All renderings by the Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU)
According to the master plan for the 180-acre Sunnyside Yard development in Queens, the former storage and maintenance hub for Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, New Jersey Transit, and Long Island Rail Road will include 12,000 affordable apartments, making it the largest affordable housing development to be built in NYC since the middle-income Co-op City in the Bronx was completed in 1973 (h/t Wall Street Journal). The plan by the New York City Economic Development Corp. (EDC) outlines a $14.4 billion deck over the train yard on which the complex would be built. Half the housing in the development would be rental apartments for low-income families earning less than 50 percent of the area median income, with the other half set aside for affordable homeownership programs through Mitchell-Lama. The Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU) was identified to lead the planning process, and they have just released renderings and maps of the massive development.
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Photo via NYCEDC
The master planning process for the Sunnyside Yard project, a mammoth plan to build a new, fully planned neighborhood to Queens, will begin this summer, the city announced Thursday. Along with Amtrak, the city’s economic development corporation said it will form a steering committee made up of local leaders and planning experts who will organize meetings and workshops to gain feedback from local residents. The Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU) has officially been tapped to lead the planning process.
A 2017 feasibility study found 70 acres of the 180-acre development would be viable for development. According to the city, the project could bring between roughly 11,000 and 15,000 new housing units and 15 to 20 acres of open space, new schools and retail amenities. About 3,300 to 4,500 new permanently affordable units could also be created. As of last year, the plan has an estimated price tag of $10 billion.
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Via ReThink Studio
With its constant delays and malfunctions, Penn Station is becoming a worse and worse nightmare for countless commuters and visitors. Last year, Governor Cuomo revealed a plan to redevelop the train hub, one of the busiest in the country, by building a new train hall with restaurants and shops, but while the artful renovation will make Penn Station more attractive, it will do little to address the passenger congestion problem, according to think tank, ReThink Studio (h/t Crain’s). In response, the group came up with an idea called ReThinkNYC that would create a new transit hub in Sunnyside, Queens, to connect commuter lines with the subway system. Instead of making Penn Station the final stop for NJ Transit and LIRR commuters, trains would pass through instead of stopping and turning around.
All the details ahead
Of the new city initiatives laid out by Bill de Blasio last week during his State of the City address, few were as ambitious as the mayor’s plan to build 11,250 affordable apartments on Sunnyside Yards. But, as it turns out, more than just the mayor are looking to turn the 200-acre property into their legacy project. Crain’s reports that since the plan was announced, Governor Cuomo has emerged with his own ideas, namely tunnels that would bring the Long Island Rail Road into the heart of Midtown. Former Bloomberg administration Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff has also chimed in with a plan of his own that encompasses a huge new money-spinning convention center. But it doesn’t stop there; the clashing of ideas is just one of the burdens that comes with building on this coveted site—meaning we probably won’t see any affordable housing here for more than several decades.
More on the complications here