March 26, 2008 -
Across from the United Nations in Long Island City, Queens, lies one of the last empty pieces of land on the East River. This 24 acre lot boasts dramatic views of the Empire State building from 30-foot-high cliffs, rolling hills covered in wild trees, and more access to the river's edge than any other site in Queens. Currently it is an idyllic, private barbeque spot, with homemade swings and benches looking out across the water at Manhattan's midtown rush.
Work has now begun to develop this plot of land into a massive housing complex. Given the name Hunter's Point South, this site is managed by the city's Economic Development Corporation (EDC). It is an extension of Queens West, the monolithic state-owned luxury-housing development to the north. The proposed map of HP South includes at least 13 high rise residences and three new city streets. Controversy over whether any of the 5,000 proposed housing units will be "affordable" has been reported in The Daily News and The Real Deal.
The EDC is resolutely focused on developing New York's few remaining industrial waterfront areas, with other projects including multimillion dollar projects in Sunset Park, the South Bronx, Staten Island and Willett's Point.