Massive “urban beach” to transform Queens waterfront

August 27, 2013 10:14AM

The city will open a new public park in Long Island City’s Hunter’s Point South section Wednesday — the centerpiece of what is perhaps the city’s largest redevelopment undertaking since the 1970s. The five-acre beachfront park extends a corridor of recreational space on Queens’ western shore that runs south from Gantry Plaza State Park and should reach troubled Newtown Creek. The park is part of a larger project to build 5,000 new residential units – the majority of them affordable – alongside retail businesses and a school.

“It’s about building a mixed-use neighborhood with affordable housing at the core,” said Michael Rem, an executive vice president at the city’s Economic Development Corp., which spearheaded the project, according to the Wall Street Journal. “We hope a policeman or nurse could get a two-bedroom apartment here and raise a family.”

Developers have begun work on two 900-unit housing blocks—one 37 floors and the other 32 floors—expected to cost roughly $332 million and set for completion in 2014.

The bulk of the funding for the residential complex came in the form of $236 million in City Housing Development Corp. tax-exempt bonds, according to the newspaper. [WSJ]  – Hiten Samtani