A Look at the Hunters Point Community in Western Queens
American culture is such that our past is often forgotten in our search for a new and brighter
future. For this reason we lose a good part of the rich heritage natural to the evolution of our
history and society. In 1983 I became involved with and later enamoured with the small
community described in this monograph. Initially as Consultant to Waldes Khinoor charged with
protecting their interest in land use planning or better said retaining and enhancing local real
estate value and later as Consultant to the Hunters Point Community Council, I became a
cultural archeologist without portfolio. Enjoy the read and hopefully gain insight into history as it
happened in Western Queens, New York.
Located along the East River within Long Island City, Queens, Hunters Point is a unique
mix of residents, retailers, artists, factories, and warehouses - located in New York City's
oldest industrial center. The Hunters Point area is bounded in the north by the
Queensboro Bridge (Community of Dutch Kills), on the south by Newtown Creek - the border
between Brooklyn and Queens, on the west by the East River, and on the east by Van Dam
Street (Community of Sunnyside).
The Hunters Point neighborhood has resident population of approximately
11,300. Daily 50,000 individuals work in the area. Also daily, 2,000,000 commuters ride
or drive through the area. Residential buildings are interspersed among low-rise industrial
buildings giving Hunters Point a unique mixed use character. Some of the industrial streets
are built of cobblestone (Belgian Blocks) while others are black top paved and lined with trees
tended by dedicated homeowners. The warehouses and lofts attracted numerous artists who
have located working studios here. Retailers cater to local businesses and industrial sector
employees as well as local residents. This low-scale and laid back neighborhood offers open
spaces and stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. It is very accessible to public
transportation or automobile travelers. Hunters Point is the next station from Manhattan's
Grand Central Terminal via the Number 7 subway line.
Hunters Point is one of the oldest sections of Queens County. It is located in the
southwestern part of Queens County directly across the East River from midtown
Manhattan and the United Nations Complex. Hunters Point has had an important place in
the development of New York City.
Hunters Point is a microcosm of the evolution of New York's waterfront. Starting in the
17th century with Dutch farmsteads evolving into the development of residential, industrial and
commercial uses on extensive landfill, and, finally, the rapidly modernized railroad and ferry
facilities in the 19th century. The community witnessed a gradual deterioration in the 20th
century due to economic and transportation changes. The following chronology highlights that
_1638_ Nomadic indians known as the Mespaechtes hunted and fished in the area. They
were named for the creek formed at the juncture with the East River. It was called Mespit
(Head of the stream). The Dutch settlers called the creek, Mespit Kill. Later it became
Newtown Creek. Early records show this place to be Nechtanc or Curles Hook. This earliest
name could not be verified but it seems that Capt. Curles settled here with his daughters,
without a grant from the Governor General of New Amsterdam (Lower Manhattan).
_1643_ Ground brief was granted to Everard Bogardus, first Dutch Reformed minister
in New Amsterdam, for land at Mespit Kill (what is now called Newtown Creek (130
acres)). It was an area of salt marshes, low-lying meadows, and streams with a small island
in the vicinity of the present Vernon Boulevard and Borden Avenue. The area came to be
known as Dominie's Hook.
_1647_ Bogardus died in a shipwreck and his wife assumed title to the property.
Sometime between 1647 and 1660 the Governor-General had a stone watch tower constructed
in the area to the southeast of Hunters Point in an area called Loral Hills. Dutch soldiers were
stationed in the tower to watch and warn of potential Indian attacks. The normally docile
Indians had been slaughtered by farmers from Flushing, Newtown and from Greenpoint in
Brooklyn. They sought retribution when they came upon settlers who were unprepared to
_1697_ Captain Peter Praa, a Huguenot, purchased Dominie's Hook from Bogardus'
_1740_ Praa died and willed the Hook to his grandchildren (children of his daughter
Anne who had married William Bennett).
_1767_ Jacob Bennett bought out his brothers and sisters
_1780_ and obtained sole title. The area came to be known as Bennett's Hook.
_1817_ Jacob Bennett died. The Hook was willed to his daughter Anna who was
married to Captain George Hunter. The area came to be know as Hunters Point.
_1825_ Captain Hunter died.
_1833_ Anna Hunter died. The Point was left to her three sons with the stipulation
that they must sell the land and divide the money.
_1837_ Hunter farm was acquired by the Rev. Eliphalet Nott, President of Union
College in Schenectady, New York as an investment property.
_1852-53_ Hunter farm was graded and first streets laid out. Sand from the hill on which
the farmhouse stood was used to fill in the East River reefs from the present 5th Street
(West Avenue) to the bulkhead line in the East River. The population reached one hundred
_1852-60_ The Van Alst farm (to the east) was acquired in stages, adding 131 acres to
_1854_ The first buildings in Hunters Point were erected on the north side of Borden
Avenue, 200 feet east of Vernon Avenue. People migrated here from Manhattan.
The Flushing Railroad located their terminus in Hunters Point and began service. A new
dock was built at 54th Avenue and 5th Street. The railroad contracted to run the first
regularly scheduled ferry service between Hunters Point and Manhattan.
_1857-60_ 14 east-west streets (54th Avenue to 44th Drive) and four north-south street
(2nd Street, 5th Street, Vernon Avenue, and 11th Street) were laid out.
_1859_ 34th Street Ferry opened. The landing was located at the foot of Borden
Avenue (old 2nd Street), built on two acres of landfill.
_1860_ Jackson Avenue Turnpike opened, connecting Flushing with the ferries.
James Slip Ferry opened.
_1861_ Long Island Railroad Terminus in Hunters Point opened. Land on the
south side of Borden Avenue (Ferry Street), between the ferry and Vernon Avenue, was
acquired and 10 acres were made filling in the docks. Rail car and engine houses,
machine shops, and a depot were built on this land. The new passenger and freight
business led to the building of hotels, saloons, restaurants, boarding houses, stores,
houses, lumber and coal yards, and industry in the area along Borden Avenue and Vernon
A US Post Office opened in Hunters Point under the name "Long Island City".
_1865_ Hunters Point population was 1500.
_1867_ "It (Hunters Point) has three boiler shops and one iron foundry, a large tin and
Japan ware shop, three varnish factories, a drain pipe factory, one factory for saleratus and
20 for kerosene oil. Three chemical establishments for manures lately existed there."
(_Brooklyn Times_, November 16, 1867)
_1868_ Canal on line of 45th Road (old 12th Street) from the East River to Vernon
Avenue was completed. Long Island Oil Company (later Standard Oil Co.) extended and
filled in their East River property and constructed a 700 foot warve fronting along the River
in the area from 46th Road to 45th Drive.
The first street railway was built: The Nassau Railroad Company laid tracks on Borden
Avenue, providing shuttle service between East River ferry and the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge.
_1868-69_ 500 feet on Newtown Creek, Queens side, west of Vernon Avenue were bulk
headed. Hunters Point was an important shipping port because of the heavy export trade
_1869_ Tidal marshes filled in between East River and Vernon (portions of 5th Street,
Vernon Avenue, 50th and 51st Avenues). Hunters Point & Blissville Road (Borden
Avenue) built. Astoria & Hunters Point Railroad opened (trolly railway).
_1870_ Long Island City incorporated into New York City. The incorporation included
Hunters Point, Astoria, Blissville, and Ravenwood.
_1873_ _On Site Industries_:
Standard Oil Company
Daylight Oil Company
Charles Pratt's Oil Works
Captain Tyson's Shipyard & Railway
Warren Chemical and Manufacturing Company
Long Island City Pottery
H.W. John, Roofing Material
R.O. Hara, Boiler Works
American Drain Pipe Company
Long Island City Tool Company
Gregory & Williams Hotel
34th Street Ferry
James Slip Ferry
Flushing & Central Railroad Depot
Long Island Railroad
_1874-80_ The First Ward Improvement Commission filled, graded, installed sewers,
curbs, gutters, and signed the streets of Hunters Point.
_1875_ Waterworks completed.
_1881_ New York City outlawed gambling and bookmaking. Gamblers moved pool
halls and saloons to the foot of Borden Avenue at the East River in Hunters Point.
_1890_ Queens County Bank built near the ferry. (Still standing on-site, currently
vacant on 2nd Street at Borden Avenue.)
_1898_ Long Island City was officially consolidated into New York City.
_1903-05_ Power plant for the Long Island and Pennsylvania Railroads (New York &
Queens Electric Light and Power Co.) built on the block bounded by 2nd and 5th Streets
and 50th and 51st Avenues (adjacent to rail yards).
_1909_ Queensborough Bridge connecting Long Island City with Manhattan was
_1910_ Newtown Creek was the busiest waterway of its size in the world. It carried
5,435,016 tons with a total value of $225 million.
_1910_ Pennsylvania Railroad Tunnel Tubes to Manhattan and Sunnyside Yard opened
While this brought many more people to the area and created more jobs, the need for the
Hunters Point LIRR Station and ferry dropped off (people could now take the train directly into
Manhattan). Downtown Hunters Point declined.
_1915_ Steinway Tunnel opened; IRT service to Vernon and Jackson Avenues
_1917-18_ Growth of factories and light industry in Long Island City during World War I.
_1920_ BMT subway reached Long Island City.
_1920_ Housing boom in Long Island City, many large industrial companies built
plants (e.g. Ford Instrument, American Chicle and Sunshine Biscuit).
_1933_ Opening of IND subway tunnel.
_1936_ Triborough Bridge opened.
_1940_ Queens Midtown completed.
_1941-45_ Long Island City was an active shipping port for WWII distribution of aircraft
parts and munitions.
_1946-55_ Industrial expansion booms making Long Island City one of the largest
industrial centers in the United States. Ninety percent of NYC Industry was located here.
_1960 - Present_ Large Industry begins to move out replaced by many smaller operations,
Long Island City becomes regional warehouse center for major department stores (B.
Altman, Stern's, Macy's, Gimbel's and Bloomingdale's).
DETAILED NARRATIVE HISTORY:
The Hunters Point area of New York City is one of the oldest sections of Queens. Located
in the western part of Queens directly across the East River from midtown Manhattan,
Hunters Point has had an important place in the development of New York City.
The area grew rapidly in the 1850's when both the Long Island and the New York and
Flushing Railroads used Hunters Points as a transfer point for their Manhattan bound
ferries. By the late 1800's a residential community grew in the areas around St. Mary's
Church and along the area of 45th Drive and 21st Street. An industrial and residential
boom was spurred between 1909 and 1920 by the construction of six major connections
across the East river; the Queensborough Bridge, 1909; the Pennsylvania Rail Tunnel,
1915; the Hell's Gate Rail Bridge and the Second Avenue El crossing on the
Queensborough Bridge, both 1917; and the BMT subway tunnel, 1920. The opening of
the IND subway tunnel in 1933, the Triborough Bridge in 1936, and the Queens Midtown
Tunnel in 1940 completed Hunters Point's links to Manhattan.
Following World War II, the general prosperity in the country contributed to the increased
growth in Hunters Point and by 1955 it had one of the largest concentrations of industry
in the United States. As the district developed, industry, due to its water orientation,
located primarily along the East River and Newtown Creek. As industrial growth continued,
several residential neighborhoods became engulfed by industrial activities.
In 1960, the new New York City Zoning Resolution, perceiving a conflict between
residential and industrial uses, decided that, in order to retain the industrial community, the
zoning must provide them with new expansion space. The existing residential land, it was
felt, would, under a M3-1 (heavy industry) designation, eventually revert to industrial use.
There was the underlying belief that residential uses should not be permitted in areas of
obnoxious heavy industry. It was assumed that the zoning resolution should work towards
the separation of such incompatible uses. The City's official attitude was one of consistant
support for the M3-1 zone. The residents, however, were concerned about the future of
their neighborhood. The residential community, by being zoned M3-1, lost the privileges
and rights of a residential zone. City services were curtailed to those of an industrial zone;
no enlargements of existing residences were allowed; no new residential units could be
built; and loans and insurance were difficult, if not impossible, to obtain. Hunters Point had
been home to many of is residents for generations and these people were unwilling to
leave their homes and roots. In the late 1960's, they appealed to the City Planning
Commission to have the area rezoned to a mixed use zone (residential/industrial).
However, at that time, the attitude of the City was one of tremendous concern over the out
migration of industry from New York City and no action was taken on the mixed use
Finally, in 1981, the City approved the designation of a part of Hunters Point as a special
Mixed Use Zone. The boundaries of the zone were drawn closely to encompass most of
the areas where there is a residential/industrial mix. The intent of the zone was to
legitimize the residential community and to allow the existing residents to remain and
improve their properties. The Hunters Point Mixed Use Zone did not, however, intend to
foster major new residential development.
In 1981, Santo Anzalone, President of the Hunters Point Community Council, an
organization representative of the residents who refused to leave Hunters Point, convinced
the City to approve the designation of a portion of Hunters Point as a special Mixed Use Zone
like that in Coney Island. Mr. Anzalone worked with Dr. Thomas V. Sobczak, than
Chairman of the CB#2 Land Use and Zoning Committee, and Eva Hanhardt, Queens City
Planning, to draft text for a Hunters Point Special Mixed Use District. The boundaries of
the District were drawn to encompass all areas where there was a residential/industrial mix.
The intent was to legitimize the residential community and to allow the existing residents
to remain and improve their properties. The Hunters Point Mixed Use Zone did not deter
major new residential development. This changed when the PA NY/NJ and the East River
Tennis Club planned major residential developments. While local politicians did not
support Queens West, the home owning community stood firmly for the development.
Also, in the late 1960's residents along 45th Avenue petitioned the Landmarks Commission
to designate their block of brownstones a Landmark block. Their request was granted and
the block is now protected by landmark status. The designation helped encourage the
already occurring renovation and restoration of homes on that block.
In the early 1970's, when the old P.S. 1 building was to be auctioned by the City, the
Hunters Point community organized to save the building. The Institute for Art and Urban
Resources entered into a "reuse" arrangement with the City for the use of the P.S. 1
building. Initially, the Institute used the building for inexpensive studio spaces for artists.
A few years later, the Institute, now affiliated with the Museum of Modern Art, developed
a gallery and now has a regular exhibition and performance schedule. In much the same
way as the original SOHO development, the inter-relationships between industrial areas
and arts "production" were seen as a great asset of the P.S. 1 location. The P.S. 1 studios
were not, however, residential spaces. Yet, as a result of the artists and gallery viewers
presence, those who otherwise would have been unlikely to go to Hunters Point,
discovered this "new" neighborhood.
The Hunters Point waterfront had been underutilized for many years and in the early 1980s
private recreational uses developed on some of the waterfront sites. Two tennis bubbles
were built directly on the waterfront and another was located in an underused industrial
building a block back from the water. These tennis bubbles and swimming pool are private
clubs, much of whose membership is from Manhattan. As in the case of P.S. 1, these
recreational clubs brought Hunters Point to the attention of persons who would normally
have not had reason to visit.
Prudenti's Restaurant had been a landmark restaurant in Long Island City for many years
moved from 50th Avenue off Vernon Boulevard to 2nd Street at Borden Avenue (Queens
County Bank Building). With the influx of people there was an increase in interest in
restaurant space in Hunters Point. The Waterfront Crab House opened across from Prudenti's
at the corner of 2nd Street and Borden Avenue. In 1980, a proposal for a waterfront floating
restaurant off the 44th Drive Pier was approved. As part of the arrangement, the pier at 44th
Drive and the East River was given to the community by then Mayor Edward I. Koch.
Interest in the potential for large-scale residential development had been a reoccurring
theme in the history of Hunters Point. As early as 1946, _Riverview_, was proposed as a
"complete residential community of 50,000 people in the heart of NYC". The proposal
called for a 233 acre site to be rezoned from industrial and marginal residential.the
assumption was that there was adequate industrial space in New York City and that new
industrial space should be located in outlying areas and not in a prime residential
waterfront site. This, first _Riverview_ idea, however, never went beyond the proposal
In about 1968, the _East Point_ development proposal was made. The plan was to create
a residential community of 60,000; to renew industrial development by 5,000 jobs; and to
strengthen and improve the existing residential community. The project would have
encompassed 192 acres at R-8 and R-6 zoning density. Both existing residential and
industrial uses would, however, have been, to some degree, displaced by the
development. The plan, being a total package, would have provided all needed
infrastructure improvements. It never gained the support necessary to justify investment.
In 1974, the Municipal Art Society did a study of the potential of this part of Long Island
City. The report which looked primarily at the transportation issues in the area, also
offered a comprehensive guide towards a "Master Plan for L.I.C.". This plan, like the
earlier proposals, concentrated on major redevelopment and new development, both
residential and industrial.
A broad redevelopment of this nature was the Queen's Borough President's plan for a
Queens Cultural Arts Center. This proposal called for not only the development of a
Regional Arts Complex, but also, for the development of an arts district that would have an
"interwoven joint development of housing, retail stores, office space, and possibly a hotel".
"Joint development and control of a core area are the key to creating a self-supporting arts
center... Central to the concept presented in the report is the large-scale neighborhood
revitalization project to occur around the Arts District." Again, the interest of the financial
community was not forthcoming.
Interest has been expressed in Hunters Point as a new location for major Commercial
Office space. In 1982 Lazares Freres embarked on a major office project in Hunters Point.
The plan calls for the potential of providing 4,000 + new jobs. The proposal envisaged the
Hunters Point area as becoming a new office area whose proximity to midtown Manhattan
would make it imminently desirable. Again, financing failed to appear.
In response to much of the speculation and new activities, a number of studies were
undertaken to analyze what was actually happening in Hunters Point and to recommend
appropriate policies and actions. Three of these studies were concerned specifically with
the industrial health of the area. The Queens Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with
Queens College, completed a study of a 20 block industrial area in the northwestern
section of Hunters Point. The study found the area to be healthy industrially with few
vacancies. The study did, however, uncover many problems facing the industries and
proposed the creation of an "In-place Industrial Park".
The NYC Public Development Corporation, which studied the area, proceeded to develop
an In-Place Industrial Park in Hunters Point and working with the Hunters Point Local
Development Corporation has embarked on a program of helping industries stay and
expand in the Hunters Point area.
A study was accomplished by Interface concerning the industrial health of Long Island City,
and area which, while including Hunters Point, is somewhat larger. The Interface study,
also, found L.I.C. to be an extremely healthy industrial area - one of New York City's
strongest. The vacancy rate at the time of the study was only 5% and, while the character
and type of industry in L.I.C. had changed, the desirability of the location remains. The
Interface study, also, made recommendations for addressing the problems faced by
industries and indicated the need for the City to lend support to strengthening and
stabilizing the industrial community.
All three of the industrial studies were particularly concerned about the impact that any
furthering of a residential community could have on industry. They sited the experiences
in Manhattan where industrial displacement appeared inevitable when residential
conversion took place in industrial areas. The studies defended the Industrial Base at the
expense of the existing residential community.
The Department of City Planning continues conducting a surveys of the industries in the
Hunters Point area. Through mail and telephone questionnaire, the Department of City
planning hoped to be able to document the needs and health of the industrial community.
This information was to be used to help inform the City's policy on the future development
of the Hunters Point waterfront.
HISTORICAL BUILDINGS & FEATURES:
Key locations in Hunters Point were lost to development. They deserve mention to preserve
the communities archeological evolution.
1. Car-Float Gantries
A pair of railroad car gantry cranes were erected at the water's edge in the 1880's by
the Flushing and Central Railroad. This structure facilitated the exchange of loaded
railroad cars on to river ferries for transport to docks in New Jersey. Both of these
imposing structures are significant scenographic elements in the landscape as seen from
both sides of the East River and though not unique to the area, they are of prime industrial
archaeological interest. They were preserved as a NYS Riverfront Park when the Waterfront
2. Electric Light and Power Company
The New York Electric Light and Power Company located at the block bordered by 2nd
Street, 50th and 51st Avenues, was constructed in 1905 as a power plant for the Long
Island and Pennsylvania Railroads; the first of its kind in the country. Although not within
the project boundary, it is the most dominant structure in the area due to its enormous size
and four imposing smokestacks. It is of major industrial archeological significance.
3. Bank Building
The Queens County Bank Building constructed in 1890, remains today as a vacant
restaurant within the project area. Although radically altered by changes subsequent to its
construction, it represents the highest style of commercial architecture remaining from the
boom period when Borden Avenue was the major transportation hub of Queens and a busy
4. Miller's Hotel
Built in 1881 as a three story federalist style structure and altered due to a fire to a two
story building in the early 20th century, it is the last remaining of many hotels which served
the area during the heyday of the railroad era. At the time of its construction, it was the
largest hotel in Long Island City.
5. Long Island Railroad
The Long Island Railroad opened their terminus in Hunters Point in 1861. The tracks
and yards, expanded considerably over the years, are located at the foot of Borden
6. 51-09 2nd Street
This two story building (originally 112 Front Street) constructed ca. 1860, is of historic
significance. It served as the office of Patrick (Boss) Gleason when he was the Mayor of
Long Island City in the 1880;s and 1890's.
7. 108th Precinct Police Station
The three-story neo-classical 108th Precinct Police Station was built in 1903 in the
flamboyant baroque style. It continues to serve its original use and is one of the most
architecturally significant buildings in the area. It is located on 50th Avenue, one of the
most attractive streets in Hunters Point and close to the East River area.
8. St Mary's Roman Catholic Church
Built in 1884, St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, located on Vernon Boulevard in the
vicinity of the project area, represents a fine example of late 19th century church
architecture. Its style is principally Romanesque and its gothic clock tower spire is both a
symbol and landmark for the neighborhood. The current church is the third at the site. A
second church was constructed to expand upon and replace the first. It was constructed
of wood. Cinders from the Power Plant on 2nd Street set it ablaze. The unused structure
was a total loss.
9. Truss Bridge Overpass
A Pratt half-hip truss bridge carried traffic along Vernon Boulevard over the railroad cut
leading to the river gantries. It was removed when a vest pocket park was built as an amenity
to the neighborhood by the Queens West Project.. Subsequent alterations to the steel frame
bridge had occurred along the roadway and pedestrian ramp. The bridge contributed to
the industrial character and history of the area. It was lost to progress.
10. Hunter Point Historic District
In the vicinity of the project area on 45th Avenue between 21st and 23rd Streets, the
Hunters Point Historic District contains ten of the areas best preserved Italianate row
houses which were built in the 1870's and are faced with Westchester stone. Other
buildings from this era and later are fine examples of French Second Empire, neo-Greco
and Queen Anne styles. This block is a designated New York City Landmark District.
11. Brick Industrial Buildings
The only manufacturing building of any significance along the river that remains from
the 1880's and the era of Hunters Point early industrial development is the two story brick
structure at the corner of 5th Street and 47th Avenues. It has been used for the production of
varnish and chemicals and has unique brick masonry ventilation shafts. It was lost to progress.
12. Pepsi Cola Sign
The Pepsi Cola sign once stood atop the bottling plant located along the East River'
It is considered historically significant. Built in the 1930's, it has been a major visual
element in the Hunters Point Waterfront as seen from Manhattan and is a precursor of the
recent "pop art" period. It remains in a pocket park along the waterfront.
13. Approximate 1858 Shoreline
The 1858 map of Hunters Point indicates that most of the land we see today along the
river was under water at that time. The 1858 map is resident in the archives of the Queens
HISTORICAL PRESERVATION ISSUES:
Despite its extensive history only a few historically significant buildings remain. Change
that characterized the history of the area is mostly associated with commercial, industrial
and transportation activities.
No buildings in the area are currently listed as New York City Landmarks or are placed on
the National Register of Historic Places, however, nearby is the Hunters Point Historic
District comprised mostly of residential buildings.
Several structures within or immediately adjacent to the East River are eligible for
Landmark listing. These include the following structures:
1. Flushing and Central Railroad Gantry Cranes
2. New York and Queens Electric Light and Power Company
3. Queens County Bank
4. Millers Hotel
5. 51-09 2nd Street
6. Pepsi Cola Sign
If these structures are ultimately recognized by the National Register of Historic Places,
their certified rehabilitation could provide significant benefits to NYC history.
Redevelopment work in the area should explore the feasibility of preserving some if not
all of the above listed buildings. Each of these structures contributes to the architectural
and historical interest of the area and offers an important aesthetic focal point to any new
In addition, the Pepsi Cola Sign must be preserved because of its visual and cultural
association with the waterfront and as a familiar New York City landmark.
ARCHEOLOGY OF HUNTERS POINT ON SEPTEMBER 12, 1985
This snapshot of the Hunters Point community and its perceived needs was created by
Thomas V. Sobczak under contract to the Hunters Point Community Council in
September 1985. During 350 years of evolution, much of the information describing the
culture and demographics of Hunters Point have been lost and/or forgotten.
HUNTERS POINT AREA CHARACTERISTICS
The concerns of many of the residents and people who work in Hunters Point today
include such issues as achieving an acceptable balance of industrial, residential and
commercial land uses, the improvement of community services, the impact of
waterfront development on the quality of life and the very future of the community,
traffic congestion, parking problems, and the environment. Much of the factual data,
which is necessary for a basic understanding of the area, has been developed in depth
by the City Planning Department in their Report which has preceded this study (Hunters
Point, Recommendations For A Land Use Policy, March 1984). While the focus of that
study, ultimately, is to develop a Master Plan for the waterfront, the issues facing the
existing community, and the parameters which will be established for any waterfront
development are and must be intertwined.
DESCRIPTION OF THE HUNTERS POINT AREA:
The area referred to as Hunters Point is characterized by a mixture of land uses, i.e.,
residential, industrial, manufacturing, commercial, retail and open space. Since
Hunters Point developed over a long period of time, the land uses reflect many waves
of development. The overriding land use in Hunters Point is industrial. In the areas to
the north and west and along the waterfront, the area is dominated by industrial and
warehousing uses. There are heavy manufacturing uses intermixed with lighter
industrial uses. The waterfront, however, is also characterized by a large percentage of
unused or underused land.
The bulk of the residential development in Hunters Point is located in the triangle
bounded by Jackson, Vernon, and 44th Drive. The residential areas have 1 and 2
family frame houses, attached brownstone and walk-up multiple dwellings. Most of the
homes show signs of age, but are well maintained. Throughout these residential
enclaves are active industrial buildings, thus creating a "patchwork" type of land use.
There are industries and homes mixed together on all the blocks where residential uses
are found. On some blocks the residential use is dominant; on others the industrial.
Vernon Boulevard is the major commercial street serving Hunters Point, although some
commercial uses can be found along Jackson Avenue, and, of course, on both sides of
Queens Plaza. The commercial uses serve both the industrial and residential
There are two NYC parks in Hunters Point, John Murray and John Andrews. Currently
there is no public park land along the waterfront, although the pier at the end of 44th
Drive is being maintained for public use. There were no public schools, hospitals, or
libraries located in Hunters Point at this time. The only institutional uses are the Court
House, the Post Office, and St. Mary's parochial school.
The population of the area has remained somewhat stable over the last 20 years. After
an initial drop from 7,000 to 5,000, the population has remained at about 5,500.
Although spread throughout Hunters Point, the bulk of the population is found in the
blocks around St. Mary's Church and the blocks around John Murray Park.
A large part of the land is taken up by railroad trackage, which cuts directly through the
area. Some of the trackage was still in use, but a large portion sits as vacant land.
Large industrial plants are located on both sides of Sunnyside Railroad storage Yards.
The employment statistics for the Hunters Point area have remained relatively stable
over the last decade. There are approximately 25,000 + workers employed in Hunters
Point. Indeed, Hunters Point is one of the only industrial areas in New York City which
has not seen a serious drop in employment. Studies indicate that, while there are
numerous large industries, many of the Hunters Point firms have employment of 10-20
workers. The last 5 years have seen the industrial vacancy rate drop from 10-15%
down to 1-3%.
One of the principal characteristics of the area is its superb transportation access.
There are 7 subway stops serving the Hunters Point area, that give access to all
Boroughs except Staten Island. Some parts of Hunters Point are only 1 stop from
Manhattan. The Long Island Railroad has two stops in Hunters Point. There are bus
links from Hunters Point that go into the various Boroughs.
EXISTING LAND USE:
Hunters Point is a community which is comprised of some 140 blocks on 400 acres of
land, accounting for 40% of the Long Island City area. (Prior to being annexed by NYC,
Long Island City was a major domestic contributor to the economy of NY State.) Still an
active industrial center, one also finds residential and commercial development,
including community related facilities interspersed in this predominantly industrial
environment. Half of the current land uses are industrial, residences account for only
6% of the land while stores and offices occupy 13% of the land. Community Facilities
account for 1% of the land area while streets, parking lots and vacant land occupies the
remaining 30% of the land.
A 1980 sample survey by the Queens Office of the Department of City Planning of
some 198 firms showed that there were 482 industrial firms employing 16,739 persons
in categories such as construction, manufacturing, transportation, communications,
electric, gas and sanitary services, and durable and non-durable wholesale trades.
The residential origins of these workers indicate that 13.6% of the workers reside in the
area, 27% reside in other parts of Queens, 18.8% reside in Brooklyn, 21% in other NYC
locations while 12.7% reside on Long Island and 6.9% reside in other unspecified
The homes in the area are generally low in scale, mostly consisting of one and two
family houses, old law tenements and small walk up buildings. According to the 1980
census there are some 5,200 residents occupying the 400 residential buildings which
contain 2,300 units. Scattered among warehouses and industrial buildings, the
residential buildings are clustered together, but few blocks are completely residential.
Ninety percent of the residential buildings were constructed prior to 1940.
Vernon Boulevard, Jackson Avenue and Queens Plaza form the three commercial
streets which serve the residential and daytime industrial and commercial population. A
recent City Planning Survey of Vernon Boulevard and Jackson Avenue indicates uses
such as grocery stores, eating and drinking places, laundries, parking lots, hairdresser,
repair shop and social clubs. There are a number of storefronts which have been
converted to apartments and artist's studios indicating that there are currently more
storefronts than the market can support.
Queens Plaza which is at the far northern end of the site is a transportation hub with
retail establishments serving office workers, residents who live nearby and industrial
employees. These stores offer more comparison goods including furniture, clothing,
shoes and jewelry.
There are few office buildings in Hunters Point. Eight office buildings have been
identified by City Planning which are located in the Jackson Avenue, Queens Plaza
vicinity. However, the new International Design Center contains a total of + 4 million
square feet proposed for showrooms, offices and support facilities. A 200,000 square
feet office building (Hunters Point Plaza) has been built at 21st Street and Jackson
Avenue. A new CitiBank Tower at Jackson Avenue and 44th Drive is planned to be
2,000,000 square feet.
The majority of buildings in the study area are 1 to 3 floors in height (estimated at 85%
of the land area), four to six floor structures account for 14% of land area while certain
higher structures like the old power plant, the ventilation tower for the Queens Mid-town
Tunnel and the cement silos at the Nrcem Plant along the East River account for
buildings in excess of 7 floors (less than 1% of the land area). The equivalent density
of the community excluding the waterfront site is estimated at 2.5 times the site area
(400 acres) minus 120 acres (30%) for streets, roads, vacant land, parking lots.
The community facilities inventory includes a police station (108th), a Firehouse
(Engine Company 258), two neighborhood parks (2 and 1/2 acres), St. Mary R.C.
Church and Parochial School, the Queens County Courthouse, a post office and P.S. 1,
an former school which has been converted into an art gallery and studio spaces for
artists, and, a recreation pier at the water's edge on 44th Drive donated to the
community by Mayor Edward I. Koch, which is under the jurisdiction of N.Y.C.
Department of Ports and Terminals.
While many of these community buildings are architecturally and historically
noteworthy, they are dispersed throughout the area and do not form a center of focus
for the neighborhood. The residents of Hunters Point must travel outside of their
neighborhood for services such as public elementary, junior high or high schools,
clinics, hospitals, mental health facilities and public libraries. It is ironic that the only
public access to the waterfront available to residents is the small pier at the end of the
44th Drive while there currently exists some 5,000 linear feet of underutilized waterfront
which potentially available for public use.
RECENT CHANGES AND TRENDS:
Large industrial users situated in multi-storied buildings have been leaving the area and
are being replaced by light industrial users and warehouses. This trend is
characterized by smaller firms renting subdivided spaces in large buildings. Some
larger buildings have been converted to non-industrial uses. A 1982 survey by City
Planning indicated that the average rent per square foot was $5.00, the average
number of employees per business was 30 and the average length of lease was 5.6
Since 1960, the residential population of Hunters Point has been declining (6.400 in
1960 to 5,200 in 1980). As well, the ethnic composition of the residents has also
changed. The predominantly white Italian/Irish community which accounted for 95% of
the residents in 1960 had dropped to 75% in 1980. The newer residents are of Asian or
Hispanic origin. The median age of the population is decreasing while the number of
one-person households is rising, following national trends. The proportion of renter
occupied spaces is high (86 percent) and the rents are relatively low ranging from $110
to $166 a month compared to the Queens median rent of $238. The median value of
owner occupied housing is $27,500 to $40,600 compared to the Queens median of
$42,500. One would suspect that these values have increased in recent years due to
inflation and the discovery of Hunters Point by the media.
There is a concern that recent trends to convert manufacturing buildings to commercial,
residential use, and artist's lofts may displace manufacturers and jobs from the area
thus denying many semi-skilled and unskilled workers opportunities for employment.
Zoning for Heavy Industry (M3-1) until recently made it extremely difficult to enlarge or
renovate homes. This has contributed to a decline in the size of the residential
population, deterioration of the housing stock and paucity of community services.
WATERFRONT DEVELOPMENT ISSUES:
Modernization of the shipping industry has resulted in changes such as cargo
containerization and improved highways have shifted the maritime shipping industry
from older industrial areas to new container ports in Staten Island, Brooklyn and New
Jersey. Railroad usage, which also had a large physical presence on waterfronts
declined in these older areas as well, and the combined effect of these changes left
large strips of underutilized, poorly maintained and abandoned structures to deteriorate
to the point of discouraging any development by the private sector. National, state and
municipal interests have brought the revitalization of blighted waterfront areas to the
forefront. The Hunters Point Waterfront has been recently identified by the City of New
York as such an area as part of a long term plan for the revitalization of the western
shore of Queens and there has been recent interest by current landowners and
developers to initiate development on the Hunters Point Site.
In 1981, the City of New York adopted a change in the zoning resolution redesignating
the existing M3-1 Hunters Point area to the Special Hunters Point Mixed Use District.
This designation provides as-of-right status to the existing residential uses, changes the
existing heavy manufacturing designation to lighter manufacturing and permits, on a
case by case basis, expansion and new development of residential and light
manufacturing uses where adequate standards are assured.
To stabilize the mixed residential/industrial area, the Special Hunters Point Mixed Use
District was reconfirmed. The district takes in that part of Hunters Point which has a
mix of residential and industrial uses. Adopted in 1981 (replacing the M3-1 zoning), the
district gives as-of-right status to existing housing now subject to provisions applicable
to R5 districts. New housing is limited to three-story or three-family houses. The heavy
manufacturing designation has been changed to permit lighter manufacturing only. All
existing manufacturing and commercial uses are now governed by M1-4 regulations.
In addition, City Planning proposed that a section of Hunters Point which is directly
adjacent to the East River be designated a Special Waterfront District.
The Hunters Point waterfront should be developed with the most appropriate uses;
development should increase the city's tax base and opportunities for employment.
Open space and public access to the waterfront should be provided for. The physical
improvement of the waterfront should be planned to prevent further erosion and
physical deterioration. Waterfront development should have a limited amount of
residential construction and provide office space as an alternative to space available in
Manhattan. At the same time, existing industrial, commercial and residential uses in
Hunters Point should be protected and strengthened.
To achieve these goals, the Department of City Planning recommended that a special
waterfront district replace the M3-1 zoning for the 68-acre portion of the Hunters Point
waterfront from the canal at 45th Road to the Newtown Creek juncture with the East
The Special Waterfront District could provide a mechanism that will enable site specific
regulations to be set in place. The Master Plan will regulate and control development
for the entire site which will provide balance and coordination best serving the public
interest in contrast to smaller individual private developer proposals. These controls will
result in part from the Port Authority's development planning efforts in close
coordination with the City of New York, the Borough of Queens and the Hunters Point
A master plan will reflect the findings of technical and marketing studies and will include
a preliminary development plan and preliminary agreements with property owners and
industrial users. An Environmental Impact Statement which outlines anticipated effects
of proposed changes and identifies mitigating measures will also be required. The
zoning application for the proposed special waterfront district must be approved by the
City Planning Commission and the Board of Estimate through the Uniform Land Use
Review Procedure (ULURP). When the zoning change is adopted, agreements with
property owners, industrial users and developers will have to be negotiated.
LINKAGE, EDGES, AND BARRIERS:
Physical linkages which connect the Hunters Point Area to other parts of the region
include the following:
1. Borden Avenue which connects to the Long Island Expressway, eastbound.
2. Jackson Avenue which connects to Northern Boulevard, eastbound.
3. Thomson Avenue and 44th Drive which connect to Queens Boulevard, eastbound.
4. Queens Boulevard which is a major arterial connecting northwestern Queens with
the Manhattan via the Queensborough Bridge.
5. 50th and 51st Avenues are important pedestrian links from the IRT No. 7 line
Vernon/Jackson Station to the waterfront.
6. Jackson Avenue and 11th Street which connect Hunters Point with Brooklyn
(Greenpoint) and the Brooklyn Queens Expressway via the Pulaski Bridge and
7. Vernon Boulevard which provides a northbound connection to the Queensborough
Bridge and La Guardia Airport via Astoria and Ditmars Boulevards, as well as to the
Grand Central Parkway, which links with the Van Wyck Expressway and JFK Airport.
8. 21st Street which also links the area northward to Astoria and Ditmars Boulevards.
Edges and Barriers are geographical water and land features which define the physical
limitation or end of the Hunters Point area and include the following:
9. The East River forms the western edge of the area.
10. The 45th Avenue Basin forms the northern edge of the Waterfront Development
11. Dutch Kills defines an eastern edge somewhat removed from the study area.
12. Newtown Creek forms the southern edge of the area.
13. The Long Island Railroad Diesel Storage Yards terminating at 2nd Street and
Borden Avenue creates a barrier between the Hunters Point Community and waterfront
at Newtown Creek.
14. The elevated Long Island Expressway forms a southern barrier.
15. The depressed Mid-Town Tunnel Toll Plaza creates a southern barrier.
16. The Sunnyside Railroad Yard creates an extensive barrier at the western edge of
17. The abandoned Long Island Railroad Co. cut extending from 21 Street westward to
5th Street creates a physical barrier which virtually divides the Hunters Point
Community into two segments.
PRIMARY VISUAL CORRIDORS:
If pressed to describe what the greatest asset of the Hunters Point Site is, the answer
undoubtedly would have to be the magnificent unbroken panoramic view of the
Mid-town area of Manhattan which is framed by the water. One would have to classify
this view as one of the greatest manmade sights in the entire world.
The New York City Planning Department, in their Hunters Point Study
(Recommendations for a Land Use Policy) have listed as a major planning policy, the
preservation of the adjacent communities access to this view. These projected viewing
channels which are extensions of the street grid pattern through the proposed Special
Waterfront Development Site are called "View Corridors".
During winter months when the sun angle is low, considerable areas will be shaded by
proposed structures. The nearby water moderates daily and seasonal temperature
change by retaining heat and cold longer than does the air. The sum of these three
factors is a quite desirable microclimate for active use of the site's open spaces.
This condition can either be enhanced or destroyed through the master planning
process. Careful site planning will ensure a building orientation and configuration that
blocks northwesterly winds while permitting south summer breezes to penetrate the
site. Similarly, proposed building masses should be tested against sun angles and
bearings for the New York area (40 degrees latitude) to ensure appropriate sun and
shadow for exterior spaces.
_Sun Bearing Angle Winter Spring Summer Autumn_
Sun Rise SE 68 NE 105 NE 115 SE 75
Sun Set SW 68 NW 105 NW 115 SW 75
Midday 32 62 75 38
The placement and type of vegetation specified in a Master Plan can help moderate
the site's microclimate as well. Shade trees reduce glare from sun reflecting on the
water. The shade can also reduce the exterior temperature creating comfortable oasis
during summer heat waves. Evergreen massing and topographic manipulation can
ameliorate harsh winter winds.
Any proposed development should capitalize on these environmental opportunities in
the same way it exploits other site characteristics - views, proximity, visibility. In like
manner, the development should be sympathetic to environmental constraints implied
by waterfront ecosystems.
An urban waterfront mediates between the scale of the immediate architecture and the
scale of the river landscape. Depending on the context, a new development
consciously strikes a specific balance between these two disparate scales. At Hunters
Point, this disparity is significant. The adjoining architectural scale is characterized by a
fine textured fabric of small buildings, averaging three stories, which line the street
creating service spaces within the block. The blocks closest to the East River are
coarser in scale - both in plan and in elevation. This is the industrial district where
blocks are filled with single buildings leaving no secondary interior block spaces.
Together, these residential and industrial districts provide a rich fabric for possible
In most situations, resolving these two scales - that of industrial buildings and
residential neighborhood would be an urban design challenge in and of itself. At
Hunters Point, along the East River, one must also acknowledge the scale of
Manhattan's skyscrapers in the distance. This acknowledgment should result in a
scheme that respects the nature of the neighborhood to the east and the metropolis to
The specific formal gestures which could accommodate this change in scale must also
defer to the view corridors and buildings typography. The landscape design should
reinforce the continuity between the existing smaller scale context and the new
development by acting as a seam of green on the inland. It can also establish a
regional river presence through a coherent site treatment. Such a design response
would define Hunters Point as a major place along the east River, not merely a series of
Queens' location along the northwest shore of Long Island places it along the
recessional moraine, a ridge created by glacial outwash. A ribbon of parks and
cemeteries occupy those high points providing panoramic views of the area. Hunters
Point is situated at the western base of these gently slopes where they meet the East
River. Its topography is generally flat, the result of filling the original salt marsh.
Variations in topography are generally man-made such as the Newspoint landfill at the
juncture with Newtown Creek which rises 27 feet. Consequently, slopes are not a major
constraining development factor. Rather, the lack of elevation will have a major impact
on future development.
Since current building code requires all "finish floor" elevations (first floor) to be at least
plus 10 above Queensborough datum (flood level) much of the site will need to be
elevated in some way. The manner in which this is done - whether by localized
treatments (i.e., stairs, ramps, podiums, stilts, etc.) or site wide interventions (levees or
regrading) - must be responsive to the view corridor and to access of existing inland
properties. New development should not read as an elevated wall isolating the existing
Hunters Point community from the water's edge.
STRUCTURES AND RELATED FEATURES:
There is a cultural landscape existing on the Hunters Point East River site and within
the adjacent community. It is the physical memory of the area's industrial past, a
history rich in imagery as well as substance. Some of these physical artifacts signify
Hunters Point to the outside world - the Pepsi sign, the Long Island Railroad float bridge
structures, the four smoke stacks on the former power plant, and the Nrcem silos.
Others are not as visible, known only to local residents - the rear view of the Pepsi
building, Manhattan as a canvas framed by industrial remnants. These are points of
orientation, places of congregation, ways of differentiating Hunters Point from its
surroundings. Within the undifferentiated street grid, these structures make place.
The most memorable and meaningful of these structures and views should be
incorporated into any new development where possible. In this way, the culture and
community of Hunters Point can be viewed as a continuum; interventions enrich that
cultural landscape not obliterate it.
The internally-oriented views with Hunters Point are a counterpoint to the
externally-oriented view corridors along the east-west avenues and roads. While the
external east-west vistas are primarily focused on Manhattan, the north-south views are
neighborhood-oriented and internal. The two view orientations are further differentiated
in character as well as focus. The east-west views are flanked by residential and light
industrial building walls (except for at the water's edge); they are static vistas fixed on a
single object - Manhattan. In contract, north-south views are framed essentially by
commercial and industrial structures; they are sequential views leading one through the
area. These existing internal views organize Hunters Point's visual orientation. This
visual orientation forms an important characteristic of the existing context as well as
familiarizing visitors and residents with the neighborhood.
It is the intention of the community to prohibit any building construction above the legal
elevation of the street in these view corridors, with the exception of planting material
and certain pedestrian amenities like benches and kiosks.
The Planning Department has included 46th Avenue, 46th Road, 47th Avenue, 47th
Road, 48th Avenue, the 100 foot MTA right of way south of 48th Avenue, 50th, 51st,
Borden and 54th Avenues as view corridors.
The Hunters Point community members suggest that 49th Avenue and Jackson Avenue
be considered as view corridors.
Jackson Avenue in particular is a major circulation corridor which currently terminates at
Borden Avenue. There is a view now which extends as far downtown as the World
Trade Center. Planners have not concluded as to whether or not to frame this view or
terminate it with a building or other type of physical object.
There are also major views of some of the prominent structures as well as panoramic
views of Manhattan seen by thousands of commuters daily from the Long Island
Expressway approach to the Mid-town Tunnel as well as from the elevated portions of
the IRT No. 7 trains.
In addition to the view corridors described above, two major panoramic views occur at
the southern and northern ends of the Hunters Point water front. The southern view
into Manhattan occurs at a bend and widening in the river which creates an enormous
open expanse of space and water. One can imagine why the early settlers and those
following settled at this juncture. The view at the northern end of the site near the 45th
Avenue Basin looks across the southern end of Roosevelt Island at the Roosevelt
Island Development, the Queensborough Bridge and the upper east side. Both
locations would be well suited for viewing oriented open space.
COMMERCIAL USES ON VERNON BOULEVARD
BETWEEN 46TH AVENUE AND BORDEN AVENUE
Convenience Goods Stores
Food Stores 6
Eating and Drinking Places 11
Drug and Proprietary Stores 1
Sub Total 18
Shopping Goods Stores
Apparel and Accessories 1
Furniture and Appliances 1
Miscellaneous Shopping Goods 1
Sub Total 3
All Other Stores
Building Materials, Hardware, Garden Supplies 1
Automotive Dealers and Gasoline Service Stations 1
Miscellaneous Retail 3
Sub Total 5
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate
Check Cashing Agencies 1
Sub Total 1
Personnel Services 5
Automotive Repair, Services and Garages 3
Miscellaneous Repair Services 1
Health Services 1
Membership Organizations 4
Miscellaneous Services 3
Sub Total 17
Wholesale Durables 5
Transportation & Public Utilities 5
COMMERCIAL USES ON JACKSON AVENUE BETWEEN
QUEENS PLAZA SOUTH AND BORDEN AVENUE
Convenience Goods Stores
Food Stores 4
Eating and Drinking Places 14
Drug and Proprietary Stores 1
Sub Total 19
Shopping Goods Stores
Furniture and Appliances 1
Sub Total 1
All Other Stores
Building Materials, Hardware, Garden Supplies 4
Automotive Dealers and Gasoline Service
Sub Total 12
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate
Insurance Carriers 1
Sub Total 3
Business Services 6
Automotive Repair, Service Garages 10
Miscellaneous Repair Services 3
Health Services 1
Membership Organizations 1
Miscellaneous Services 1
Motor Freight Transportation & Warehousing 4
Sub Total 26
Wholesale Durables 12
Wholesale Non-Durables 1
Transportation & Public Utilities 3
COMMERCIAL USES ON 21ST STREET BETWEEN 44TH DRIVE AND 45TH ROAD
Convenience Goods Stores
Food Stores 4
Eating and Drinking Places 3
Drug and Proprietary Stores 1
Sub Total 8
Shopping Goods Stores
Apparel and Accessories 0
Furniture and Appliances 1
Miscellaneous Shopping Goods 0
Sub Total 1
All Other Stores
Building Materials, Hardware, Garden Supplies 0
Automotive Dealers & Gasoline Service
Miscellaneous Retail 1
Sub Total 1
Personal Services 1
Membership Organizations 1
Miscellaneous Services 1
Sub Total 3
GROUND FLOOR USES BY SQUARE FOOT
_USE_ _TOTAL SQUARE FEET_ _PERCENT OF TOTAL_
Convenience Goods 37,754 7.1%
Shopping Goods 21,375 4%
All Other Stores 36,073 6.8%
and Real Estate 9,050 1.7%
Services 275,623 51.9%
Wholesale Trade 31,104 5.8%
Construction 89,959 17.0%
Vacant Building 4,834 .9%
Vacant Lot 11,325 2.1%
Conversion 5,241 1.0%
Residential 3,659 .7%
Undisclosed 5,504 1.0%
VERNON BOULEVARD - GROUND FLOOR USE
BY SQUARE FOOT
_USE_ _TOTAL SQUARE FEET_ _PERCENT OF TOTAL_
Convenience Goods 22,790 12.25%
Shopping Goods 4,675 2.5%
All Other Stores 5,690 3.1%
and Real Estate 1,000 .54%
Services 73,014 39.25%
Wholesale Trade 12,435 6.7%
Construction 39,509 21.2%
Vacant Building 9,320 5.0%
Vacant Lot 1,900 1.8%
Conversion 2,025 1.0%
Residential 12,246 6.6%
Undisclosed 1,375 .7%
21ST STREET BETWEEN 44TH DRIVE AND 45TH ROAD -
GROUND FLOOR USES BY SQUARE FOOT
_USE_ _TOTAL SQUARE FEET_ _PERCENT OF TOTAL_
Convenience Goods 8,326 25%
Shopping Goods 1,350 4%
All Other Stores 675 2%
and Real Estate 0 0%
Services 4,571 14%
Wholesale Trade 0 0%
Construction 0 0%
Vacant Building 250 .1%
Vacant Lot 0 0%
Conversion 0 0%
Residential 17,720 54%
Undisclosed 0 0%
STOREFRONT CONDITIONS ON JACKSON AVENUE
_USE_ _POOR_ _FAIR_ _GOOD_ _EXCELLENT_
Convenience Goods 0 3 9 5
Shopping Goods 0 0 1 1
All Other Stores 1 5 6 2
and Real Estate 0 1 3 0
Services 1 13 10 3
Wholesale Trade 0 3 8 1
Construction 1 10 6 4
Vacant Building 3 1 1 0
Vacant Lot 2 1 0 0
Conversion 0 0 4 1
Residential 0 0 3 1
Undisclosed 2 1 0 0
TOTAL 10 38 51 18
Grand total 9% 32% 44% 15%
GRAND TOTAL: 17
STOREFRONT CONDITIONS ON VERNON BOULEVARD
_USE_ _POOR_ _FAIR_ _GOOD_ _EXCELLENT_
Convenience Goods 0 4 12 3
Shopping Goods 0 0 1 2
All Other Stores 0 1 1 0
and Real Estate 0 1 0 0
Services 3 4 11 10
Wholesale Trade 0 1 3 0
Construction 1 5 7 5
Vacant Building 1 4 0 1
Vacant Lot 1 0 1 0
Conversion 0 0 0 2
Residential 0 0 2 8
Undisclosed 0 0 0 1
TOTAL 6 20 38 32
Grand total 6% 21% 40% 33%
GRAND TOTAL: 96
STOREFRONT CONDITIONS ON 21ST STREET BETWEEN
44TH DRIVE AND 45TH ROAD
_USE_ _POOR_ _FAIR_ _GOOD_ _EXCELLENT_
Convenience Goods 0 4 2 1
Shopping Goods 0 0 1 0
All Other Stores 0 0 0 1
and Real Estate 0 0 0 0
Services 0 0 2 0
Wholesale Trade 0 0 0 0
Construction 0 0 0 0
Vacant Building 0 0 0 0
Vacant Lot 0 0 0 0
Conversion 0 0 0 0
Residential 0 0 4 0
Undisclosed 0 0 0 0
TOTAL 0 4 9 2
Grand total 0% 27% 60% 13%
GRAND TOTAL: 15
HUNTERS POINT 1985 LAND USE
Hunters Point is characterized by a thriving industrial community, a mix of residential
and manufacturing uses, excellent transportation access and outstanding views of
Manhattan's Skyline. The majority of land uses are industrial (50%). Residences
represent 6% of the land uses in the area, while stores and offices make up 13%. The
zoning north of 43rd Avenue is M1-3, for industry with high performance standards.
South of 43rd Avenue is zoned M3-1 for heavy industry with lower performance
standards, with the exception of the Special Hunters Point Mixed District which permits
residential and industrial uses.
Long Island City has one of the largest concentrations of industrial uses in New York
City. It is the major industrial center of Queens. The greater Long Island City area
(represented by Zip Code Area 11101) has almost 1,400 industrial firms with
approximately 49,000 employees. This represents 16% of the number of firms in
Queens, 2% of those in New York City. The greater Long Island City area employs
44% of the Queens' industrial workers, 6% of New York City's. The smaller Hunters
Point Study area has almost 500 firms with about 17,000 employees, presenting 15% of
the total number of industrial employees in Queens.
The manufacturing sector is of great importance to New York City's economy.
Manufacturing make up 15% of the City's economy. Despite losing more than 300,000
manufacturing jobs from 1970 to 1980, New York City has the fourth largest
concentration of manufacturing jobs in the United States. In a recent Department of
City Planning survey of industrial realtors, Queens was ranked as the most desirable
outer borough in which to do business. Since Long Island City is the largest industrial
area in Queens, it has great significance to the City's economy.
The types of manufacturing uses vary by location in Hunters Point. Very heavy
industries (those that adversely impact the environment more than light industries) are
concentrated in the area east of Sunnyside Yard, around Dutch Kills Canal. This area
is entirely manufacturing with no residential uses. The area between 44th Drive and
Queens Plaza in Hunters Point is also entirely industrial but made up of lighter
industries and warehouse/distribution facilities. South of 44th Drive, manufacturing
uses, a wide variety ranging from heavy industry to storage facilities, are mixed with
housing units. There is little vacant land in Hunters Point except along the waterfront
where there are four significant vacant or partially vacant sites.
While the industrial community of Long Island City continues to be stable and employ a
steady number of workers, changes are taking place. The area continues to be
impacted by changes in transportation modes. In 1976 the Long Island Railroad's North
Freight Branch abandoned use of its Float Bridge (Gantry) facility between 48th and
49th Avenues, from Jackson Avenue to the waterfront. Six acres of waterfront property
were virtually vacant and not utilized. The Sunnyside Yards continues to be actively
used by the Long Island Railroad.
Since 1960, the character of industries has been changing from heavy manufacturing to
lighter industrial uses and warehouses. The trend has been from larger to smaller
firms. The era of large industrial uses locating in big multi-story buildings in Hunters
Point appears to be over. The space of some large industrial buildings has been
divided for smaller firms' use. Also, some larger buildings are being renovated for
non-industrial reuse. Two buildings at 30-20 and 30-30 Thomson Avenue, between
30th and 21st Streets, are being developed by Lazard Realty for new office space.
These buildings are particularly large. One is six stories high (the American Chicle
Building) and the other is seven stories high (The former Bacilla Needle Work Company
Building, now part of NYC Industrial Development Corporation). They were vacant for
over six years.
A number of other conversions of manufacturing buildings have been taking place. The
three-building complex which was the West Chemical Plant, located adjacent to the
Sunnyside Railroad Yard at Queens Plaza South and Jackson Avenue, has been
converted into a commercial facility, housing approximately 500 merchants, known as
the QP Marketplace. A vacant glue factory on Jackson Avenue at 21st Street and 47th
Avenue was completely rebuilt to accommodate offices and light manufacturing. The
former Silvercup Bakery building on Queens Plaza between 21st and 22nd Street was
turned into a motion picture complex. Seven sound stages exist, but a performing arts
theatre, and a rooftop restaurant never materialized. A 13-building complex at Vernon
Boulevard at 43rd Avenue which originally was an iron foundry will be renovated to
house a major landscape/greenhouse firm relocating from Manhattan. The project
recently received financial aid from the Industrial and Commercial Incentive Board.
There has been fear that industrial buildings in Hunters Point might be converted to
residential use, as has been the case in SOHO and the West Village in Manhattan, and
that the manufacturing building stock would be diminished. When P.S. 1 was
established as an art museum and studio space for artists, there was particular concern
that artists would be attracted to live in Hunters Point factory buildings. Lofts can make
ideal residences and studios for those looking for large spaces and costs lower than
Manhattan's. This is not happening in Hunters Point and is unlikely to occur. It is
difficult to find out how many people may be living illegally in industrial buildings.
There are fewer than 10 large, loft buildings in Hunters Point suitable for conversion.
Outside of the Special Hunters Point Mixed Use District, it is illegal to convert without a
variance from the Board of Standards and Appeals or a ULURP zoning change. Within
the Special District, conversions are allowed by Special Permit from the City Planning
Commission, subject to Board of Estimate action, if specified criteria are met.
The diversity of its manufacturing sector adds to Long Island City's strength. Although
approximately half of the firms and employees are related to pure manufacturing uses,
other types of industries, construction, transportation, and wholesale trade (durables
and non-durables) are represented in significant numbers. There are a number of
studies that provide information on industrial firms in Long Island City. In the Summer
1982, the Queens Office of the Department of City Planning conducted a questionnaire
survey of the industrial firms in the Hunters Point Study area. This study utilized both
telephone interviews and mail questionnaires and, with 198 industrial firm responses,
(41% of the firms) represents the largest study of industrial firms in Hunters Point. The
DCP survey also included responses from 48 commercial businesses. three other
studies of manufacturing businesses in Long Island City were completed in 1979 and
All data indicates that Long Island City is thriving and stable as an industrial community.
In the mid 1970's the vacancy rate was 10-15%. In recent years, however, past studies
and real estate brokers have estimated that the vacancy rate is only 2-5%. The DCP
Study found 93% of space occupied or a 7% vacancy rate, a slight increase in
unoccupied space. Real estate brokers have advised that because of national
economic trends the industrial market has softened recently and that this may be a
All studies to date have found that business choses to locate in Long Island City
because of its central location. Access to major transportation routes, proximity to
customers, suppliers and labor are seen as the main advantages. The reasonable cost
of space and suitability of building type were other, less frequently mentioned,
The average firm in Hunters Point is not large. The DCP survey found the average
number of employees per business to be 30. This finding is consistent with the data
from the other studies. A firm with 30 employees is considered to be a small to
moderate sized firm. Small firms are an important employment source. According to
an Interface reports, "studies have shown that about 60% of all jobs in the U.S. are
generated by firms with 20 or fewer employees". The average Hunters Point firm
occupies about one and a half floors with 17,000 square feet.
New firms in Hunters Point employ fewer employees and take up less space than older
businesses. The majority of firms that have been established for less than five years
have fewer than 10 employees, while the majority of businesses ongoing for over five
years, have eleven or more employee. It is clearly indicated that the longer a business
has been at its present location, the greater the number of square feet of space it
According to the DCP survey, the majority of the firms in Hunters Point (65%) rent their
space. This is an increase from the 49% that the 1980 Interface Study found and may
indicate a trend toward rentals. Firms that rent are more vulnerable to neighborhood
changes than businesses that own their space. This is one factor which will need to be
considered in planning for waterfront re-zoning. The vulnerability of firms is further
illustrated by the short length of their leases: an average of only 5.6 years. The
average rent per square foot came to approximately $5.00 in 1980. This is consistent
with the average of $4.56 psf that a Community Planning Board # 2 study found. Rents
are generally higher than real estate brokers and articles indicate.
The DCP survey found that the average length of time in business at the present
location was only 18 years. In contrast, the 1979 C.B. 2 study found 21 years, and the
1980 Interface Study found 33 years. According to the Interface Study, over half the
firms investigated were initially located in Manhattan and Brooklyn, indicating that Long
Island City has served as a relocation source for businesses when rents, space or
neighborhood changes took place in Manhattan or Brooklyn. Both the Queens College
Study and the Interface Study found that almost all the businesses surveyed had their
principal offices in Long Island City, (90% and 83% respectively). This indicates a local
commitment to the area.
The vast majority of the firms in the DCP Study (80%) said they planned to remain at
their present location. Only 7% stated that they were planning on moving; 13% were
unsure. 30% said they plan to expand their business in the near future while 31% said
they were unsure and 39% said they definitely would not be expanding. The 30%
expansion figure is generally consistent with the findings of other studies.
The majority of the firms in the DCP study have their customers and suppliers in the
New York City or the Metropolitan area. This contrasts to the Interface Study which
found that less than half the firms studied had customers and suppliers in New York
City or the Metropolitan area. That study found that about half the customers and
suppliers were national or international. It is probable that newer, smaller firms are
locating in Hunters Point that are more closely connected to a relatively local market,
again a good indication that Hunters Point firms have a commitment to their present
Hunters Point is a very important source of employment for semi-skilled and unskilled
workers. Of the total number of industrial employees in the DCP survey, 29% were
unskilled, 17% semi-skilled and 23% craftsmen or foremen. Forty percent of workers in
the industrial firms in Hunters Point live in Queens. Most of the rest of the workers
come from other parts of New York City. Approximately 40% of the industrial
employees in Hunters Point use cars to get to work, a fact which has great importance
for planning the impact of new development on transportation systems.
The most frequent complaint of industrial firms in Long Island City (documented by four
studies) is crime. About half the respondents in the DCP survey said crime is a
disadvantage of Hunters Point. Break-ins, muggings and prostitution were mentioned.
This complaint about crime should be taken seriously but it also should be viewed
within an appropriate context. New York City industrial firms in all studies consistently
say that crime is their biggest problem. Hunters Point is served by the 108the Police
Precinct. The crime rate in the 108th is lower than the crime rate in the majority of the
other New York City precincts. (See Community Facilities section for further discussion
of crime statistics.)
The other major problem in Hunters Point is the lack of adequate parking. There is
competition between commuters and workers for curbside parking. Cars are double
parked on streets and sidewalks, making truck loading difficult. (See transportation
portion of report for detailed discussion.) Since at least 84% of the firms in the DCP
survey use trucks for transport, this is a serious problem. According t the C.B. 2 Study,
firms use an average of 69 trucks per week. Another major complaint is that streets are
in poor condition. 18% of the firms in the DCP mentioned this. Streets need repaving
and pothole repair. Sanitation is also another issue. 15% of the DCP respondents said
the industrial area was dirty.
The City has made a commitment in several ways to supporting the Long Island City
industrial community. The area bordered by Queens Plaza on the north, 30th Street on
the east and Newtown Creek on the south was designated as an In-Place Industrial
Park in 1980 by the Public Development Corporation. The Industrial Park Programs
have improved the physical environment, provided supplemental services and given
low-interest loans for land acquisition, building renovation and new equipment. Grants
to install security devices have been given; energy audits have been conducted; 21
vacant City-owned lots have been fenced and/or cleared, and job training for machine
operators is being carried on by the Private Industry Council.
Industrial firms in the In-Place Industrial Park have received a variety of financial
incentives. Specifically, they have gotten the following:
3 Urban Development Action Grants
4 Revolving Load Fund Loans
7 Industrial and Commercial Incentives Board Tax Abatements
4 Industrial Development Agency Revenue Bonds
In 1981, Community Board 2 established a Local Development Corporation. Because
other LDC's serve the Woodside and Sunnyside areas of the Board, the Community
Board 2 LDC is to focus on Long Island City. The LDC organized and successfully bid
for NYC Grants and funding but the Politically Correct Queens Borough President
decided that the Queens Overall Economic Development Corporation should take
responsibility for development activities. The CB 2 LDC was terminated.
RESIDENTIAL POPULATION AND USES:
A small residential community co-exists with the industrial uses in Hunters Point. These
two uses which are generally thought of as incompatible have surprizingly proved to be
comfortable with one another an mutually beneficial to each other. the industrial and
commercial businesses provide jobs within walking distance for residents. The mix of
housing and industrial firms creates a 24 hour environment: manufacturing employees
are present during the daytime and residents are present at night, unlike Long Island
City, to enhance the security of Hunters Point industrial firms.
The residential population in Hunters Point has been gradually declining since 1960. It
dropped from approximately 7,000 in 1960 to 6,000 in 1970 to 5,000 in 1980. The
ethnic composition of the population has also been changing. The percent White has
dropped from 95% in 1960 to 75% in 1980. The original Italian and Irish community is
gradually being supplemented by Hispanic and Asian people. These people are
categorized as "other" and "American Indian, etc." and now represent 23% of the
population. The close-knit inter-generational community still exists but is gradually
disappearing with the increasing numbers of newcomers to the area. The median age
of the population is decreasing as well. The number of one person households has
increased (28% in 1970; 36% in 1980). Residents are moderate and middle income.
The average median income of Hunters Point families in 1980 ($13,893) was about
$7,000 below the average for Queens ($20,506).
Hunters Point has approximately 400 residential buildings with about 2,300 units. The
housing is scattered among warehouses and industrial buildings. It tends to cluster in
areas but rarely is any block completely residential. The homes are old but generally
well maintained. Almost the entire housing stock (over 90%) was constructed before
1940. In the ten year period between 1970 and 1980, only 62 housing units were
added to Hunters Point's housing stock. 71% of the residences have one to nine units.
The housing is a mix of one family, two family, old law Tenements, and small walk-up
buildings. there are no elevator apartment houses. In 1968, the houses on 45th
Avenue between 21st and 23rd Streets were designated as a Landmark block by the
Landmarks Commission. these classic brownstone homes are therefore protected.
Many have been recently renovated.
The portion of occupied housing units in Hunters Point that is renter occupied is high
(86%). The rents are relatively low, ranging from $110-166. The median rent for
Queens is $238. The median value of owner occupied housing units in Hunters Point is
also lower than that of Queens, (a range of $27,500 - 40,600 compared to $52,500).
Because the houses in Hunters Point are quite old, unless they are periodically
renovated and very well-maintained, they can easily fall into disrepair. A field survey by
the Department of City Planning in 1980 indicated that the majority of residences (58%)
were in fair to poor condition. Hunters Point housing appears to be experiencing a
problem with aging and deterioration. The ability to obtain insurance and finance loans
for rehabilitation was enhanced in 1981 with the establishment of the Special Hunters
Point Mixed Use District which changed the area's zoning from heavy manufacturing
(M3-1) to a district permitting both residential and manufacturing uses. Upgrading of
residences may now take place as a result of the Special District status.
Although the Special District takes care of some of the problems of residents in the
area, others remain. The on-going conflicts between residential and manufacturing
uses continue. Truck traffic on residential streets bothers residents because of the
noise, dirt, wear and wear on the streets, blocking of sidewalks and the danger to
children. There is not enough on-street- parking; residents and workers compete for
spaces. And occasionally industrial firms have noises, odors, garbage, or activities that
There are three commercial strips in Hunters Point: (1) Vernon Boulevard, (2) Jackson
Avenue and (3) Queens Plaza. These retail areas serve not only the residential
population, but also the day-time industrial and commercial population. Vernon
Boulevard is the major local commercial street. According to a report prepared for
Community Board #2 by AKRF, Inc., there are 77 active stores on Vernon Boulevard
between Borden Avenue and 44th Drive. Food, liquor, and hardware stores, as well as
tailors, printers, restaurants and bars are on Vernon Boulevard. In addition, there are a
number of conversions of storefronts to apartments and artists' studios, indicating that
there are more storefront than the retail market can support.
According to the report, Jackson Avenue has 30 storefronts with stores that serve
workers from the nearby industries. There are 23 retail establishments along both sides
of Queens Plaza. Neither Vernon Boulevard nor Jackson Avenue have any stores that
offer comparison goods. The Queens Plaza area includes on furniture store, and small
men's and women's clothing stores.
There are few office buildings in Hunters Point. At Queens Plaza and on Jackson
Avenue, there are less than ten office buildings. The conversion of the Chicle and
Bucilla Buildings on Thompson Place, if successful, will bring an additional one million
square feet of office space to the area. The space has been on the market for ten
months and has not yet attracted any businesses. Because a large amount of office
space has come onto the market in Manhattan in the last year, the difficulty in renting
the Thompson Place buildings may be temporary.
The conversion of the Thompson Place buildings to offices has raised the question of
whether or not other such conversions would be feasible in Long Island City and the
extent of them. A survey to determine the number of potentially convertible
manufacturing buildings was conducted by the Department of City Planning and the
Public Development Corporation in the Spring of 1982. The survey area included the
Hunters Point Study Area plus the area east of Sunnyside Yard to 35th Street.
According to the PDC, buildings that lend themselves to conversion had to have at least
100,000 square feet with a floor size of at least 30,000 square feet. Based on this
criteria, only 21 sites were found. Using a less stringent criteria DCP located 34 sites.
Many of the sites were in poor locations for office use. The most likely buildings were
department store warehouse buildings on 47th Avenue near the Thompson Place
converted buildings (not in the Hunters Point Study Area). PDC identified only seven
potentially convertible buildings in the Hunters Point Study Area. Therefore, it appears
that Long Island City does not have a great number of manufacturing buildings
appropriate for conversion to office use and that his is not a major issue for the area.
One of the major assets of Hunters Point is its superb transportation access. The
area is a crossroad for both vehicular and public transit routes. The deteriorated
condition of bridges and streets, traffic congestion, and inadequate parking are the
main transportation problems in the area.
_Primary Arterial_: Hunters Point is the place where major arterial roads from Queens
and Long Island converge and feed into midtown Manhattan. The Queens Midtown
Tunnel and the Queensborough Bridge provide direct access to and from Manhattan.
The Long Island Expressway provides access to and from Queens. The Pulaski Bridge
provides access to Brooklyn and to the Brooklyn/Queens Expressway. Queens
Boulevard (from the east) and Northern Boulevard (from the north) merge at Queens
Plaza and lead to the Queensborough Bridge. The Long Island Expressway comes in
from eastern Long Island to the Queens Midtown Tunnel whose entrance is at 11th
Street and 51st Avenue in Hunters Point. These major arterial roads bring a
tremendous number of cars through Hunters Point. The excellent vehicular access in
Hunters Point is vitally important to the industries there since many firms depend upon
the efficient movement of goods and materials to and from the area. This access,
however, also brings congestion to the area since many workers find it convenient to
drive to their jobs and commuters find it convenient to drive to Hunters Point, park their
cars, and ride the subway to work in Manhattan.
_Major Local Streets_: The street system is laid out in a basic grid pattern with one
major arterial, Jackson Avenue, traversing the grid on a diagonal. Major north-south
access through Hunters Point is provided by Jackson Avenue which is fed from the
north by Northern Boulevard. Jackson Avenue leads to the Pulaski Bridge which is the
only route to Brooklyn in the Hunters Point area. Other north-south streets are Vernon
Boulevard, 11th and 21st Streets. Vernon Boulevard and 21st Street cross Queens
Plaza. 11th Street leads directly to the Pulaski Bridge. There are few major east-west
local streets. Most of the east-west streets are alternating one way streets. Thomason
Avenue, 44th Drive and Borden Avenue are the major local two way, east-west streets.
Thomason Avenue crosses the Sunnyside Yard and connects Hunters Point to Queens
Boulevard; 44th Drive connects Jackson Avenue to the northern waterfront; and Borden
Avenue runs continuously from Sunnyside to the southern waterfront.
_Analysis of Vehicular Traffic_: The Department of City Planning conducted an
analysis of existing vehicular traffic patterns based upon mechanical count data
collected in May, 1982 and field observation conducted in September and October,
1982. Twenty four hour mechanical counts were taken at six intersections. The manual
counts were taken at seven intersections over a two hour period during the AM and PM
peak periods as determined from the mechanical count data. Data from the
mechanical and manual counts were used to determine the Level of Service (LOS) at
which street and intersections are operating. Level of Service is a measure based on
the volume and capacity of an intersection. A volume to capacity ration (V/C) is
calculated for each intersection. The volume is the number of vehicles entering an
intersection during the peak hour; the capacity is the maximum number of vehicles that
can enter the intersection in one hour under an assumed set of conditions. The Level
of Service can range from "A", the best, to "F", the worst.
High traffic volumes were observed at the selected Hunters Point intersections. A total
of approximately 16,000 vehicles passed through seven intersections during the two
hour peak AM or PM manual count period. The intersection at Jackson Avenue and
11th Street had the greatest volume of traffic, followed by the intersection at Jackson
Avenue and 21st Street. Most of the major streets, however, can handle the high traffic
volumes because they are wide enough and have appropriately time traffic signals.
The Level of Service at five out of the seven intersections studied was rated as good
("A" or "B" level). Two intersections have problems. The intersection at 44th Drive and
21st Street operates at a Level of Service "E" in the AM peak which means there is
congestion and intolerable delays at that time. During the PM peak hours it operates at
a "C" level which means it has a stable flow with acceptable delays. The intersection at
Vernon Boulevard and Borden Avenue operates at a Level of Service of "D" during AM
peak which indicates a tolerable delay, approaching unstable flow. Its Level of Service
at the PM peak is much better. This intersection does not have a traffic light and could
be upgraded significantly with the addition of signalization.
_Truck Routes and Truck Traffic_: The primary truck routes for through truck traffic are
Vernon Boulevard and Jackson Avenue. 11th and 21st Streets are utilized to a lesser
extent. The DCP traffic analysis shows that the Study Area has an unusually high
percentage of trucks. During the AM peak at the seven intersections studies, trucks
represented an average of 20% of the vehicles passing through; 14% during the PM
peak. At some individual approaches to intersections the proportion of trucks was as
high as 31%. In Hunters Point, much of the truck traffic is through traffic, but a good
portion of it originates within the area. Many of the side street are heavily used for the
loading and unloading of trucks. This sometimes creates bottlenecks; at times the
passage of through traffic is completely blocked. The movement of large tractor trailers
and heavy duty trucks along narrow side street slows down traffic on these streets.
_Parking_: Commuters, residents and industrial workers compete for on-street parking
in Hunters Point. All studies of manufacturing firms in Hunters Point have found that a
major complaint of businesses is the lack of adequate parking in the area. The
Department of City Planning surveyed parking in the are bounded by 44th Drive, 21st
Street, Newtown Creek and the East River. On-street parking is generally governed by
alternate side of the street parking regulations. Metered parking exists along the major
arterial roads of Vernon Boulevard and Jackson Avenue. 2nd Street and parts of 5th
Street do not have posted parking regulations. Some streets become congested
because of truck loading and double parking. Cars that are parked on sidewalks or
extending from driveways into the streets are also problems. On-street parking spaces
are generally filled early in the morning by workers at nearby businesses and
commuters traveling to work in Manhattan. Total on-street parking, assuming 20 cars
on short blocks and 40 on long blocks, is approximately 1,900 spaces in the survey
The majority of off-street parking spaces are private, for the use of employees of
industrial firms. There are approximately 1500 off-street parking spaces in the survey
area. Only 363 of these spaces are in commercial lots. There are four of these parking
lots. The single largest concentration of private parking is provided by Pepsi Cola which
has 280 spaces. The four commercial lots are 100% full by 9:00 AM. Many of the
private employee lots are only partially filled indicating excess capacity. A large
municipal garage at Jackson Avenue and Queens Boulevard (not in the survey area but
in the Hunter Point Study Area) can hold 1.087 cars; it is usually filled by 9:30 AM on
weekdays. On-street parking and commercial parking in the area is already stretched
beyond their limits; there is no excess capacity for this type of parking on a typical
_Capital Budget Projects_: There are a number of bridges and streets scheduled for
rehabilitation with capital budget funds in Hunters Point. When completed, these
projects should improve the flow of traffic. While under construction, the projects will
cause temporary disruptions.
The Queens Boulevard Bridge over Sunnyside Yard is in need of rehabilitation. It was
scheduled in the FY '83 Capital Budget for reconstruction in FY '84. The bridge at
Thompson and Skillman Avenues is to be reconstructed. Special capital funding has
been arranged to create a supporting environment for the new office space in the
converted factory buildings at Thompson Avenue between 30th Street and 31st Street.
Pedestrian walkways are to be added to the Thompson Avenue Bridge and the Queens
Boulevard Bridge rehabilitation already in the pipeline.
There are three bridges that are over the Long Island Railroad North Branch tracks.
These railroad tracks are no longer used. The bridges are over Vernon Boulevard, 11th
Street and 21st Street. They are in poor condition and were scheduled in the FY '83
Capital Budget for rehabilitation in 1987. The re-use of the land where the old tracks
are will help to determine the type of rehabilitation these bridges should receive. The
New York City Department of Transportation has been considering filling in the land
under the bridges since the tracks are not in use. Their proposal recommends
investigating the reuse of the railroad track "cut" as a major local street leading to the
waterfront. That plan would need the space under the bridge to remain open. The
department of City Planning and the Department of Transportation will be studying
these issues further to determine the best treatment of the bridges.
Another bridge scheduled for rehabilitation is the Pulaski Bridge over Newtown Creek.
This project is presently in construction. The 49th Avenue Bridge runs over Sunnyside
Yard and is scheduled for rehabilitation design in FY '83 and construction in FY '87.
49th Avenue connects Hunters Point with Maspeth and Sunnyside. It crossed Dutch
Kills Canal on another bridge which is presently being completely rebuilt.
The public transit facilities are excellent in Hunters Point. As with vehicular routes, the
bus, subway and railroad line converge in Hunters Point as they pass through from
Queens and Long Island to midtown Manhattan.
_Buses_: Survey indicates, Hunters Point is served by three private bus companies
plus the New York City Transit Authority. Two lines go to Manhattan over the
Queensborough Bridge from Queens Plaza. Buses from 21st Street and Queens Plaza
go to eastern Queens. The #103 bus runs north-south along Vernon Boulevard and
has its terminus at 50th Avenue. The #B61 bus whose terminus is at 45th Avenue,
travels on 11th Street across the Pulaski Bridge to Brooklyn.
_Railroads_: The Long Island Railroad stops at the Hunters Point Station located at
49th Avenue along Skillman Avenue. Commuters take the #7 train to Grand Central
from there. The LIRR also stops during rush hours at 53rd Avenue. Commuters walk
three blocks north to the Vernon/Jackson stop of the #7 line.
The railroad lines and yards in Hunters Point have played a significant role in the
shaping of the area as explained earlier. They continue to affect the use of Hunters
Point. Sunnyside Yard continues to be used by the Long Island Railroad as a storage
and repair yard. The tracks on the waterfront block between Borden Avenue and 54th
Avenue are no longer used or in existence. That property is used by Norcem Concrete
Plant. A large span of tracks from 2nd Street to Vernon Avenue between Borden and
53rd Avenues, however, is used by the Long Island Railroad to store diesel trains. The
Railroad's North Branch line which runs between 48th and 49th Streets to the East
River, was abandoned in 1976.
_Subways_: Six subway lines run through Hunters Point. The RR and the N come
from 59th Street in Manhattan to the Queens Plaza area. The E and the F train
come from 53rd Street in Queens at 23rd Street and Ely Avenue in Hunters Point and
then onto Queens Plaza. The #7 Flushing Line train leaves Grand Central Station in
Manhattan to its first Queens stop at Vernon/Jackson Avenue. It goes on to the
Hunters Point stop which connects to the Long Island Railroad. The #7 becomes
elevated and makes another stop in Hunters Point at 45th Road/Court House Square,
and another at Queensborough Plaza. The GG comes from eastern Queens, has stops
at Queens Plaza, Court Square, and 21st Street (Van A1st), and goes south to
_Analysis of Vernon/Jackson Subway Stop_: The closest station to the Waterfront is
the Vernon/Jackson stop on the #7 Flushing line. The average walk from any point in
the district to the Vernon/Jackson subway station is four blocks for an average walk
time of four minutes.
The Vernon/Jackson Station provides excellent and rapid access to midtown Manhattan
as well as connecting with a number of transfer points. The next stop after
Vernon/Jackson on the Manhattan bound line is Grand Central Station, where a
transfer is possible to the uptown and downtown Lexington Avenue lines, both express
and local. The #7 continues crosstown to 5th Avenue and 42nd Street (where transfer
if possible to the B, D, F and JFK lines) and further west to Time Square (transfer
possibilities are N, QB, RR, #1, #2, #3, - West Side IRT lines). The total travel time
(which includes walking, access to the subway station, waiting for the train and riding on
the train) for a resident who would live on the waterfront in Hunters Point and who
would work in midtown near Grand Central Station would be approximately 15 minutes.
Similarly, the total trip time (including the transfer) would be about 21 minutes to a work
location in the Brooklyn Bridge area (most government offices). The total trip time to a
work location in the Wall Street area (including the World Trade Center) would be about
An evaluation of the current ridership levels, the capacity, crowding and stairway usage
of the Vernon/Jackson Station was made by the Department of City Planning. The
findings show that there is excess capacity and that additional passengers could be
absorbed. Some modifications are recommended if the number of passengers would
be increase. The Manhattan-bound trains at the Vernon/Jackson stop during the AM
peak period (7 a.m. - 9 a.m.) have a utilization ranging from 34% to 83%. The highest
load occurs from 7:40 to 8:00 a.m.; it would be possible to run more trains during that
time to avoid overcrowding. Queens-bound trains in the 4:00 p.m. - 6 p.m. peak lower
ridership levels and less utilization. During a 24 hour period, the total turnstile count at
the Vernon/Jackson station is 5,620 passengers.
Platform counts conducted by the Department of City Planning confirm the Transit
Authority passenger counts. Platform counts were done at ten minute intervals for the
AM peak from 7:30 to 9:00 AM and the peak from 4:00 to 6:00 PM. Each car of each
train was rated either A, B, or C according to the degree of crowding (A being the least
crowded with few standees, B meaning many standees and C as most crowded with
maximum number of standees). Overall, most Manhattan-bound AM peak trains were
rated B (24 out of 38 trains). The trains do have capacity to absorb more passengers.
A 2.4 minute headway was observed for the 90 minute period. The most severe
crowding occurred when the time interval between trains was not uniform. When there
was a temporary 5 minute interval, crowding occurred and it took two trains at the
normal 2.4 minute headway to get back to normal passenger levels. The eastbound
service during the AM peak had a 2.6 minute headway. All these trains have excellent
additional capacity. During the PM peak, very few eastbound trains received a C rating
indicating additional capacity. There was a 2.7 headway. The westbound service
towards Manhattan during the PM peak had all trains rated as A, with 2.5 overall
Stairway counts were conducted on the Vernon/Jackson Station stairways during the
AM and PM peaks. The station has four stairways, two Manhattan-bound, two
Queens-bound. Observation of stairway useage showed that there were no problems
for three of the stairways. Slight congestion was observed on the Manhattan-bound
stairway at Vernon Boulevard which is the most heavily used during both time periods.
If additional passengers used this stairway, some problems might result. If the
passenger load could be more evenly distributed to other stairways, some congestion
could be alleviated. For example, the underutilized Manhattan-bound stairway on 50th
Avenue could be turned around to face in the opposite direction toward Vernon
Boulevard to attract more people.
The Hunters Point Study Area generally has a lack of community facilities. Residents
of the area must travel outside their neighborhood to obtain many services. If new
residential development comes to the Hunters Point waterfront, it will need additional
community facilities in the neighborhood to make up for the present shortage of such
_Education_: There are no public elementary, junior high or high schools in Hunters
Point. Students from Hunters Point are bussed to the following Public schools:
CAPACITY NUMBER OF
SCHOOL ADDRESS GRADES (1980) STUDENTS (10/81) UTILIZATION
P.S. 76 36-36 10th St K-6 965 617 64%
I.S. 204 36-41 28th St 7-9 1,428 875 61%
These schools are north of Queens Plaza in Ravenwood and Dutch Kills. They are
about a mile away from the center of Hunters Point. Enrollment in P.S. 76 remained
stable from 1980 to 1981. I.S. 204's enrollment dropped by about 50 students during
the same period. The original public elementary school for Hunters Point was P.S. 1
located 21st Street and 46th Avenue. The school was closed in 1974.
Many students in Hunters Point attend St. Mary's Parochial School at 10-24 49th
Avenue. This school has grades K-8 and in 1986, had an enrollment of 286 students.
_Recreation_: Hunters Point has a number of parks and playground. The largest park
is John F. Murray Playground at 21st Street and 45th Avenue. This two and a half acre
park was recently reconstructed. It has a full range of playground facilities. John
Andrews playground is the closest park to the waterfront. It is only a half acre and has
playground equipment, a boccie court and a storage building. This park is scheduled in
the 1983 Capital Budget for rehabilitation. The work is to be completed in 1983 under
Parks Department "lump sum" funding (P245Q).
There are several sitting areas in the north part of Hunters Point. The only public
access to the waterfront in Hunters Point is provided by a small pier with benches at the
end of 44th Drive. This facility was put in by the New York City Department of Ports
and Terminals in 1979. It was dedicated to the community by Mayor Koch.
_Health_: There are no health facilities or services in Hunters Point, or in Community
Board #2. The nearest hospitals are north of Queens Plaza, about a mile away. These
are private facilities. The closest public hospital is Elmhurst General, approximately
three and a half miles away. These hospitals are heavily utilized. There are no clinics,
mental health or social services facilities in Hunters Point.
_Police and Fire_: Both Police and Fire services are located in Hunters Point. The
108th Police Precinct is at 5-47 50th Avenue and Fire Engine Company 258 and
Ladder Company 115 are at 10-40 47th Avenue. The 108th Precinct is co-terminus
with Community Board #2. The majority of the rest of the precincts in New York City
have more crime than the 108th Precinct. Out of 73 precincts in the City, the 108th
ranked "42" in total crimes in 1981, with 1 equal to the highest crime precinct and 73
equal to the lowest crime precinct. From 1975 to 1981 the number of crimes committed
and the proportion of crimes relative to other precincts has significantly increased for
the 108th Precinct. This increase has been due to a jump in the number of crimes
against property. The number of crimes against persons has remained relatively
unchanged between 1975 and 1981. Recently, from 1981 to 1982, there has been a
decrease in all types of crimes in the 108th Precinct.
_Cultural Facilities_: There are no libraries in Hunters Point until CitiBank is complete.
The nearest branches are in Sunnyside at 43-06 Greenpoint Avenue (one and a half
miles away) and north of the Queensborough Bridge at 10-43 41st Avenue
(Queensbridge) (about a mile away).
In 1976, the Institute for Art and Urban Resources leased the former elementary school,
P.S. 1, from the City. The building is now used as an art gallery and studio space for
artists. "P.S. 1" has become internationally known and highly regarded for its
_Other Community Facilities_: Hunters Point has two post offices. The most centrally
located one is 21st Street between 46th Avenue and 46th Road. The other is on
Queens Plaza between 24th Street and Crescent Street. It serves the commercial
users of Queens Plaza.
The County Court House at Jackson Avenue and Court Square is a building with
Landmark Preservation status. Because the building does not have air conditioning, it
is only used seasonally. A jail behind the Court House is no longer used. The site is to
be rebuilt as a public parking garage.
There is a municipal garage with a capacity for 1,086 cars at the intersection of Jackson
Avenue, Queens Boulevard and Queens Plaza. This garage is generally filled by 9:30
a.m. on weekdays.
PLANNING ISSUES, GOALS, AND OBJECTIVES
The steps in any Planning process are, or should be, somewhat similar. The
conclusions will, of course, very according to the situation and issues being addressed.
In Planning, it is important to consider the following steps: research and analysis of the
subject; determination of goals; development of plans to attain those goals; and
implementation of the plans. None of these steps is simple and often difficult choices
must be made. However, it is important to realize that in Planning, the implementation
of a specific plan comes only at the end of a complete evaluation and understanding of
how that specific plan or proposal relates to the goals that have been determined
through the research and analysis.
The earlier discussion of the history and characteristics of Hunters Point can serve as a
basic framework for a consideration of the possible goals of a Plan for Hunters Point.
In this paper, I suggest that the following four goals serve as the underlying premise of
any plans for the Hunters Point area.
1. The maintaining of the Industrial community.
2. The preservation and support of the existing Residential community.
3. The development of the vacant Waterfront land and the creation of Public access to
4. The successful integration of new Commercial uses into the community.
The Planning challenge is the development of a Plan that is best able to reconcile these
1. _Maintaining the Industrial Community_
Hunters Point remains one of New York City's major industrial communities. Despite
serious losses in manufacturing jobs in the City as a whole, Hunters Point has retained
its strength in the last decade. The vacancy rates have dropped and employment, it
appears, has held constant. Hunters Point, however, is not strictly a local industry
community. Hunters Point provides jobs and services for the entire City of New York
and the New York Metropolitan area. In this way, the goal of retaining the strength and
viability of Industry must be seen, not only as a neighborhood goal, but, also, as a
larger citywide goal. With major unemployment, particularly for blue-collar and
semi-skilled workers, it is particularly important that those existing industries providing
jobs are protected and encouraged. Hunters Point's industrial area is not an industrial
zone in distress. It is not characterized by abandonment and neglect. It is not an
industrial community whose viability is in question. The location, transportation access,
and existing industrial infrastructure and linkages, all contribute to the conclusion that
the Hunters Point Industrial community is strong _because_ it is in Hunters Point.
None-the-less the industries are faced with many serious problems. Some of these
problems are those faced by all industries in the current economy. The cost of new
industrial construction is prohibitive and, thus, it is considered a "given" that no new
industrial construction is possible in New York City. Monies for expansion and capital
improvements are much tighter with the high interest rates that have been prevalent in
recent years. The number of small business bankruptcy has been steadily increasing.
It is, thus, in view of these national trends, that the current strengths of Hunters Point
must be measured. Other problems faced by the industrial community are more local in
origin. The problems of crime are particularly significant, as are such issues as energy
costs, parking road conditions, etc. These issues are being addressed by both the
Hunters Point Local Development Corporation and by the Public Development
Corporation. It is particularly significant that their efforts are supported and reflected in
the Community Board's and City's priorities.
Finally, it is important to note that the Hunters Point industrial community connect with
the larger industrial communities of Maspeth, Long Island City, and Sunnyside in
Queens, and, Greenpoint in Brooklyn. Together these industrial zones account for a
large part of the industrial space/jobs in New York City. The weakening or erroding of
any one of these areas would impact on the others. As industrial uses are being forced
out of Manhattan, it is important that existing desirable industrial areas be preserved in
the Boroughs. Whereas the City lost thousands of industrial jobs because it was
unable to stop the migration of industries out of the City; the situation in Hunters Point is
one where the industries are not looking to leave. Thus, all plans for industrial areas
like Hunters Point must consider the encouragement of the existing industries and not
foster policies that would undermine the "organic" strengths of these industrial zones.
2. _The Preservation and Support of the Existing Residential Community_
Although small, the existing population of Hunters Point has a strong sense of
neighborhood identity. Many of the residents have lived in the area for generations,
and most of the new residents have easily integrated into the community. Although
economically mixed, the majority of Hunters Point residents are working class families.
While many of the residents own their own homes, there are still about 60% of the
The relationship of the residential community to the industrial community has been a
story "love-hate" relationship. Whereas many Hunters Point residents work in the
industries or own commercial uses, such as restaurants, etc. that are supported by the
industrial community; they are, also, impacted by the noise, pollution, and traffic
congestion generated by industry. When the Hunters Point Mixed Use Zone was
designated, the intent was to recognize the existence of the residential community and
to give them legal zoning status. The zone, however, was designed to preserve the
existing residential community, not to promote the large scale development of additional
It is imperative that the City recognize the special needs, especially in the area of
services, of a mixed residential/industrial neighborhood. The maintenance of
adequately paved streets, for example, not only benefits the industrial trucks, but also
encourages the use of designated truck routes. At present, many of the truck routes
are in need of paving and the trucks often go on residential streets. Additionally
needed are traffic policing and the provision of sufficient parking facilities.
Any new developments that are proposed for the waterfront will, of course, impact on
the existing residents. Since the residents of Hunters Point are middle income they will,
certainly, not be served by any luxury housing that would be developed. Indeed, many
residents are anxious that a luxury housing proposal would eventually displace them.
They are also concerned about the scale of any new developments. Today's economy
has not only limited new construction to luxury housing or commercial development; it,
also mandates that the new construction be high-rise (10+) stories. This type of
development, the existing residents feel, would totally alter the character of the Hunters
There is currently a tremendous shortage of middle income housing in the City of New
York. Should the residents of Hunters Point be displaced there are few places they
could go to find affordable rents. The existing residential community has functioned
well and in a supportive way in relation to the industrial community. This symbiotic
relationship would not be replace by luxury housing.
3. _The Successful Integration of Commercial Uses_
In recent years, the City of New York, has been concerned about attracting office, and
in particular, back office development in the Boroughs. As the costs of prime office
space in Manhattan have risen, many businesses have either moved or moved their
back office facilities to Westchester, Long Island, or New Jersey. In an attempt to
retain some of this office development and the jobs associated with it, the Office of
Economic Development has indicated an interest in encouraging office space in the
Boroughs. Hunters Point is certainly an area whose proximity to Manhattan and access
to industrial firms would indicate a real potential as a location for office or back office
A massive proposal by Lazare Feres, is currently being implemented and, perhaps, will,
in the long run, serve as a magnet for other office development. The improvement of
the character of the area around Queens Plaza would, also, be an important step
towards marketing that area for office space.
Certainly not all the industrial buildings in Hunters Point are of a size and shape to lend
themselves to conversion to office space. Nor, with the possible exception of the
development of a special waterfront commercial zone, are the potential rentals
adequate to pay for the costs of new construction. Indeed, the earlier "hot" market for
commercial space has cooled. Properly integrated, some commercial uses could
complement the existing industrial and residential uses without endangering their
existence. Back office space, especially, could be developed relating to the industrial
character of the community and supporting the retail/commercial businesses owned by
some of the residents.
Whether prime office space can be marketed in the area, however, is less clear.
Without a "revitalization" of the area (similar to that proposed by luxury housing plans),
it is unlikely that the office space could compete with other office space either built or in
construction in Manhattan. Thus, the development of prime office space could pose
many of the same displacement problems as those of luxury housing and
4. _The Development of the Vacant Waterfront Land and Creation of Public_
_Access to the Waterfront_
Whereas the industrial areas inland in Hunters Point are generally strong, the
waterfront is characterized by serious under-utilization. Much of the land is vacant.
Even in areas, such as the Daily News site, development being considered does not
use the entire property. At present, much of the land is standing fallow. With the
exception of a few industries, such as NorCem, the majority of the uses are not tied to
their location on the waterfront.
Although there have been numerous studies and proposals for major developments
along the waterfront, none have, as yet, been implemented or even approved. The
issues involved in a decision on a plan for the waterfront are very complex. As has
already been stated, the costs (as related to possible revenue) of industrial construction
make the possibility of finding interest in industrial construction on the waterfront
remote. Thus, it is that any other waterfront development would, in some way, be
altering the existing M3-1 zone. How that new development could be achieved without
jeopardizing the existence of the industrial and residential communities is the ultimate
The major interests that have been recently submitted for development on the
waterfront are proposals for luxury housing (Botnix) and the Queens Cultural Arts
Center. Additionally, some consideration has taken place for the development of a
mixed use waterfront zone. All of these proposals, certainly indicate a change of
character for the waterfront.
An analysis of the rationale for developing the waterfront is preliminary to any
discussion of the various plans. New York City has, for many years, neglected the
resource of its many miles of waterfront land. In recent years, the water-dependence of
many industries disappeared and, thus, many acres of waterfront land that had
originally provided water access to industries were no longer needed by those
industries. Many firms moved to other locations with better highway access and those
that stayed did nothing to open up the waterfront to public use. With a strong market
for the construction of luxury housing, several projects have, over the last few years,
been built along the City's waterfront. With the approval of these projects, the City has
been able (more or less successfully) to mandate the provision of public access
amenities such as plazas or promenades. Additionally, commercial and
commercial/residential redevelopment plans, such as Battery Park City, have also been
required to develop major waterfront amenities.
View corridors have been required and access overpasses have been mandated. The
fact that the profits resulting from major new commercial and/or luxury housing
construction are adequate to absorb the costs of public amenities, makes these types
of waterfront proposals very appealing to the City and to many community groups.
There are, however, certain difficulties with the reconciliation of this type of
development with the existing industrial and residential uses. As has been seen in such
areas as SOHO and now in Clinton in Manhattan, it is very difficult for industrial uses,
which can only offer a limited rental per square foot ($3-$5) to compete with the profits
generated by the sale or rental of luxury housing. Thus, when the two types of uses
compete for the same space it is rare for the industry to be able to remain. Renters are
particularly susceptible, but even owner occupied industries find the pressures to move
very strong. Indeed, the Loft Legislation, recently passed, had this very problem as one
of its prime focuses.
This same type of pressure is very evident in working class residential communities
such as the Lincoln Center Area, Chelsa, Yorkville, etc., where the real estate
development pressures for luxury housing or redevelopment have resulted in the
displacement of entire neighborhoods. It is not the construction of a single building of
luxury housing that results in this type of change. Rather, it is the speculative climate
that is created by the choice of that location that posits the "revitalization" of the
neighborhood. In order for a luxury housing developer to be able to get the luxury rents
from a housing development in Hunters Point, he assumes that his building will
eventually be one of many such luxury uses in the neighborhood. Otherwise, he could
not possible rent the units at the prices that would be needed to finance the
construction of the project.
Even the Queens Cultural Arts Center indicates that the success of the Cultural Arts
Center is based upon an area with "lofts, artists lofts, condominiums, and higher rent
apartments". Certainly most existing models of Cultural Centers have stimulated similar
neighborhoods. Indeed a unique aspect of the Cultural Arts Center proposal is that it
depends on this upgrading of the neighborhood to help finance the Center itself. As a
location for the Queens Cultural Arts Center, the waterfront is an ideal location. It
responds to the need for public access to the water. It provides a very visible and
accessible location from Manhattan, and yet, is also easily reached from Queens. The
placement of the Center would be a unique waterfront use, since New York City
currently has no waterfront Arts facility. Yet, in evaluating the plans, it is imperative to
realize that, without adequate provisions, the Arts Center, as well as the luxury housing
would seriously endanger the existing industrial and residential communities.
The significant Planning question thus asks: how can waterfront development and
public access be achieved without jeopardizing the first two goals of industrial health
and residential preservation? The present economy has exacerbated the problem. Not
only is it impossible to build new industrial space, it is, also, nearly impossible to build
middle, moderate, or low income housing. Moderate income housing, as characterized
by the existing Hunters Point residential community, might not have the same
"bulldozer" effect on industrial uses that is typical of luxury housing. Moderate income
communities and industrial communities have, with controls, been somewhat able to
coexist. Financing, however, for that type of housing construction is not available at this
The potential for the development of a commercial zone along the waterfront is one that
deserves consideration. As has been indicated, there have been several recent efforts
to develop Hunters Point as a potential location for office space. Although there have
always been provisions for office space along Queens Plaza, the interest in larger
industrial conversions, such as the Lazare Feres (Thomson Avenue) or the Plaxall
(Hunters Point Plaza) projects, have indicated a growing interest in the Hunters Point
area as a site for office and back office space. These office projects have, however,
thus far focused on rehabilitation of existing structures not on new construction. Also,
the recent approvals for office construction in Battery Park city and the Convention
Center have put the financial feasibility of new office construction in Hunters Point
somewhat in question. With a possible surplus of office space the market demand will
not foster high enough rentals to encourage commercial development along the
waterfront. It is, perhaps for this reason that the Department of City Planning is looking
at a mixed use (commercial/residential) possibility. Finally, there is the important need
to consider that in some areas commercial development, in much the same way as
luxury residential uses, has forced out industry. Any commercial zone would need to
focus on the controls that would be needed to protect the existing industry and
Even with adequate controls, it is imperative that whatever additional infrastructure and
service needs are generated by any new waterfront development would be provided.
Waterfront development would create new transportation demands both on mass
transit and streets; additional fire, police, and sanitation services would be required;
proper drainage and sanitary sewers would be needed. New housing would, also,
increase the demand on schools, hospitals, libraries, retail commercial strips, etc. All of
these issues need to be considered in any discussion of the development of the
Thus it is that in Planning for Hunters Point there are many issues to be evaluated and
considered. In many ways the goals are contradictory. It is, thus, the task of the
Planner to develop a strategy which, while recognizing the implications of various
proposals, suggests a plan that strives to encompass, rather than undermine or ignore,
the varied goals.