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Hunters Point South project approved unanimously by Council

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With minimal fanfare or argument, the city’s Hunters Point South redevelopment project in Long Island City cruised through the City Council Thursday.

The rezoning and remapping of the Hunters Point area south of Gantry Plaza State Park was approved unanimously by the Council, which was far more concerned with the eminent domain consequences of the Willets Point project approved by a wide margin at the same meeting.

“Today is the beginning of the process of ending the housing crisis,” Councilman Eric Gioia (D−Sunnyside) told the Council before the vote.

The proposed 37.5−acre complex of high−rise apartment buildings is designed to include 5,000 apartment units, 60 percent of which will be affordable housing for middle−income households. The plan drew some criticism from affordable housing advocates, Gioia and Community Board 2, though Gioia and the community board ultimately decided to support the project.

Gioia said negotiations with the city prior to the Council vote yielded an agreement to set aside 200 housing units for low−income senior citizens, something CB 2 had requested when they approved the plan last year.

“At a time when we are losing middle−class housing faster than we are producing it, this project is a great example of how we can foster development that will literally build middle−class communities,” Council Speaker Christine Quinn said in a statement.

Construction on the project is slated to start in 2009 and last through 2017.

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