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TF Cornerstone Demolishes Buildings By Newtown Creek to Make Way for 1,400-Unit Development

TF Cornerstone is currently demolishing two sites, pictured, by the Newtown Creek to make way for a 2-tower development (Photo: courtesy of Bob MacLagger)

Sept. 14, 2021 By Christian Murray

A large warehouse in Long Island City that was once home to City Harvest is currently being demolished to make way for another two-tower TF Cornerstone development on the waterfront.

The demolition of the warehouse—along with adjacent buildings—will clear the way for a 1,400-unit development on two contiguous parcels directly behind the massive Hunters Point South affordable housing development. The buildings currently being demolished are at 54-01 and 55-01 2nd St.

TF Cornerstone filed plans with the Dept. of Buildings in December to develop the two towers: one to be 39 stories with 812 units, and the other at 34 stories with 575 units. The sites both face the Newtown Creek.

The development will also include public waterfront access, linking the Newtown Creek waterfront with Hunters Point South Park, according to the company.

TF Cornerstone is a prolific builder in Long Island City. It transformed the Hunters Point waterfront by building six residential towers on Center Boulevard (by Gantry Plaza State Park) over a 10-year period, comprised of 2,615 rental units and 184 condominiums.

The company is also close to completing its 1,194-unit project on Parcel C of the Hunters Point South development. Parcel C backs onto 2nd Street.

TF Cornerstone is developing the two sites on the bottom right in red. The sites are part of the Special Southern Hunters Point District established in 2008 (Source: City Planning)

TF Cornerstone is permitted to build the two towers where the warehouses were located—since the lots are part of the Special Southern Hunters Point District that was created in 2008. That district was established with the sprawling Hunters Point South development in mind, although these two parcels were not part of that 5,000-unit mega plan.

The company bought the two sites on 2nd Street in November 2018 for $285 million. The purchase appeared well timed, since it came days before Amazon said it planned to move to Long Island City. The Amazon plan, however, was abandoned in February 2019 following push-back from a number of elected officials and community groups.

TF Cornerstone had floated the idea in 2019 of creating a special district on 2nd Street that would incorporate the two sites. The rezoning area proposed would have roughly gone from the Newtown Creek to Borden Avenue—between 2nd Street and 5th Street.

The proposal involved rezoning some manufacturing space surrounding the LIRR tracks and decking over a 3 1/8 acre section of the Yard between 2nd and 5th Streets. The deck was to be used for park space and would connect to Vernon Boulevard.

The plan, however, was not embraced by Community board 2’s Land Use committee in a meeting in 2019.

In terms of its current plan, the company has yet to provide a timeline as to when it aims to break ground or complete construction.

TF Cornerstone is currently demolishing two sites by the Newtown Creek to make way for a 2-tower development. (Photo: courtesy of Bob MacLagger)

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