By Bill Parry
Hunters Point South, the mammoth 5,000-unit residential complex under construction on Long Island City’s waterfront, will begin accepting applications for affordable rentals beginning next month, according to developer Related Cos.
Meanwhile, elected officials and community activists are trying to prepare the neighborhood’s infrastructure for the latest influx of new residents.
Many of them gathered on a corner of 5th Street and 50th Avenue Friday to review the latest changes the city Department of Transportation is making on a dangerous stretch of roadway.
City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) said, “If you just look behind us you’ll see the fastest growing neighborhood in New York City with more and more people coming here. An explosion of population with children and babies and we want to make sure these streets are safe for all those new children.”
The DOT has turned 5th Street into a one-way road with new stop signs and speed bumps, something the community leaders have been fighting for two years to get.
“While we celebrate victory here today it’s far from mission accomplished, we’re not done,” Van Bramer said. “It’s an ongoing struggle to make these streets safer for the children.”
Hunters Point South is one of 26 residential building projects under way in a 37-block area, and state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) gave credit to the DOT for keeping pace with the boom.
“Oftentimes government is too slow keeping up with infrastructure,” he said. “We’re very good at pressuring agencies, but today we’re here to thank the DOT for listening to us and heeding our call, listening to the people on the ground here and making changes. We’ve saved lives here and quite possibly the lives of children.”
Both leaders credited Commissioner Polly Trottenberg for fast-tracking safe street projects as part of the de Blasio administration’s Vision Zero initiative.
“Long Island City’s streets and skyline continue to evolve to reflect the dynamic growth of this neighborhood,” DOT Queens Commissioner Delila Hall said.”
Community Board 2 Chairman Joe Conley said, “This is a great day for the community and we can check off another box on our list.”
He added that CB 2 will hold a series of public meetings to detail the application process for Hunters Point South.
Related Cos. will start sending out marketing materials next month that will announce the lottery for the 925 units of affordable housing, with priority going to current residents of CB 2 in Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City.
Once the marketing campaign begins, applicants will have 60 days to submit their applications through the NYC Housing Connect website.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4538.