Nov. 27, 2017 By Nathaly Pesantez
HarborLAB, the boating program focusing on ecology and based in Long Island City, will be moving into a new space in an upcoming Hunters Point South tower, also bringing along a boathouse that will sit along the sprawling waterfront site.
The nonprofit made the announcement in a Thanksgiving-themed message, where it was thankful for its future space in one of two towers slated to be built as part of the city’s ongoing Hunters Point South development.
Gotham and Riseboro, the joint developers selected to build on parcels F and G of the development site, included plans for a boathouse to be operated by HarborLAB in their winning bid, and listed the nonprofit as a community service tenant for the tower on parcel G, which is closest to their current Newtown Creek location.
“To HarborLAB this up-to-4,000 square foot space is a cornucopia we’ll be responsible for filling with engaging educational, recreational, and environmental stewardship activities as a gift of plenty to all,” the nonprofit wrote on its site.
The group’s location within the tower coming to parcel G brings it in proximity to a boat launch planned near 2nd Street and built as part of phase two of Hunters Point South Park. The city is holding HarborLAB responsible for activating the space year-round.
HarborLAB also expressed gratitude to the Department of City Planning for its early role in accommodating the future area with a boat launch. Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer was also included in the environmental group’s message for his work in pushing for storage space near the planned launch.
The boathouse still needs to go through several steps, including design work and feedback from the community. In the meantime, HarborLAB will still provide programming, like free public paddling and lessons on habitat restoration, at its boat launch at 53-21 Vernon Blvd.
Parcels F and G form two of seven parcels that make up the city’s nearly 5,000 unit Hunters Point South project. Parcels A and B are home to two residential buildings that were completed in 2015. Two towers are set to be constructed on Parcel C, and parcels F and G will see over 1,120 units built in two towers. A construction timeline has not been released for the two parcels.
The waterfront project also includes the construction of an 11-acre park, currently in phase two of construction. Built from 54th Avenue down to Newtown Creek, the latter half of the park will offer features like curved walking paths, an East River overlook, and a boat launch in a quieter, more green design than the already-completed and bustling first half. The second phase is expected to conclude in spring 2018.