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First blueprint unveiled for Hunters Point South

The city unveiled plans this week for its portion of the massive Queens West development project, which will include park space, a public school, retail outlets and an estimated 5,000 apartment units in Long Island City.

Sixty percent of the apartments will be designated affordable housing.

The city's Economic Development Corporation released an 856-page document Tuesday detailing plans for Hunters Point South, which kicked off a seven-month approval process during which the project will go before Community Board 2, Borough President Helen Marshall, the City Council and the City Planning Department.

EDC spokeswoman Janel Paterson said there was no estimated groundbreaking or completion date for the project, but it would probably take several years to complete. She said the city had also not estimated how much the entire project would cost.

The EDC's plans released this week were the first full-blown description of the Long Island City mixed use project.

Hunters Point South is part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's $7.5 billion New Housing Marketplace plan that would create 165,000 units of affordable housing in the five boroughs over a 10-year period.

Hunters Point South also acts as the third and fourth phases of the 74-acre Queens West project along Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City. The first two phases of the $2 billion project will be developed by the Queens West Development Corp., a city-state Port Authority partnership. That portion of the project will include 11 residential towers developed by Avalon Communities Inc. through the state's Empire Development Corporation as well as retail space, a community library, several schools and waterfront park space.

The EDC's 37.5-acre portion of the project will include 60 percent affordable housing in its estimated 5,000 units. The remaining apartments would be market-rate.

The project does not have a developer yet, but the city is considering an option to form a not-for-profit that would manage the process of developing Hunters Point South's apartment units, she said. The not-for-profit would determine the types of apartments to be constructed, such as studios or one-bedroom units, and the prices, she said.

Hunters Point South will also include new retail space, parking, 10 acres of open space and public parkland along the western Queens waterfront. The project also entails the construction of a new public school. The city's Department of Education will later decide whether the new school will be an elementary, a middle or a high school, Paterson said.

The EDC project would require the construction of new roads in Long Island City as well as the creation of a new special zoning district that would change the neighborhood's traditional manufacturing zones to R10 zones, which allow for residential towers.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

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