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Just days before delivering a somber preliminary budget, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that a developer has been named and the city is moving forward with plans for the first phase of Hunters Point South. This will include retail space and 908 housing units, of which at least 75 percent will be affordable. If it happens, it will be the largest affordable housing development in the city since the early 1970s.
The first phase will include 5,000 new housing units. The development includes the creation of a public school, a modern library and 11 acres of waterfront park with a view of the United Nations and Manhattan. City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said Hunters Point South “will be an amazing place to live.”
At the moment, Hunters Point is an eyesore. “This was just a deserted manufacturing area and it’s now going to be a beautiful new home for 9,000 families,” said Borough President Helen Marshall.
Hunters Point South will create hundreds of construction jobs and other permanent jobs. At the moment there are hundreds of carpenters, electricians and other construction workers collecting unemployment. The development will be a shot in the arm.
In going forward, the mayor and Council have resisted the temptation to tread water until the recession is over.
U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner makes a compelling argument that the budget proposal passed in the early hours of Saturday morning would be devastating to Queens. The House budget has the stamp of the Tea Party, which does not care a great deal about the problems faced by America’s largest cities.
Weiner warned that the budget, which would slash $57 million in Pell Grants, would make it difficult for low-income students to attend college. The House bill also plans to cut $47 million from federal funding for public housing.
The budget passed by the House will die in the Democrat-controlled Senate, where New York City still has a powerful voice. To avoid a government shutdown, Congress will then have to agree to an emergency extension.
What we want to hear from the New York delegation is a plan to reach a compromise with their counterparts on the other side of the aisle.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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