Nov. 17, 2017 By Nathaly Pesantez
The city has at last revealed the developers chosen to build towers on two empty parcels of the ongoing Hunters Point South development site.
Gotham, the real-estate development firm, and RiseBoro Community Partnership, a non-profit focused on community building, have been picked by the city to bring over 1,120 units spread out over two towers on parcels F and G of the waterfront development.
More than 900 of the units will be permanently affordable, designed for residents with income levels from 30 percent to 145 percent of the area’s median income.
According to figures from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), an AMI of 30 percent for a family of three, for example, translates to an income of $25,770. At 130 percent AMI for the same family size, the income equates to $111,670.
Affordable units are also reserved for seniors, with 93 apartments spread through the two buildings.
A total of about 40,000 square feet has also been provided for commercial space and community facilities, which may include a grocer, a bike shop, and small cafes and restaurants along Center Boulevard on parcel F. An art gallery, a recreational boathouse, and a job training facility may also form part of the sites.
The two parcels are located on the southernmost portion of the development and are flush along 57th Avenue and 2nd Street. The trapezoid-shaped parcel F, with an area of 32,500 square-feet, is bordered by Center Boulevard, and runs between 57th and 56th Avenues. Parcel G, at 28,700 square-feet, is located right above Newtown Creek.
The developers were chosen after HPD released a request for proposals in 2016, calling for mixed-income apartments, ground floor commercial and community facilities, and publicly accessible open space at the two plots of land.
“Gotham has a long, proud history of developing high-quality homes that are accessible to New Yorkers at every income level. We’re excited to have the opportunity to work alongside RiseBoro, HPD and HDC to continue development of Hunters Point South,” said Brian Kelly, executive vice president of development for Gotham, in a statement.
“I hope that our project, which will offer housing, services, and opportunity for people of all ages and incomes, will be a beacon of diversity that provides the basis for the Hunters Point community to thrive,” said Scott Short, RiseBoro Community Partnership CEO, in a statement.
Lisa Deller, head of Community Board 2’s land use committee, said the community board was notified of the selection and of the $500 million project last night, despite multiple requests to learn about the top submissions in the running before a choice was made. The HPD and the city’s Economic Development Corporation have not agreed to share details on the submissions, claiming the confidential, competitive nature of the process.
“It’s generally a good plan,” Deller said about the complex. “There’s a lot of affordable housing, and that’s something we have been advocating for.”
While the number of affordable units pleased Deller, the overall fact that another thousand units are heading to Long Island City weighed on her. “This week has been overwhelming,” she said, pointing to the news of the Plaxall development up north on Anable Basin, which would see 5,000 units over the course of 15 years. “It’s a lot in one week—a lot to take in.”
Deller added that the community board will begin to reach out to Gotham and RiseBoro to start a dialogue about the project and its specifics. Based on community needs, an urgent care center at the site might be suggested by the board, and a discussion on transportation options in a densely-packed area—with no signs of stopping—will likely come about.
No details have been released on the height of the towers, along with information on an anticipated groundbreaking and completion for the two buildings. The number of units in each tower is also not yet known.
In addition to a tower, parcel F will see a stand-alone elementary school for 612 students in a 43,363 square-foot building. A ground-level playground will also be included. The school will likely be completed by the end of 2020, the SCA said in 2016.
The Hunters Point South waterfront development is composed of seven parcels, A through G. Parcels A and B, developed by Related Companies, were completed in 2015. Parcel C will see two towers, developed by TF Cornerstone, along with a 572-seat elementary school. With developers for parcels F and G finalized, the two remaining parcels, D and E, are still awaiting developer selection.