February 9, 2004
Raynoff, Press Secretary -- (212) 720-3471
ZONING PROPOSED FOR VIBRANT MIXED USE HUNTERS POINT
TO OFFER NEW HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES IN QUEENS
February 9, 2004 - City Planning Director Amanda M.
Burden announced a new zoning proposal for promoting
a dynamic mix of housing and light industry in the
Hunters Point neighborhood of Long Island City, Queens.
The proposal will complement developments in surrounding
areas and enhance the distinctive characteristics and
qualities of the neighborhood. The Hunters Point Subdistrict
Rezoning proposal was certified today, beginning the
public review process.
"Hunters Point is an important connector between
the LIC business district and the developing East River
waterfront neighborhood of Queens West. By eliminating
complex limitations on residential uses in this pivotal
location, the proposal will create opportunities for
low and moderate density new residential and mixed-use
developments that will blend into the neighborhood
fabric and bring life and foot traffic to this unique,
transit-rich, culturally vibrant neighborhood." said
Ms. Burden, adding, "The mix of compatible uses
will help create a more vital Hunters Point where people
will want to live, work and shop – enhancing
the adjacent regional business district and continuing
the Administration’s commitment to create and
preserve homes in New York’s neighborhoods."
The proposal is a fined-grained zoning strategy that
recognizes the area’s mixed-use development traditions
as well as its low and mid-rise built character. The
43-block area to be rezoned is between the Queens West
Development along the East River and the Long Island
City (LIC) core centered around Queens Plaza and Court
Square. Over time, the neighborhood has experienced
a shift from heavy manufacturing to semi-industrial
uses and entrepreneurial activities including warehouses,
contracting, and graphics and arts-related enterprises.
The area and its surroundings are also home to a number
of cultural institutions including P.S. 1 Contemporary
Art Center and the Sculpture Center.
The rezoning would encourage low rise residential
and mixed uses with moderate densities along wider
streets that are better served by mass transit and
adjoining the LIC business district and Queens West.
Light manufacturing and other uses permitted in the
M1 zones would continue to be permitted as-of-right.
The proposal would also encourage commercial uses such
as art galleries and custom manufacturing businesses
throughout the neighborhood and support the efforts
of property owners seeking to upgrade and expand their
The rezoning responds to the evolving land use trends
within the existing mixed-use subdistrict and also
builds on some of the City’s most significant
recent planning initiatives occurring in the adjacent
LIC core and Queens West. In 2001, the rezoning of
the LIC core began the effort to create a dynamic,
high-density, mixed-use district in an area well-connected
to Manhattan and the region by mass transit. The Queens
West project is creating new residential, commercial,
and recreational activities on underused waterfront
land adjacent to Hunters Point, with the expectation
of a groundbreaking this fall by the Rockrose Development
Corporation on the first of seven apartment buildings
planned for the former Pepsi site. The Hunters Point
Subdistrict Rezoning proposal seeks to ensure a balance
between this future area-wide growth while supporting
existing land uses and neighborhood character.
Specifically, the rezoning aims to:
• Remove restrictions on residential development
• Retain light manufacturing businesses while
supporting the growing entrepreneurial activities that
are restricted by the current zoning. The new zoning
would permit a range of operations interested in locating
in the area, including artist studios, art galleries,
small theaters and performance spaces and small printers.
Maintain the existing scale of three- and four-story
residential buildings within the neighborhood mid-blocks
and foster infill housing on small lots.
Encourage new residential and mixed-use development
at moderately higher densities along wide streets
close to public transit and adjoining the LIC core
West. New construction on Jackson Avenue could rise
to a maximum of 12 stories, while 11th Street is
likely to see new buildings of six stories and a
eight stories on 44th Drive.
The proposal was developed with input by the public
and business leaders and followed several planning
meetings held in the community.
Following review and approval by the community boards
and Borough President, the application will be returned
to the City Planning Commission for a public hearing
and a vote. Then it goes before the City Council
for final approval. The Department of City Planning
website contains more information on this
project and the public
The Department of City Planning is responsible for
the City's physical and socioeconomic planning,
including land use and environmental review; preparation
plans and policies; and provision of technical
assistance and planning information to government
officials, and community boards.
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