Thursday, April 10, 2008

Hunters Point South Plan Grows Denser, Yet Finds An Extra Acre Of Park



I've recently received the "Final Scope Of Work" report for Hunters Point South from the city. There are a few significant changes to the proposed project. Here is a partial list:
1- The amount of Parkland at Site B has grown from 10 acres to 11 acres. The city tells me that they have "re-calculated" estimates and also added .35 acre along the South side of the project on the Newtown Creek.
2- The project has gotten even denser. While the number of units at "Site A" remains 5000 (60% affordable rentals), the number of units on the privately owned "Site B" (currently the Budweiser plant) has grown from 1500 to 1650 (of which 20% will be affordable).
3- The school is now bigger. Originally the school was listed as 150,000sf for 1250 Sixth-Twelfth graders, the revised plan calls for 180,000sf for 1600 students.
While the "Final Scope of Work" notes the numerous comments, objections, and concerns of local residents and concerned parties, it seems as if none of them were taken into consideration by the EDC. In fact, the plan has simply put gone from bad to even worse. While the city may have "recalculated" to find an extra acre of parkspace, they also found room for another 150 units (the size of a large building) and 350 more students. The project is yet denser, and by logic taller.
I still contend that the city should simply rezone "Site B" and allow a developer to build large in exchange for some affordable units, and sell 8 acres on the North end of Site A to a developer who would also be required to provide say 20% affordable, and take the massive proceeds from such a sale and build much more affordable housing elsewhere. The remaining 22 acres should be a public park, open space which the community needs and is sorely lacking. This plan would reduce the total density to 3000 units (1500 in each A and B) from 6650 the city plans, and more than double the park space. The city would get 600 affordable units and cash for it's affordable housing program, while LIC would have less strain on it's infrastructure and more park space.
If anyone would like to see the full 72 page "Final Scope Of Work", I'm happy to email it to you.

11 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. Andrew,

    I like your suggestions. There is no reason that we should build afforable units with waterfront views if we could build a lot more in an inland locations. However, the larger park area would be great, but I am not sure the Parks Department could maintain it. The more park land the higher the cost to up keep. Maybe the area could have a sort of a BID to increase funds for up keep.

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  3. You're always on top of it. pat

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  4. Don't you think that more affordable housing will cause the housing that is sold for market to be more expensive and thus the middle class, that makes too much for affordable housing but too little to afford to buy for market will be left out? This is exactly what has happened in Manhattan...

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  5. #4-
    You make a point. It is certainly valid that the amount of rent stab. and controlled apts in Manhattan has driven up the costs for those that aren't luckily included in those programs. At the same time, if there is no affordable housing, then our cost of living goes up, since it will cost more in salaries to fulfil services. As a whole I prefer market forces to determine rents and that's coming from a liberal.

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  6. I don't understand the opposition to high density development. Why can't parts of Queens and Brooklyn come to have more Manhatta-like desnities? Higher density is ultimately the only way to reduce prices, and create enough competition to push developers into building higher quality products. I don't think more parkland = better. There is not a linear relationship between acres of parkland and happiness. Often the parks that are most loved are rather small, e.g. Washington Square Park.

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  7. Thanks, Andrew! Lemme guess, no plan as to how people are going to get to work from these units.

    In the last news they were building 2000 parking spaces, meaning that a third of the people living there would drive (great) and the rest would ...? walk 10-15 blocks to Vernon-Jackson where you can't get on the train in the morning because it's packed? Dontcha love smart growth?

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  8. I say it got better. Just scrap the affordable housing. Market force should dictate what type of product gets built. We also don need a 20 acre park

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  9. Sorry about the deleted post. Seems some virus-asses are working blogger comments. I am deleting them whenever they come up.
    As always, I believe in free speech. Unless you are being completely offensive, I'll never delete a post.

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  10. I might add, I've never deleted a post to date for any reason other than virus/spammer.

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