A Massive Affordable Housing Development Is Announced

The NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development announced today that New York developer TF Cornerstone and the nonprofit Selfhelp Community Services Inc. had won an RFP and would team for Phase II of the city’s massive Hunter’s Point South development.

The city says that the project will be the biggest new affordable housing project since the early 1970s when Co-op City and Starrett City were completed in, respectively, the Bronx and East New York.

The project will consist of two high-rise buildings with a 1,193 new apartments. Of that total, 796 apartments will be affordable rentals, and 100 of those units will be reserved for low-income senior citizens. (Selfhelp's mission is focused on assisting NYC seniors.) The remainder of the apartments will be market rate, the city says.

The exact Long Island City, Queens, site is bounded by Borden Avenue on the north end, 2nd Street on the east, 54th Avenue to the south, and Center Boulevard on the west.

The announcement comes as Mayor Mike Bloomberg's term winds down still slightly short of his affordable housing goal.  The mayor expected to create 165,000 units, and today's addition puts his total near 159,000. 

Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has pledged to create 200,000 units of affordable housing during his term, which would replicate former Mayor Ed Koch's 1980s efforts.

A panel of experts, including an NYC HPD official, discussed this issue last night, and Quidnunc has been serializing the session all day today.  The panel discussed Bloomberg's affordable housing work throughout, but you can see its focus on the numbers HERE and HERE.

The city assessed the Bloomberg administration's effort today, too, noting, noting that the mayor still has some time to hit his goal:

The multiphase Hunter’s Point South development is the largest affordable housing project in the Bloomberg Administration’s New Housing Marketplace Plan . . . and the largest in New York City in more than three-and-a-half decades. Launched in 2003, the NHMP is a multi-billion dollar initiative to finance 165,000 units of affordable housing by the close of the 2014 fiscal year. For every dollar invested by the City for affordable housing, the NHMP has leveraged $3.48 in additional funding. The total investment equals more than $23.6 billion. To date, the plan has funded the creation or preservation of more than 156,769 units of affordable housing across the five boroughs.

The eligible Hunters Point South income level for families of four will be in the $111,670 to $141,735 annual range. The city says that about half of "the moderate- and middle-income affordable units are expected to be a mix of larger family-sized two- and three-bedroom apartments."

The background: New York bought the 30-acre Hunter’s Point South site from the Empire State Development Corp. and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for $100 million in 2009. Phase I is under construction, and will provide 925 permanently affordable units. "When the entire multi-phase Hunter’s Point South development project is completed," the press releaase notes, "the City will have added approximately 5,000 new units of housing to the Queens waterfront, a minimum of 60% or 3,000 units of which will be reserved as affordable for low-, moderate- and middle-income families."

The north tower will be 41 stories, and the south tower will be 36 floors.  They will be towers seven and eight in LIC for TF Cornerstone.  You can look up its other Queens work as well as its full portfolio on its website HERE.

Selfhelp's site can be found HERE.

The NYC HPD press release can be found HERE.

In an article today, Crain's New York Business notes that the city's announcement completes the development plans for three of seven parcels, the remainder of which will be developed at the discretion of the de Blasio administration. 

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