Dec. 3, 2021 By Michael Dorgan
Elected officials and developers cut the ribbon on a two-tower residential development on the Long Island City waterfront Thursday.
The new towers are located next to Hunters Point South Park and consist of nearly 1,200 apartments – 60 percent of which have been designated as affordable.
The north tower, called 52-03 Center Blvd., is 55-stories while the south tower is located next to it at 52-41 Center Blvd. and is 44-stories. The entire project cost $700 million and was developed by TF Cornerstone as part of a public-private partnership.
The ceremonial event took place in a park area situated between the two towers, to the backdrop of the north tower.
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Assembly Member Cathy Nolan, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and Deputy Mayor Vicki Been attended the event along with a number of representatives from TF Cornerstone.
Richards said the units will provide much-needed affordable housing to the community and that the towers represent an investment in people.
“Today is a great day for our borough,” Richards said. “[This] project is a win for Long Island City, creating … affordable housing and bringing the neighborhood many amenities that will benefit both existing and future residents.”
The two-tower development consists of a combined 1,194 total apartments, with 719 permanently affordable to low, moderate, and middle-income residents.
The buildings offer a plethora of amenities in addition to views of the East River. Residents, for instance, will have access to a fitness center, clubroom, children’s playroom as well as co-working space.
The TF Cornerstone project also includes a stand-alone K-8 school with the capacity to serve 572 students.
The south tower opened to residents in May while move-ins are scheduled to begin in the north tower on Dec. 20, according to a spokesperson for TF Cornerstone.
Nolan said the project has helped reinvent the community and made it accessible to people of all income ranges.
“This is a day to celebrate true community input and partnership,” Nolan said. “TF Cornerstone has worked extensively with our community for a long time and today another important milestone is reached.”
In total, the north tower has 800 units with 534 affordable apartments while the south tower contains 394 units—185 of which are designated as affordable.
Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer said he was particularly happy about the development providing 100 apartments for low-income seniors aged 62 and older.
“[It] will ensure our aging population can continue to call this neighborhood home,” Van Bramer said.
“Hunters Point South should serve as a model for development in the future – public land used to bring significant affordable housing to local communities.”
The development will also include a 7,700 square-foot center, which will be occupied by Sunnyside Community Services, a community-based non-profit headquartered at 43-31 39th St. SCS will provide support services at the new center for caregivers who look after seniors.
Furthermore, Selfhelp Community Services, a Manhattan-based nonprofit, will provide on-site services for older adults living in the units.
The two-tower project is part of a wider 30-acre development of Hunters Point South that will bring 5,000 housing units spread across seven parcels from 50th Avenue to Newtown Creek when complete.
Several of the parcels have already been developed– such as the 925 unit tower completed in 2015 by the Related Companies that covers two parcels.
Two different parcels located at the southernmost end of Hunters Point South are expected to be completed next year. The parcels will contain two high-rise towers and are being developed by the Gotham Organization.
Jeremy Shell, Principal at TF Cornerstone, spoke about the waterfront’s past and said the area has been transformed into a thriving community with the help of public-private partnerships.
“We’ve been through a lot over the years but at the end of the day Long Island City is on the map and the world knows how lucky we are to be part of this diverse community,” Shell said.
“Long Island City is the neighborhood of the future.”
Other speakers at the event included Vicki Been; Judy Zangwill, Executive Director at SCS; Elizabeth Oakley, New York City Housing Preservation and Development Deputy Commissioner; Eric Enderlin, New York City Housing Development Corporation President; and Stuart Kaplan, CEO of Selfhelp Community Services.