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NEW YORK CITY-The city’s largest middle-income housing development in more than 30 years will go up on a site once envisioned as a component in the bid for the 2012 Olympic Games. The Bloomberg administration on Thursday announced the $100-million acquisition of 30 acres at Hunter’s Point South in Long Island City from the Empire State Development Corp. and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The project will accommodate 5,000 new units of housing, with 60% reserved for moderate- and middle-income families. It will also include more than 11 acres of landscaped waterfront parkland, new retail shops, community facility space and an 1,100-seat high school.

The city says the first phase of the $175-million infrastructure and park design work will begin this fall, and is expected to catalyze more than $2 billion in private investment. It’s all in keeping with the Hunter’s Point South rezoning approved by the City Council in November.

According to the agreement with ESDC and the Port Authority, the City now controls the title of the 30-acre site in exchange for an obligation to pay $100 million in Queens’ capital projects that were the responsibility of the Port Authority. Details of those capital projects are being finalized.

In the late 1980s, the Hunter’ s Point South site was slated to become the third and fourth phase of New York State’s Queens West Development, which called for 2,200 apartments and more than two million square feet of office space. Later, the site was envisioned as the location for the Olympic Village in the city’s 2012 Olympic bid. On the heels of the sale of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village in 2006, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the city’s intention to acquire the site from ESDC and the Port Authority to create New York’s first large-scale moderate and middle income housing in several years.

In a release, Bloomberg says, “With the acquisition of the site and the start of the design work, we are setting the stage for the largest investment in permanently affordable housing for our police officers, nurses, teachers and public employees and other middle income New Yorkers.” The Hunter’s Point South Plan also includes the re-zoning of an adjacent, privately-owned 7.5-acre site, Site B, to allow for compatible development, which will include at least 330 units of low-income housing.

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