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TF Cornerstone to Develop Next Phase of Affordable Housing in Hunters Point

 A rendering of the second phase of Hunter's Point South by design firm ODA.
A rendering of the second phase of Hunter's Point South by design firm ODA.
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Office for Design and Architecture

LONG ISLAND CITY — Developer TF Cornerstone and the nonprofit group Selfhelp will head up next phase of the massive Hunter's Point South development in Queens, city officials announced Thursday.

The two groups were chosen by the city to create two high-rise towers at the Long Island City waterfront site, containing 1,193 new apartments — the second stage in what will eventually be the city's largest affordable housing development built since the early 1970s.

TF Cornerstone already has a deep presence in the neighborhood: the company has six high-rise luxury apartment towers on Center Boulevard, including one behind the iconic Pepsi-Cola sign which topped out this summer.

Phase II of Hunter's Point South will be located on a parcel of land bound by Borden Avenue to the north, 2nd Street to the east, 54th Avenue to the south and Center Boulevard to the west.

The two residential towers will measure 41 and 36 stories tall and be designed by ODA, Office for Design & Architecture, an architectural firm based in Manhattan.

Of the 1,193 apartments, 796 will be affordable, with 100 reserved for seniors who earn up to 76 percent of the Area Median Income, or approximately $39,170 a year. Selfhelp, a nonprofit that works with seniors, will provide services to the residents, including an onsite senior center.

The remaining 696 units will be geared toward moderate- and middle-income families,  households that earn between 105 to 155 percent of the Area Median Income or about $111,670 to $141,735 a year for a family of four.

"It will be a place where our senior citizens will have rents they can afford and supportive services, and where hardworking moderate- and middle-income New York families can put down roots and grow with this vibrant and flourishing neighborhood," HPD Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said in a statement.

Apartments at the two planned buildings will be a mix of studios, one, two and three-bedrooms. There will be 80 three-bedroom units, according to State Sen. Michael Gianaris, up from the 66 originally planned.

The senator said he had been urging the city to increase the number of larger apartments included the plan, as there are currently not enough in the neighborhood's housing stock to accommodate the number of growing families in Hunters Point.

"A young couple will move in, have a child or two, and within a few years the one or two-bedroom apartments that exist are not big enough for their families, and they move out of the neighborhood," he said. 

In addition to residential housing, plans for this phase of the Hunter's Point South call for 20,000-gross-square-feet of new commercial space with preliminary plans for a pre-kindergarten, a medical facility, a rock climbing gym, and new restaurants.

Additional space will be reserved for local arts-based community groups, city officials said.

The first phase of Hunter's Point South is already under construction nearby, where 925 affordable apartments are being built. A new school building and a new waterfront park have already opened as part of that first portion of the project.

When completed, Hunter's Point South is expected to include up to 5,000 apartments, 60 percent of which will be affordable for middle-income families.