Shovels hit dirt on Monday at the Hunters Point South project — the largest new affordable housing complex to be built in New York City since the 1970s.
“In just a few years, Hunters Point South will have all the makings of a great community — affordable homes, new transportation links, beautiful parks with sweeping views, and a brand-new school,” Mayor Bloomberg said.
The first phase includes two residential buildings with 925 affordable apartments, about 17,000 square feet of new retail space, a five-acre park and a 1,100-seat high school — the Academy for Careers in Television and Film. All will be perched at the end of Borden Avenue in the most southwestern corner of Long Island City.
The two residential complexes at 1-50 50 Ave. and 1-55 Borden Ave. should be ready for tenants next year.
Because of the site’s waterfront frontage, flooding, especially post-Sandy, is a concern. The original plans had the buildings located above the 10-year flood plain lines, but following last October’s superstorm additional measures have been put in place such as watertight doors and generators, architects said.
“Hunters Point South — with its waterfront views, open park space and educational opportunities — will continue to build on the foundations that make Long Island City a wonderful place for all New Yorkers,” state Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria) said.
The city worked with the state to allocate $185 million in tax-exempt bonds for the project.
The Hunters Point South plan completed the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure in November 2008. In 2009, the city acquired the entire 30-acre waterfront site from the Empire State Development Corporation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for $100 million dollars.
In the late 1980s, the Hunters Point South site was slated to become the third and fourth phases of New York state’s Queens West development which called for 2,200 apartments and more than two million square feet of office space. Later the site was envisioned as the location for the Olympic Village as part of the city’s 2012 Olympic bid. On the heels of the sale of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village in 2006, Bloomberg announced a plan that morphed into the project that broke ground on Monday.
The city will be collecting proposals next month for a block on the south side of Borden Avenue, a 110,000-square-foot lot, which will be the second phase of the Hunter’s Point South development. That phase will add approximately 1,000 units of housing with a minimum of 50 to 60 percent of the units designated as affordable and approximately 28,000 square feet of community and commercial space.