HDC and HPD Joined TF Cornerstone and Elected Officials For Ribbon Cutting of New Affordable Housing at 5203 Center Boulevard in Hunter’s Point South

Hunter's Point South

Long Island City, Queens, NYC – Today  TF Cornerstone (TFC) was joined by Deputy Mayor Vicki Been, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, HPD, HDC, Sunnyside Community Services and Selfhelp to celebrate the newest phase at the development site of Hunter’s Point South. The ribbon cutting ceremony was held in the new park between the two finished buildings at 5241 & 5203 Center Blvd, which are made up of 1,194 new residential units, including 719 permanently affordable homes. Part of the master-planned, mixed-use and mixed-income community, park, school, and playground, situated along the East River in Long Island City, Queens, the ribbon cutting also marked the launch of leasing for 266 market-rate apartments at 5203 Center Blvd. Renderings of the buildings can be found here – and credited to TF Cornerstone. 

 “This ribbon cutting signifies the latest milestone in TF Cornerstone’s prolonged investment in the Long Island City waterfront. It’s an honor to be a part of the neighborhood’s continued expansion and rejuvenation,” said Zoe Elghanayan, Principal and Senior Vice President at TF Cornerstone

 TF Cornerstone’s developments in Hunter’s Point South have brought 1,194 new residential units across two buildings to the neighborhood with a mix of studios, one-, and two-bedroom apartments. Sixty percent (60%) of the apartments are permanently affordable to low, moderate, and middle-income residents, with 100 apartments set aside for low-income seniors, with half of the 719 affordable units set aside for the local community within Queens Community Board 2. 

 Community Engagement and Support

TF Cornerstone was joined at the ribbon cutting ceremony by a number of community advocates and elected officials who applauded the project:

 “Access to safe, high quality affordable housing is critical to New York City's Recovery,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been. “These developments provide 1,194 units of housing across two towers, 60% of which are permanently affordable, including 100 units for our seniors. This project includes a significant investment in revitalizing Long Island City's waterfront with a park, accessible open space, and a dedicated community facility. Thank you to all of those who worked together to help make this neighborhood even more wonderful.”

“The construction of nearly 1200 new apartments in Hunter’s Point South, including 60% of permanently affordable units, is both a welcome and much-needed addition to the neighborhood,” said New York City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer. “I'm thrilled to have worked to secure additional affordable housing to the development and am particularly excited about the 100 units of housing for low-income seniors that will ensure our aging population can continue to call this neighborhood home. Hunter’s Point South should serve as a model for development in the future - public land used to bring significant affordable housing to local communities and real partnerships with unionized 32BJ members. Congratulations to all involved!”

“TF Cornerstone’s Hunter’s Point South project is a win for Long Island City, creating more than 700 units of affordable housing and bringing the neighborhood many amenities that will benefit both existing and future residents,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr.  “I commend all those who are helping Hunter’s Point South reach its full potential as a vibrant and sustainable mixed-use community.”

“This is a day to celebrate true community input and partnership. TF Cornerstone has worked extensively with our community for a long time and today another important milestone is reached,” said Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan. “This development will bring affordable apartments to Long Island City and TFC has found a great community partner in Sunnyside Community Services to elevate these units. Congratulations to the Elghanayan family for its leadership, Jon McMillan for his tremendous ability to dialogue and listen to our community and Judy Zangwill for her community leadership.” 

  The New York City Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) is working with the School Construction Authority to build a 572-seat K-8 school, which will include a large at-grade playground. The school will be located just east of TF Cornerstone’s development. 

 “Hunter’s Point South is the type of transformative project we see once in a generation. Through tremendous vision and hard work, these thirty vacant acres of public land gave rise to a dynamic new neighborhood featuring beautiful parkland anchored in affordability,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll. “This latest phase brings another 1,194 new apartments, including more than 700 permanently affordable homes, as well as retail, community space, public open space, and a new school. I want to thank TF Cornerstone and all of our development partners as well as our local elected officials for all the dedication and hard work that is driving this important project forward.”

“This latest phase in the development of Hunter’s Point South offers 719 permanently affordable homes, including much-needed housing for 100 low-income senior households,” said HDC President Eric Enderlin. “Combined with extensive public open space, a new school, community space, and supportive services provided by SelfHelp, this dynamic project is contributing to the strength and vibrancy of the Long Island City community. Thank you and congratulations to all our partners on this milestone achievement.”

Design Details

Designed by award-winning international architects ODA, with SLCE as the architect of record, 5203 Center Blvd breaks out of the glass vernacular popular in recent years, with a mix of rich façade materials and highly articulated shapes and arrangements of apartments within. 

 In addition to a 150-car parking garage, the twin buildings at 5203 and 5241 Center Blvd share over 8,900 square feet of street-front retail space that have already begun moving tenants in. One such tenant is Santa Chiara, an authentic Italian pasticciera and cafe, which just opened at 5241 and is already bringing holiday spirit with it. On December 9-12 and December 16-19, Santa Chiara will hold a vibrant Panettone Festival in the building’s courtyard for the public in time for the holiday season.

 The sibling developments are anchored by a brand new 22,000-square-foot park designed by Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects (MNLA). Hunter’s Point South Park is part of the Hunter’s Point South master planned mixed-use development and provides public access to the Queens coastline. The 11-acre park stretches along the East River south of Gantry Plaza State Park and sits right outside 5241 Center Blvd and 5203 Center Blvd. 

 Steps away from pedestrian bridges and bike pathways, a kayak launch, exercise and picnic terraces, an observation platform with views of the Manhattan skyline and East River, new playgrounds, dog runs, volleyball and basketball courts, the Queens Public Library at Hunter’s Point and a growing collection of public art installations. The sibling buildings at Hunter’s Point South are part of TF Cornerstone’s long- standing commitment to the development of sustainable infrastructures and thriving communities.

 Available Neighborhood Services and Resources

The project also includes an office for Selfhelp Community Services, a health and human service organization. Selfhelp will provide on-site services for older adults living in the 100 units specifically set aside for senior households at 5203 Center Blvd. The Selfhelp social worker will be available to the older adult residents to provide assistance with entitlements and benefits, referrals for home care, local resources, and other health and wellness activities.

 “Since the 1960s, Selfhelp has been at the forefront of building affordable housing with services for vulnerable New Yorkers in Queens. Selfhelp’s collaboration with TF Cornerstone at Hunter’s Point South will help to reduce the shortage of affordable housing and benefit so many older adults in New York who need an affordable and beautiful new home in their community. We look forward to bringing SHASAM, Selfhelp Active Services for Aging Model, to provide on-site services to support the health and wellness of low-income older residents.” said Stuart Kaplan, CEO of Selfhelp Community Services.

 5241 Center Blvd will also host a 7,700-square-foot community center, which will be occupied by Sunnyside Community Services. The Queens-based nonprofit organization will provide residents across both towers with comprehensive social services and programming. 

“Sunnyside Community Services is delighted to partner with TF Cornerstone to expand our physical footprint with a stunning new center in Long Island City,” said Judy Zangwill, Executive Director, Sunnyside Community Services. “SCS @ LIC will offer comprehensive support for caregivers looking after loved ones with dementia or other chronic conditions. In addition, the facility will house SCS’s award-winning Home Health Aide Training Program that prepares a workforce to assist older adults age in their homes and communities. We extend our profound thanks to Empire State Development, New York City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, and the New York City agencies that provided financial support for this project, which will help so many Queens residents. And we thank TF Cornerstone for the significant investment in the creation of this space. We would also like to single out Assembly Member Cathy Nolan for her unwavering support for SCS and for being a great champion of this partnership.”

"Santa Chiara Caffé is pleased to bring a slice of Italian excellence to Long Island City with our new pasticciera and cafe at TF Cornerstone's 5241 Center Boulevard," said Cristiano Rossi, founder and owner of Santa Chiara. "We look forward to joining TF Cornerstone's long standing tradition of meaningful community engagement with the upcoming Panettone Festival at 5241's open courtyard, which will bring Italy's finest pastry chefs to the waterfront for the public to enjoy in time for the holiday season from December 9-12 and 16-19."