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After Truncation Threat, Parents Turn Hopes To Hunters Point South

Hunters-Point-South-buildingJune 10, 2015 By Jackie Strawbridge

Hunters Point South could offer a solution to the looming loss of middle school seats in Long Island City, parents say.

In response to the Department of Education’s announcement that PS/IS 78 may soon lose middle school seats, an online petition opened on Saturday for the City to include a pre-Kindergarten through eighth grade middle school in the second phase of Hunters Point South construction.

The petition has garnered nearly 500 signatures.

“We need to start thinking about this now, before construction starts,” Sabina Omerhodzic, who posted the petition, said. “We’re overcrowded now; after people move in, it’s going to be catastrophic.”

As part of Hunters Point South Phase I a middle school was completed, with the residential towers soon to be occupied.

Construction of Phase II is slated to begin in late summer or early fall this year.

When complete, Hunters Point South will include up to 5,000 new apartments.

Coinciding with this influx of residents, PS/IS 78 may see its middle school phased out to make room for a growing number of younger children, the DOE announced in May.

For local families, the prospect of middle school truncation was devastating.

“Many parents made a big life decision based on the fact that we had PS 78, pre-K through eight,” Omerhodzic said.

“That’s why we’re spending a lot of time [looking for a solution] which we would rather spend with our families,” she continued. “But it’s OK; if we can fix it now, it would be great, and we think we can. But we need a voice with the Mayor.”

When asked for comment on the Hunters Point South proposal, DOE spokesperson Jason Fink responded, “We continue to work closely with families and our other partners in Long Island City to explore a variety of potential opportunities to meet the needs of this growing community.”

The online petition can be found by clicking here.

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19 Comments

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David

What percent of the students in the high school are local to Hunters Point? Why not use that space for Pre-K through 8th grade and include a high school in the next development phase?

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Anonymous visitor

Exactly!
See how easy hat was? How come people here can think logically like that, but not the people in charge.
How does it make any sense to build the middle school before addressing PreK – 5 grade?
who do you think is moving into all these building? People with 12-13 year olds? NO! There is a logical order to everything….or…there SHOULD be a logical order to everything….officials are essentially building from the top down.

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Mel

Uh they should have thought this out beforehand! There is an epidemic of childbirths in Lic! And yet they keep on building! Idiots!?

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Ro

I hope that everyone signs the petition no matter if they have kids or not. Schools are one of the most important determinants of value in any neighborhood.

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AG

Maybe if the developers weren’t getting outrageous tax breaks for promises that they don’t make good on, the city would have funding for some of the infrastructure projects.

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Anonymous visitor

We’re not even close to having that discussion in New York. Look around you. We rely on 19th and early 20th century bridges, tunnels, subways and road systems in this city. The bones of this city are rotting away and no one cares.

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BD

Exactly what promises did the developers of HPS not make good on? They built 2 buildings with 925 units of affordable housing. What else where they required to do?

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Anonymous visitor

Go here to read the project reports: http://www.nyc.gov/html/oec/html/ceqr/project_hunters_point.shtml

Here are a few things the project sponsors promised:

> On Site A, approximately 180,000 gsf of space for a new public school would be located on Parcel B of Site A. It is estimated that this school would serve approximately 1,250 students, possibly for grades 6 through 12.

>Approximately 45,000 gsf of space for community facilities, such as a day-care center, community center, medical space, space for a non-profit organization, or some other similar use would also be located on Site A.

>Accessory parking is expected to be provided for 40 percent of all residential units on Sites A and B. On Site A, parking garages are anticipated to be located on all parcels except Parcels B and G. Parking would be provided in above-grade parking facilities located in the bases of the proposed buildings and concealed by residential and retail uses that would wrap around the
perimeter of the garages. On-street parking would also be available for loading and unloading, and short-term visits

>New bus stops and layover areas would be needed in and around the project sites. This bus routing option, developed in concert with the City, MTA, and QWDC was analyzed and determined as feasible for implementation when future ridership demand warrants it.

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Anonymous visitor

Interesting……thanks for posting this.
So – on Site A & B – which are the 2 building being completed now…there is supposed to be a parking garage? The wording is terrible, but it loos like there should already have been a parking structure built. I don’t believe this is the case – which is the point that everyone is trying to make. If these plans were approved with parking to accommodate the hundreds of new tenants, then why aren’t they being built? So the developer can get an extra couple of thousand sf of rental space obviously. Its a crime. Way to go city officials – approve buildings and then let the developers change the plans after they get approved.

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Anonymous visitor

Read the section on public transit if you really want to get sick. There is nothing in there but weasel words. Zero commitments to increase public transit, just vague “promises” to provide them if “demands warrant it.” Just wait until the project is at full build-out, with all those thousands of additional warm bodies to press up onto at the Vernon Jackson station.

Anonymous visitor

This is what the report says about the parking situation. The city says that there are 500 spaces on the street nearby that would be available to people looking for a space in the evening. Right!:

The proposed actions would also include the construction of parking garages with a total of 2,000 parking spaces in buildings on Site A and 660 parking spaces in buildings on Site B. This number of parking spaces would be sufficient to accommodate daytime needs in the area (i.e., from about 8 AM to 7 PM). However, there would be a shortfall of approximately 500 spaces
during the nighttime/overnight hours that would only be partially compensated by the approximately 115 on-street parking spaces created as part of the proposed actions. As a result, project residents returning home after about 7 PM would need to find additional on-street parking spaces elsewhere in the surrounding neighborhood to the north and east of the project sites. A nighttime survey was conducted for a ½-mile radius to determine the extent to which additional on- and off-street spaces may be available, and to determine whether a shortfall would still occur. The survey showed that, at 7 PM, there would potentially be 1,100 off-street and 500 on-street parking spaces available. However, with the buildout of Queens West, which is
expected to add more than 2,000 additional apartments to the study area, some or all of these available spaces could be occupied by residents who are unable to find spaces within that project’s accessory parking lots. Hence, future off-street and on-street parking occupancies could be higher, and there might be fewer or no spaces available. In this case, the Hunter’s Point South
project could continue to have an overall parking shortfall during nighttime to early morning hours.

BD

With the exception of the bus routing (and maybe it was I honestly didn’t look) everything on that list was provided. School? Check. Space for community facility? Check. Accessory parking for 40% of all residents? Check.
The building barely has its TCO. There isn’t even glass all the way around the ground floor where any of the retail & community facilities are going to be so how do you expect anyone to lease that space yet?
This development is the epitome of what affordable housing advocates and local government is calling for and yet people still find things to complain about! Affordable housing, in a prime neighborhood on the waterfront.
Yes Related is there but so is Phipps Houses which is a not for profit affordable housing developer!

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Anonymous visitor

Yes, but it’s what they haven’t committed to that’s an issue. How about improvements to the subway system right now? Or efforts to expand ferry services at HPS? I really don’t care about HPS per se. I just think that cramming more and more people in an area underserved by city services is going to be a problem for us.

Anonymous visitor

BD – I think you’re missing the point.
The people here are not talking about the developers not doing what they said they were going to do – Although you’ll have to explain the me how the new buildings provided the parking garages detailed in the project report.
What the people here are upset about is the fact that city officials keep approving developments without thought towards a simple/obvious thing like education.

BD

I 100% agree that the city needs to better plan for infrastructure and schools when issuing RFP’s for thousands of units in such a concentrated area. But just like everything this city does they do it backwards. They issued an RFP that said build this box and include X, Y & Z. That should of included infrastructure upgrades and/or more than one school.

I realize I digressed from the article by just responding to AG’s comment…..

just passing

affordable housing….. to who? since when is $3k+ affordable?

Anonymous visitor

The entire thing is a joke. People in positions of power/authority put no thought or effort into planing….you cant just put up building after building without the facilities to accommodate the growing population.
Even parking is ridiculous – every week night and weekend brings hundreds if not thousands of people into LIC. Its freaking impossible to find parking — in 2 years when 5,000 more units are built – how many more cars will be in the area? Have they talked about maybe building a parking garage?
When the park is completed it will be even worse…..start doing your job people. Think ahead….plan….be ready.

Reply
Anonymous visitor

And yet years and years were spent on the analysis for these projects. The city is fully aware of the impacts of this experiment in Long Island City. They just aren’t equipped or bold enough to do anything about it because it would entail raising huge amounts of tax revenue to meet the demands of the residential development. I don’t see it ever happening. We’re at a critical make or break point in LIC right now. Either city officials step up and start addressing the needs of the community for improved mass transit, schools and other services or this place just plateaus and turns into a crowded glorified dorm.

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Time's Up

So, they just put two gigantic buildings in Hunter’s Point South, neither of which are close to being fully occupied.

Now, before even beginning to understand the impact of all these new residents, they’re going to add thousands more units? Is this a joke? With schools and infrastructure that can’t even handle the current influx?

I wonder who thinks this is a good idea.

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