Press Releases

Mayor Bloomberg unveils development plan for Hunter's Point South in Queens — New York City's largest new affordable housing complex since the 1970's

Development team comprised of Phipps Houses, Related Companies and Monadnock Construction selected to build $360 million mixed-use development on the Queens waterfront

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today unveiled the development plan for Hunter’s Point South, the largest new affordable housing complex to be built in New York City since the 1970s. A development team, consisting of Phipps Houses, Related Companies and Monadnock Construction, has been selected through a competitive process to build the residential portion of the first phase of the Queens waterfront complex, which includes two mixed-use buildings comprising more than 900 housing units and roughly 20,000 square feet of new retail space. At least 75 percent of the housing will be permanently targeted to low-, moderate- and middle-income families, up from the 60 percent required by the Request for Proposals.

The first phase, to be completed in 2014, also includes five acres of new waterfront parkland, a new 1,100-seat intermediate and high school, new retail space and parking. Mayor Bloomberg was joined at the announcement, which took place adjacent to the development site at the Waterfront Crab House on Borden Avenue in Long Island City, by Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel, Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Rafael E. Cestero, New York City Housing Development Corporation President Marc Jahr, Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, Queens Borough President Helen M. Marshall, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, New York City Economic Development Corporation Chief Operating Officer Josh Wallack, Phipps Houses Group President & CEO Adam Weinstein, Related Companies Executive Vice President Bruce A. Beal, Jr., Monadnock Construction President Nick Lembo and Community Board 2 Chair Joseph Conley.

“At Hunter’s Point South, not only will we build the largest new affordable housing complex in more than three decades, we’ll do it on long-vacant waterfront property that has incredible views and sits adjacent to one of New York City’s fastest growing neighborhoods,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Through our New Housing Marketplace Plan, we’re building 165,000 affordable units in neighborhoods in all five boroughs, but no where else will there be such a large infusion of new, affordable units. All told, the project will provide new homes for 5,000 New York City families – more than 900 in this first phase – while creating thousands of jobs.”

“Throughout New York City, we’re constantly looking for ways to build affordable housing, connect New Yorkers to the waterfront and create jobs. The major development project at Hunter’s Point South will help us achieve all three of those goals,” said Deputy Mayor Steel. “We will transform what is now vacant land on the Long Island City waterfront into the largest affordable housing complex built in this City since the 1970s, and we’ll do it while adding new parks and a new school for Long Island City residents.”

“Our Request for Proposals to build this first phase of the largest affordable housing development in a generation was met with an enthusiastic response from the development community which resulted in stiff competition for designation,” said Commissioner Cestero. “The choice was not easy, but by selecting this team we are bringing the best possible result for the citizens of this City. Hunter’s Point South was conceived as housing affordable to moderate- and middle-income families – people such as our teachers, healthcare workers, veterans and first responders. Today we are one step closer to making this promise a reality. It has been decades since any affordable development on this scale has been attempted or achieved anywhere in the five boroughs—or even statewide—and I am certain that Hunter’s Point South will set that bar in terms of design, sustainability and permanent affordability and will be a model that other municipalities and states will seek to emulate.”

The permanently affordable units – at least 75 percent or a minimum of 685 of the total 908 phase one units – will be targeted to families with household incomes ranging from $32,000 to $130,000 per year for a family of four; 20 percent of the units will be available to families earning between 40 percent and 80 percent of Area Median Income (AMI), 20 percent to families earning up to 130 percent AMI, and 35 percent to families earning up to 165 percent AMI. The Phipps-Related-Monadnock development team was selected from among competitive proposals submitted to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

The proposals were evaluated – by an inter-agency team that included the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the New York City Housing Development Corporation, the New York City Economic Development Corporation and the Department of City Planning – based on financial feasibility, affordability of residential units, quality of architectural design, development and management experience as well as other factors consistent with the qualifications outlined in the Request for Proposals. The selected plan best adhered to the design guidelines by closely following the context of the neighborhood and street scale, and the winning team demonstrated a commitment to engage in an ongoing design process with the City and local community.

The proposal also provided both the lowest per-unit and total subsidy of all of the finalists. The three groups represented on the team each have a long history and commitment to building and managing affordable housing in New York City. The first phase of Hunter’s Point will transform a total of more than 800,000 square feet of vacant waterfront land bounded by 50th Avenue to the north, 2nd Street to the east, Borden Avenue to the south and Center Boulevard to the west.

Infrastructure work, including the installation of sewers, watermains, roadways, sidewalks and parking, will begin next month and is expected to be completed during the Spring of 2013. Park construction will begin this summer. The two residential buildings, including the retail space, will begin construction in 2012 and are expected to take up to 24 months to complete. The new school, which will be built by the New York City Schools Construction Authority, will open in the Fall of 2013. Designed by SHoP Architects, with Ismael Leyva Architects, the team’s plan for the initial two residential mixed-use buildings features classic tripartite building composition in a modern, façade design.

Nearby, vibrant retail corridors have been created along 50th Avenue as well as Second Street, which will ultimately serve as a spine that connects all of Hunters Point South. Generous sidewalks, multiple street level entries, and facade treatments that anchor the buildings to the streets, will all work together to create an active, new neighborhood. When complete, Hunter’s Point South will be the largest affordable housing development in New York City since the early 1970s when Co-op City and Starrett City were completed. It will include approximately 5,000 new units of housing, more than 11 acres of landscaped waterfront parkland, new retail shops, community facility space and the new school.

It is anticipated that Hunter’s Point South will catalyze more than $2 billion in private investment and create more than 4,600 jobs.

“This important project will connect the Hunter’s Point community to the waterfront, and I look forward to its contributions to the evolving Queens skyline,” said City Planning Commissioner Amanda M. Burden. “We look forward to building a beautiful park for the new residents and all New Yorkers to enjoy at Hunters Point South,” said Parks Commissioner Benepe.

“Thousands of affordable apartments, acres of parkland, and a new school here in Hunter's Point will all be wonderful additions to the neighborhood and to our City,” said Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. “I thank Mayor Bloomberg and his team for their work to develop and revitalize the waterfront in western Queens.”

“Today we move forward on the road that leads to the creation of an entirely new community on the East River waterfront,” said Borough President Marshall. “This community will enjoy the benefits of much-needed affordable housing, retail space and parkland, located in a unique setting. Major infrastructure and surface improvements will complement the attractive housing and retail opportunities and help to make Hunters Point South a success story in this second decade of the 21st Century. I look forward to working with Mayor Bloomberg and all our partners in the public and private sectors as we build for the future to achieve common goals.”

“From affordable housing, to retail space, a new school and even a waterfront park this state of the art development can serve as a model in urban planning and design,” said Council Member Van Bramer. “Hunters Point and greater Long Island City is an amazingly vibrant and diverse place to live, work and create.”

“Preserving New York's middle class is critical to ensuring our city's growth in the 21st century,” said State Senator Michael Gianaris. “Long Island City’s ongoing revitalization will guarantee that western Queens continues to be home to the hard-working men and women that make our city run. Hunters Points South is a critical part of this necessary rebirth.”

“Phipps Houses has developed and maintained affordable housing throughout New York City for over a century, providing New Yorkers across the income spectrum the opportunity to live and work in the City,” said Phipps Houses’ President and CEO Adam Weinstein. “It is our not-for-profit organization’s mission, and a crowning achievement of the Bloomberg administration. We are pleased to partner with Related and Monadnock, two organizations we have worked with prior, and both of whom share this mission. This important new development demonstrates the Bloomberg administration’s commitment to ensuring vibrant mixed-income neighborhoods in Western Queens and throughout the City.”

“We applaud the Bloomberg administration’s vision for transforming a long vacant parcel into a burgeoning waterfront community,” said Related Companies Executive Vice President Bruce A. Beal, Jr. “Related Companies has a forty-year commitment to the creation and preservation of affordable housing and a track record in executing large-scale developments and we are thrilled to have been selected along with our partners Phipps Houses and Monadnock Construction to develop the first phase of Hunter’s Point South, New York’s next great middle income community. The availability of housing opportunities for all of our city’s working families is critical to New York’s future and we are proud to be playing a role in creating a dynamic, sustainable neighborhood at Hunter’s Point South.”

“Mayor Bloomberg’s administration has demonstrated tremendous leadership with their plan for Hunter's Point South,” said Monadnock Construction President Nick Lembo. “We are looking forward to rolling up our sleeves to work with our partners, Related Companies and Phipps Houses, to build affordable housing for hard-working New Yorkers.”

“The vacant waterfront land at Hunter’s Point South represents one of New York City’s best opportunities for growth, and the fact that development is moving forward is great news for Queens residents,” said Community Board 2 Chair Joseph Conley. “Throughout the development process, the Bloomberg Administration has listened and responded to the local community, and the result is a phenomenal project that will benefit the entire area and all of New York City for generations.”

Hunter’s Point South will also be serviced by the East River Ferry pilot program set to launch this spring. The ferry will stop at the southern tip of Hunter’s Point – on the waterfront between Borden Avenue and 54th Avenue, with service to 34th Street in Manhattan as well as Brooklyn and lower Manhattan. The Hunter’s Point South plan completed the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure in November 2008. In 2009, the City acquired the entire 30 acre Hunter’s Point South site from the Empire State Development Corporation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey at the cost of $100 million dollars. 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 Empire State Development Corporation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey 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. Hunter’s Point South is the largest affordable housing development in the Bloomberg Administration’s New Housing Marketplace Plan, and the largest in New York City in more than three and a half decades.

The New Housing Marketplace Plan, launched by Mayor Bloomberg in 2003, is a $8.4 billion initiative to finance 165,000 units of affordable housing for half a million New Yorkers by 2014. To date, the plan has funded the creation or preservation of 111,279 units of affordable housing across the five boroughs. The development of Hunter’s Point South will advance the goals of the Waterfront Vision and Enhancement Strategy, a citywide initiative launched in 2010 by Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn that will create a new sustainable blueprint for the City’s more than 500 miles of shoreline. The soon to be released plan will have two core components: Vision 2020 - The New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, which will establish long-term goals for the next decade and beyond, and the New York City Waterfront Action Agenda, which will set forth priority initiatives to be implemented within three years.

Together, the initiatives will provide a blueprint for the City’s waterfront and waterways, and focus on the following categories: open space and recreation, the working waterfront, housing and economic development, natural habitats, climate change adaptation and waterborne transportation.