Ground was broken on the first two residential buildings of the Hunter’s Point South development on the Queens waterfront this week.
When complete, the multi-phase Hunter’s Point South project being developed by Related Cos and built by Monadnock Construction, will be largest new affordable housing complex to be built in New York City since the 1970s.
“After years of planning and partnership, we’re breaking ground on the first large-scale middle-class development to be built in our city in more than three and a half decades,” said Mayor Bloomberg, who took part in the ground breaking ceremony.
“In just a few years, Hunter’s 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.”
The first phase includestwo residential buildings with 925 permanently affordable apartments and roughly 17,000 s/f of new retail space, infrastructure installations, a new five-acre waterfront park, and a new 1,100-seat school.
Mayor Bloomberg also announced that the City will issue a Request for Proposals for Phase II of the Hunter’s Point South development next month.
The City collaborated with New York State to help finance the residential buildings, which under the direction of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, allocated $185 million of tax-exempt bonds for the project. HDC issued $236 million in tax exempt bonds, and HPD provided $68 million in subsidy.
The RFP originally set a minimum of 60 percent of the units to be income-restricted. During the course of negotiating the financing for the project, the City and development team were able to come to an agreement that made it feasible for 100 percent of the units to be permanently affordable for this phase.
It is anticipated that the buildings will be ready for occupancy in 2014 with construction fully completed in 2015.
Site A, a 37-story building at 1-50 50th Avenue, will be comprised of 619 permanently affordable units, approximately 13,739 s/f of retail space, and a parking garage with 220 spaces.
Site B, a 32-story building located at 1-55 Borden Avenue, will be comprised of 306 permanently affordable units and approximately 3,000 s/f of retail space.
Designed by SHoP Architects, with Ismael Leyva Architects, the team’s plan for the two residential mixed-use buildings in Phase I feature tripartite building composition in a modern, façade design. Phase I will follow the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria, the only national green building criteria designed for affordable housing.
It is expected that this development will achieve a LEED Silver rating when complete.
Sites A and B will have a variety of tenant amenities including public terraces, a fitness center, children’s play room, tech center, bike storage and party rooms in each building. Site A will also have a community garden. All of the two- and three-bedroom units in each building will contain in-unit washers and dryers.
Like much of New York City’s coastline, the Hunter’s Point South waterfront was affected during Hurricane Sandy. The Phase I project plans include resiliency measures to ensure that, should another severe weather event hit the Queens waterfront, the impact will be mitigated.
The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) is in the process of constructing the infrastructure and roadways that will support the first phase of residential development.
NYCEDC is also constructing a 5-acre waterfront park that borders the residential parcels and the school. The park is approximately 70 percent complete and includes a playground, basketball court, dog run, train track “rail garden,” and large “oval” that will serve as a place for active recreation and passive uses.
This phase also includes work by the New York City School Construction Authority on a new, 1,100-seat Intermediate/High School, 404-Q, which is approximately 70 percent complete and slated to open in September for the 2013/2014 school year.
The total development cost for the two residential buildings in Phase I of Hunter’s Point South is approximately $332 million, with HDC issuing $236 million in tax exempt bonds, HPD providing $68 million in subsidy, the developer contributing over $27 million of equity, and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) providing grants of approximately $1.2 million during construction for green elements.
“Creating housing opportunities for all New Yorkers has been a goal of Related’s for the last four decades, and we are proud to be a part of the Bloomberg administration’s vision for transforming Hunter’s Point,” said Related Companies President Bruce A. Beal, Jr.
“These two buildings will offer critical housing to our City’s working-class and low-income families and play an important role in this neighborhood’s transformation into a vibrant, sustainable mixed-use community.”
Monadnock Construction president Nick Lembo added, “This day has been made possible through our great partnership with the City’s housing agencies and private sector lenders as well as strong support from union labor. We thank Mayor Bloomberg for his leadership and are ready to get to work.”
Mayor Bloomberg announced that next month the City will be issuing the RFP for Site C, the block on the south side of Borden Avenue, an 110,000 s/f lot, which will be the second phase of the Hunter’s Point South development.