Long Island City’s unprecedented construction boom is bringing thousands of apartments to the market in the next year or two, but family-sized units are hard to come by. GDC Properties decided to fill that niche by building 38 two-family houses in Hunters Point, a section of the neighborhood where turn-of-the-century row homes bump up against warehouses.
“Our approach is to appeal to a pretty targeted niche of young families who want to take advantage of easy access to employment centers in Manhattan and Brooklyn,” said GDC co-chairman Adam Ginsburg. “People who have a couple of kids and need three bedrooms have few options, especially if they’re renters, within reasonable striking distance of Manhattan.”
The four-story homes will be the first large townhouse development in Long Island City in half a century. They’ll occupy half the block between 45th Road, 11th Street, 46th Avenue, and 21st Street, not far from Court Square, P.S. 1, and Sunnyside Yards.
And GDC has made the unusual decision to rent them out, instead of selling them. The 76 two- and three-bedroom duplexes will range from 1,900 to 2,300 square feet and rent for around $7,000 each, according to Ginsburg. The majority of the units are three-bedrooms, and most will have private outdoor space.
Lower duplexes will offer finished basements with a half bath and private backyards, and upper duplexes will have an extra penthouse level with a wetbar and refrigerator, as well as a private roof deck outfitted in granite pavers and an AstroTurf lawn.
The entire development will have access to a gated internal courtyard, pictured in the rendering below. Newman Design Architects are responsible for the look of the project.
Ginsburg added that the neighborhood was ideal for families, because the park across the street was renovated in 2014, the several-block-long Gantry Plaza State Park is a 10-minute walk away, and the area has “solid city schools,” some of which plan to expand in the near future. The G, 7, E, and M trains are around the corner in Court Square, and and the 7, N, W, E, M, and R trains are located half a mile away at Queensboro Plaza.
While GDC might consider selling the homes in the future, “we build it as if we’re gonna hold it for the long-term,” explained Ginsburg. “We think they could be very desirable to the for-sale market, if they convert to condominium. But that’s not our intention.”
Townhouses might seem like a low density form of development for skyscraper-filled Long Island City, but this site, like much of Hunters Point, is rather tightly zoned. The 55-foot-tall homes come close to maxing out the allowed density and height for this block, even if they contain fewer units than many urbanists would prefer for a project in a transit-rich ‘hood.
The Hawthorne, N.Y.-based developer purchased the 50,000-square-foot property for $37 million in 2014 and filed plans several months later. Construction kicked off last fall and is set to finish by the end of this year.