Nov. 23, 2015 By Michael Florio
Mayor Bill de Blasio joined local officials this afternoon to break ground on the second and final phase of the 5,000-unit Hunters Point South project.
The groundbreaking represented the beginning of phase II for the construction of the park as well as the infrastructure for the 3,000 units that will stretch from 54th Avenue through to the Newtown Creek.
Phase I of Hunters Point South Park was completed in 2013 and spans a little more than five acres from 50th to 54th Avenues. Phase I of the housing development covers the 925 affordable units that were built on parcels A and B as well as the 1,200 units that TF Cornerstone is constructing on Parcel C.
Phase II will expand the park another five acres all the way over to Newtown Creek. The 3,000 other units, 60 percent of which will be affordable, will be built on Parcels D,E,F, and G.
Construction of the park as well as the infrastructure and roadways for the buildings are expected to be completed by the end of 2018. The housing that accompanies Phase II will begin immediately thereafter.
De Blasio heaped praise on Hunters Point South.
“This is the largest affordable housing development to be built in New York City since the 1970s,” de Blasio said.
De Blasio spoke of Long Island City residents who were afraid of getting priced out of their own neighborhood.
“The answer to those fears is to develop new housing,” he said.
The Mayor also said the City took this formerly industrial land that was not being utilized and decided to use it to provide housing. Once completed, the units will provide housing for the working class, he added.
“There will be people of all walks of life and all different incomes living in these towers,” he said. “We are building a whole new neighborhood right here.”
Preliminary construction started on Phase II in September with the site being cleared of trash, debris and old structures.
In early 2016, an infrastructure contractor will be brought on to start building the roadways, while a marine contractor will begin work on the shoreline.
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz joined de Blasio on Monday afternoon.
“This is a phenomenal day,” she said. “I look forward to the thousands of new families that will now be able to come into our borough.”
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer also joined de Blasio.
“This is an amazing opportunity to make a great neighborhood even greater,” he said. “It allows more people to live in this neighborhood.”
Van Bramer added that more schools will need to be constructed to serve the new residents.