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City requests proposals for its Hunter's Point South site in Queens on the East River

June 7, 2010

The city today issued a request for proposals for developers for the first two parcels at its Hunters Point South project in Queens at the East River and Newtown Creek.

The buildings are planned to contain about 1,000 apartments and at least 60 percent of them would be reserved for families making between $63,000 and $130,000 a year.

The buildings are at the northern end of the 30-acre development in Long Island City that the city hopes will eventually contain about 5,000 housing units, a school and a 10-acre waterfront park.

The city's plan calls for both rental and condominium apartments and, according to an article in yesterday's edition of The New York Times by Charles V. Bagli "about 40 percent of the units going for market rates."

The city bought the land from the state last year for $100 million and has budgeted an $175 million for toxic cleanup, the park and a network of roads, sewers and electric lines, although only $60 million would be spent to prepare the first two parcels for construction, the article said, adding that "Rafael E. Cestero, the city's housing commissioner, said the city expected to provide about $90,000 for each of the first 600 subsidized units."

The city would continue to own the land, but the developers would own the buildings,and the subsidized apartments would permanently remain affordable for people in the middle-income range but the article said that "Adam Friedman, director of the Pratt Center for Community Development, a policy and planning group, said that because the median family income in Queens was $51,290 a year, 'half the families in Queens' earn too little to be eligible for the subsidized units."

Mr. Cestero told The Times that the city needed to address the needs of the middle class, including teachers, firefighters and construction and health care workers, adding that "We don't want them to have to leave the city to find housing."

Hunters Point South would be the largest middle-income complex built in New York since Co-op City in the Bronx and Starrett City in Brooklyn in the early 1970s. In 2005, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg indicated he wanted to build temporary housing for athletes at Hunters Point South as part of the city's ultimately unsuccessful bid for the 2012 Olympic Games.

In 1982, the city adopted the New York City Waterfront Revitalization Program, which identified 10 areas in the city with potential for reuse, including a 7.5-mile coastal strip in Queens that included the Hunter's Point waterfront. Two years later, the Department of Planning completed a land use policy study for the Hunter's Point waterfront that would permit mixed-use development and in 1984 the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the city commenced work on the project and put forward a proposal for a 74-acre waterfront site between Anable Basin on the north and Newtown Creek on the south, extending generally as far east as 5th Street north of 49th Avenue, and 2nd Street south of 49th Avenue. The development proposal was for 9.3 million square feet of new

development, including 6,400 apartments, 2.1 million square feet of office space, a 350-room hotel, and retail and community facility space on a total of 20 development parcels. A total of 18.2 acres of publicly accessible open space was also included. The site was divided into four stages to be developed gradually under the auspices of the Queens West Development Corporation.

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