LIC breaks ground on affordable housing residential buildings
by Andrew Pavia
Mar 05, 2013 | 1624 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
On Monday, ground was broken on the waterfront at Hunter’s Point South for a project that will create two new residential buildings.

Combined, the two buildings will include 925 apartments targeted toward individuals of all incomes.

The first site will be a 37-story building at 1-50 50th Avenue with 619 permanently affordable units. The units breakdown to 165 studios, 250 one-bedroom, 214 two-bedroom, and 35 three-bedrooms apartments.

The second will be a 32-story building located at 1-55 Borden Avenue with 306 permanently affordable units. There will be approximately 3,000 square foot of retail space along with the apartments. The units will be comprised of 100 studios, 82 one-bedrooms, 101 two-bedrooms and 23 three-bedrooms apartments.

Originally, the RFP called for a minimum of 60 percent of the units to be income-restricted, however, during negations officials said that the developer and the city came to an agreement to make 100 percent of the units permanently affordable across all income levels.

For example, in the first building, 21 units will be targeted to households making 40 percent of the area median income, or $33,200 for a family of four, while there will be 103 units for families with an annual income of up to $41,500.

“In just a few years, Hunter’s Point south will have all the makings of a great community,” boasted Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Given the project's proximity to the water and Hurricane Sandy still fresh in people's minds, there are concerns about safety in a natural disaster.

According to information released by the city, however, “plans include resiliency measures to ensure that should another severe weather event hit the Queens waterfront, the impact will be mitigated.”

“We addressed storm sustainability concerns in this post-Sandy world we live in,” said Adam Weinstein, president and CEO of Phipps Houses. “Most importantly we committed as a team to making this project 100 percent affordable even through the RFP did not require it.”

The cost of the project is estimated at $322 million, with the city Housing Development Corporation issuing $236 million in tax-exempt bonds.

This is just phase I of development at Hunters Point, however. for the second phase, an RFP calls for approximately 1,000 units of housing with a minimum 50 to 60 percent designated as permanently affordable.

The buildings will be across the street from a new school building. All construction should be complete by 2015, but residents could start moving in as early as next year.

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