From the NY Times:
After four years of planning and delays, the city will start soliciting bids on Monday to begin building what could become the city’s largest development for middle-income residents in 40 years.
The Bloomberg administration, which is heavily subsidizing the project, is asking developers to compete to build 1,000 apartments on a once industrial strip of Queens land known as Hunters Point South, where Newtown Creek enters the East River.
At least 60 percent of the apartments would be reserved for families earning $63,000 to $130,000 a year. Although construction is not scheduled to begin until 2012, the project would mark the first section of a waterfront community of 5,000 apartments with shops, a school and a 10-acre public park.
Plans call for a mix of rental apartments and condominiums, with about 40 percent of the units going for market rates. The buildings would vary in height up to about 30 stories.
The city is making a substantial commitment to the project, having bought the land from the state last year for $100 million.
It has budgeted an additional $175 million for toxic cleanup, the park and a network of roads, sewers and electric lines, although only $60 million would be spent to prepare the first two parcels for construction.
Rafael E. Cestero, the city’s housing commissioner, said the city expected to provide about $90,000 for each of the first 600 subsidized units.
Neighborhood officials said they were pleased that the project was moving forward, although some housing advocates said the project would not address the needs of many Queens residents.
Adam Friedman, director of the Pratt Center for Community Development, a policy and planning group, said that because the median family income in Queens was $51,290 a year, “half the families in Queens” earn too little to be eligible for the subsidized units.
“We’re arguing that there have to be deeper subsidies so that the community that evolves out of this has economic diversity,” Mr. Friedman said.
Both Ron Moelis, chief executive of L & M Equity, a developer of affordable housing, and Jeffrey E. Levine, chairman of Douglaston Development, said they were interested.
But Mr. Levine said that the job might require the construction unions to agree to concessions to keep costs down.
Good luck with that.