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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Seth McM. Donlin, HPD (212) 863-5176, donlins@hpd.nyc.gov
Stu Loeser/Andrew Brent (212) 788-2958
David Lombino/Janel Patterson (NYCEDC) (212) 312-3523


MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES CITY'S $100 MILLION ACQUISITION OF THE 30-ACRE HUNTER'S POINT SOUTH PARCEL

Middle-Income Affordable Housing, Open Space, Community Facility, Retail and School will Create 4,600 Jobs, First Phase of $175 Million Infrastructure Improvements to Begin This Fall

Creating Affordable and Attractive Neighborhoods is a Critical Component of the Mayor's Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan


JUNE 25 - Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg  announced the $100 million acquisition of 30 acres at Hunter's Point South in Long Island City.  The site was acquired from the Empire State Development Corporation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and will become the largest middle income housing development since the 1970's.  This largely vacant land will accommodate 5,000 new units of housing, 60 percent of which will be reserved for moderate- and middle-income families.  The project will also include more than 11 acres of landscaped waterfront parkland, new retail shops, community facility space and a new 1,100 seat high school. Expected to catalyze more than $2 billion in private investment and create more than 4,600 jobs, the first phase of the $175 million infrastructure and park design work will begin this fall.  Joining the Mayor in Long Island City were Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, City Councilman Eric Gioia, Deputy Mayor Robert C. Lieber, Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Rafael Cestero, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe, Economic Development Corporation President Seth Pinsky and School Construction Authority Executive Director Lorraine Grillo.

"Creating jobs and affordable housing for the City's middle income families is a critical component of our Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan and today's announcement allow us to make great progress on both those fronts," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg,  "With the acquisition of the site and the start of the design work, we are setting the stage for the largest investment in permanently affordable housing for our police officers, nurses, teachers and public employees and other middle income New Yorkers."

At the announcement, the Mayor unveiled concept designs for the open space which are available at www.nycedc.com/hunterspointsouth. The 1,100 seat high school is in design and fully funded as part of the budget passed by the City Council.

Hunters Point South is an integral part of the City's $7.5 billion New Housing Marketplace Plan which calls for the preservation and creation of 165,000 affordable housing units. Sixty-eight percent of those - over 112,000 units - will serve low-income New Yorkers. At least 3,000 permanently low-income units will be built in Queens over the next 10 years. The Hunter's Pont South Plan also includes the re-zoning of an adjacent, privately-owned 7.5-acre site, Site B, to allow for compatible development, including at least 330 units of low-income housing.

The project will serve moderate- and middle-income New Yorkers with a range of incomes.  It is expected that of the 3,000 total affordable units at Hunter's Point South, 1,000 will be for households with incomes at 80% of the HUD income limit, another 1,000 will be for families with incomes at 130% of the HUD income limit, and the remaining 1,000 units will be for households with incomes at 165% of the HUD limit.  This translates to 3,000 units available to households with incomes between $55,000 and $158,000 for a family of four.

"Today's announcement moves the Hunters Point South development forward with a giant step," said Queens Borough President Helen Marshall.  "Infrastructure improvements, a new school, housing construction and a timetable for work to begin this fall will transform this underutilized property in southwest Queens into an attractive, mixed use development that will continue to transform the waterfront in southwest Queens into one of the most desirable places to live in our city. I thank Mayor Michael Bloomberg and all our partners for their vision and support for this project, which will eventually become one of the largest middle-income housing developments in our great city. I am delighted to be here today and to support Hunters Point South."

"Today we're not just talking about how to keep New York affordable, we're taking a concrete step forward in creating thousands of units of housing for moderate and middle-income New Yorkers," said Councilman Eric Gioia. "A cop married to a school teacher ought to be able to live in New York City, and so should a maintenance worker or a crossing guard. We need affordable neighborhoods where families can put down roots, with options for homeownership.  Hunters Point South should be a model in revitalizing the waterfront and rebuilding the middle class."

""This City sorely needs moderate- and middle-income housing - ask any police officer, firefighter, sanitation worker, teacher or nurse that you know," said HPD Commissioner Cestero. "This is our opportunity to create 3,000 new, permanently affordable homes for moderate- and middle-income New Yorkers. Another 2,000 units will be market-rate, and support the affordable element of this project. This is housing for our city's firefighters, police officers, teachers and other municipal workers and their families, its nurses and healthcare workers - middle-class New Yorkers who are leaving the city due to rising housing costs. Without them, it's hard to imagine a workable, livable New York City."

"Today marks another great milestone in the Bloomberg Administration's commitment to making neighborhoods in all five boroughs of New York City more inviting, livable and affordable to New Yorkers of all incomes and professions," said New York Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky. "Investing in critical infrastructure and creating the next great New York new, affordable neighborhoods, like Hunter's Point South, for those who make the City work is yet another example of how an important part of the City's Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan is quickly being turned from goal to reality."

According to the agreement with ESDC and the Port Authority, the City now controls the title of the 30-acre site in exchange for an obligation to pay $100 million in Queens' capital projects that were the responsibility of the Port Authority.  The details of those capital projects are being finalized.

"I have long been a supporter of this project and am happy to see this new community here at Hunters Point South," said Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan.  "I am hopeful that the long time residents of Vernon Boulevard area, the new City Lights residents and together with the new residents of Hunters Point South can all benefit from a vibrant arts community, a new middle and high school, adequate police and fire protection facilities, a library in close proximity and accessible bus lines."

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. The Plan completed the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure in November 2008.

In addition to affordable housing, the new Hunter's Point South community will feature a signature 11-acre waterfront park with impressive views of the Midtown Manhattan skyline, Lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn. While the pedestrian-level experience is a critical part of the Plan, the zoning also provides for a range of building types and heights to create a varied and compelling skyline along the East River. The development will include seven residential parcels to accommodate low-, mid- and high-rise buildings and a school, situated to preserve water views.

The street network will create pedestrian-scaled streets that tie into the existing street grid and neighborhood. The project will also tap into nearby transit connections: the 7 train is two blocks away, and in 2010 a ferry landing will allow riders to connect to the East River Ferry Service with a 3 minute ride to Midtown and 27 minute ride to Lower Manhattan. The City has also been working with the MTA to extend bus service to the site. A class 1 bikeway will be separated from traffic by a landscaped buffer and connect to the City's Greenway Plan.

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