TF Cornerstone, the family-owned development firm responsible for transforming a swathe of the Long Island City waterfront, has been tapped to built the second phase of the city’s massive Hunter’s Point South development.
New York Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas announced that TF Cornerstone would work with the non-profit for seniors, Selfhelp, to build two high-rises with 1,193 new apartments.
Some 796 apartments will be affordable, with 100 of those will be reserved for low-income senior citizens. The remainder will be market-rate.
Phase II will also feature a fitness facility, rooftop gardens and decks, children’s playroom, an on-site Senior recreational center and other amenities.
“When TF Cornerstone broke ground on our LIC Waterfront project more than ten years ago, we envisioned the creation of a multi-faceted, family-friendly community with diverse retail options, top-of-the-line schools and expansive park space,” said K. Thomas Elghanayan, chairman/co-founder, TF Cornerstone.
“Today’s designation by HPD enables us to continue our pursuit of these goals in what is now an already-thriving LIC waterfront, while creating greatly needed affordable housing. We thank HPD for this designation which allows us to continue to grow our affordable housing portfolio and solidifies LIC’s position as a pre-eminent, 24/7 multigenerational, mixed-income and mixed-use community.”
The developer was chosen through a competitive Request for Proposals (RFP). The site, referred to as Parcel C, is located in Long Island City, Queens and bounded by Borden Avenue to the north, 2nd Street to the east, 54th Avenue to the south, and Center Boulevard to the west.
“We are excited to be working with TF Cornerstone and Selfhelp to build this next phase of the largest affordable housing development undertaken since the 1970s,” said Commissioner Visnauskas.
“From our most vulnerable populations to those in our middle-class, the challenges of finding an affordable home and the cost of living with rent burden are experiences that many New Yorkers share. This second phase of Hunter’s Point South will create nearly 800 affordable apartments, in a mixed-income community, new space for local arts and community groups, and new opportunity for economic growth. But most important, it will be a place where our senior citizens will have rents they can afford and supportive services, and where hardworking moderate- and middle-income New York families can put down roots and grow with this vibrant and flourishing neighborhood.”
Consisting of a total of more than 1,200,000 s/f, development of Parcel C will create 1,193 new apartments with a mix of studio, one- , two- ,and three-bedroom units. One hundred of the new affordable apartments will be set aside for senior citizens aged 55 years and older who earn an annual household income of approximately $39,170 per year for a single person.
Selfhelp will provide supportive services to the residents, including operating an onsite Senior Recreational Center with programmed activities for the residents and seniors from the community that include fitness classes, nutritional education, and weekly blood pressure screenings.
“We firmly believe that for New York City to thrive and prosper, quality housing needs to be developed for all segments of our City’s population. This project is an excellent example of how the public and private sectors can work together to create greatly needed housing for our City’s moderate and middle income families. I commend HPD for establishing this successful partnership and look forward to continuing to work with them in achieving their ambitious affordable housing goals,” said Jeremy Shell, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions and Finance, TF Cornerstone.
In addition to the residential component, plans for the site call for approximately 20,000 s/f of new commercial space with preliminary plans for a pre-kindergarten, a medical facility, a rock climbing gym, and new restaurants.
In addition, there are approximately 10,000-gross-square-feet of new community space to be programmed with local arts-based community groups. Plans also include approximately 300 parking spaces.
When complete, the development will include a variety of tenant amenities including a two-level fitness facility, bike storage, a viewing terrace, and a children’s playroom.
Designed by ODA, the proposal creates two new towers to enhance the Queens skyline with stepped terraces that echo the Art Deco skyscrapers of Manhattan. The tower to the north will be 41 floors and the tower to the south will be 36 floors. The design incorporates numerous community green spaces throughout the different levels of the building, including two urban farming plateaus.
The project will also adhere to Enterprise Green Communities Criteria which are required on all City-subsidized affordable housing new construction and substantial rehabilitation projects. Some of the sustainable and resilience features include orientation to maximize passive cooling/heating, and gray-water recycling for irrigation. In addition, the proposal has flood mitigation measures that include locating the building’s mechanical equipment on the second floor and flood proofing the ground floor retail spaces.
Hunter’s Point South site C is the second phase of what will become the largest affordable housing development in New York City since the early 1970s when Co-op City and Starrett City were completed.
In 2009 the City acquired the entire 30-acre Hunter’s Point South site from the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey at the cost of $100 million dollars.
Phase I which includes Parcels A and B is currently under construction and will provide 925 permanently affordable units when complete. When the entire multi-phase Hunter’s Point South development project is completed the City will have added approximately 5,000 new units of housing to the Queens waterfront, a minimum of 60 percent or 3,000 units of which will be reserved as affordable for low-, moderate- and middle-income families.
The entire project will also include more than 11 acres of landscaped waterfront parkland, new retail shops, community facility space and a new school. A 7-acre waterfront park constructed by NYC Economic Development Corporation, and a new 1,100-seat Intermediate/High School built by the School Construction Authority have already been completed as part of the Phase I master plan.
The street network will create pedestrian-scaled streets that tie into the existing street grid and neighborhood, and also tap into nearby transit connections. The Plan completed the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure in November 2008.
In the late 1980s, the Hunter’s Point South site was slated to become the third and fourth phase 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 in the City’s 2012 Olympic bid. On the heels of the sale of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village in 2006, Mayor Bloomberg announced the City’s intention to acquire the site from ESDC and the Port Authority to create the City’s first large-scale moderate and middle income housing in decades. Since then, multiple City agencies have worked with the community to develop the Hunter’s Point South Plan.