community facility space, and the school.