Developing the Waterfront

Lessons quickly learned from Sandy—about positioning emergency generators out of harm’s way, mechanical systems on the second floor or above, designing secure flood walls and flood gates, and instituting other safety measures to protect against rising sea levels—were made part of the Hunter’s Point South design. Construction has begun on the two residential towers that constitute the first phase of this massive development: a new school and parkland are nearly complete. When finished, the 5,000-unit project on the Queens waterfront will be the largest new affordable housing complex built in New York City since the construction of Co-op City in the Bronx in the 1970s. In 2012, HDC issued $236 million in tax-exempt bonds and HPD provided $68 million in subsidy for the project, which also benefited from $185 million in tax-exempt bonds authorized by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. Developed by Related Companies, Phipps Houses, and Monadnock Construction, the first phase of Hunter’s Point South will have approximately 17,000 square feet of prime retail space, a magnificent five-acre waterfront park, and a splendid 1,100-seat school. A whole new community will be created. “This development is representative of the City’s commitment to growth in a post-Sandy world,” said Marc Jahr. “When Sandy hit, we paused and thought about its implications. Our development team stepped back and worked through a host of safety design issues. We didn’t retreat from the waterfront. We learned and moved forward.”