The first shovelful of dirt was slung last week on what will be the city’s biggest new affordable housing complex since the 1970s.
On Monday, March 4, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, public officials and representatives from firms involved in building Hunter’s Point South broke ground on the first phase of construction that will bring the first two residential buildings of the project to the Queens waterfront, with 925 permanently affordable apartments and around 17,000-square-feet of retail space.
In addition to the buildings, this phase will include a new five-acre waterfront park and a new school seating 1,100 students, almost near completion.
“In just a few years, Hunter’s Point will have all the makings of a great community – affordable homes, new transportation links, beautiful parks with sweeping views and a brand-new school,” said Bloomberg.
The plan evolved in Community Board 2 and came to be after the members put forth the idea to the mayor. The city later acquired the land, said CB 2 chair Joseph Conley.
The residential buildings are expected to have a “well balanced” population of residents including low- to moderate-income families, senior citizens, city employees and people with disabilities, said Conley.
“This ground breaking represents another milestone in the ongoing transformation of Hunter’s Point,” said Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer. “These two towers will be affordable to many who live and want to remain residents in western Queens.”
After being hit hard by Sandy, the plans for the Hunter’s Point South waterfront include resiliency actions to safeguard the buildings from any future weather events.
For example, according to the mayor’s office, the buildings’ emergency generators will be on the roof and the mechanical systems on the second floor.
One building will be located at 1-50 50th Avenue and the other at 1-55 Borden Avenue. The buildings are being designed by SHoP Architects and Ismael Leyva Architects and are expected to begin to be occupied in 2014, with full construction finalized in 2015.
“Long Island City represents the future of New York City, and with projects like these, that future is a bright one,” said Van Bramer.
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