New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is getting a new view. Directly across the East River from Gracie Mansion is Hallets Point, an industrial stretch on the Queens waterfront that will be turned into a 2.4-million-square-foot mixed-use project. STUDIO V initially did zoning schemes for the project, but this spring Dattner Architects stepped in to oversee design. When completed, the $1.5 billion mixed-use complex, which is being developed by the Durst Organization, will include about 2,400 apartments, 20 percent of which will be set below market-rate.
Dattner has revealed new renderings for the project’s first building, which is tentatively scheduled to break ground this fall. Daniel Heuberger, a principal at the firm, said the buildings (eight in total) will be constructed on a rolling basis with each taking about two years to build.
The first of the 80/20 buildings comprises a pair of 20-story towers that rise from a residential and retail podium. The base is clad in high-performance concrete panels and is topped with a landscaped amenity deck. The towers face each other at an oblique angle, their interior faces clad in reflective glass that will bounce light onto the interstitial outdoor community space.
The building’s street facades have more opacity. Here, Dattner uses a pattern of red panels meant to differentiate the building from the countless glass towers along the Brooklyn and Queens waterfront. Heuberger said the two different cladding systems create something akin to a geode, as the building has a textured exterior and a crystalline interior.
Since this project sits right along the water, Dattner took steps to protect the buildings from rising sea levels and storm surge. During the ULURP process, all of the ground floor spaces were lifted five feet above street level. These structures will also be separated from the river by a waterfront park designed by James Corner Field Operations.
In terms of sustainability, Durst and Dattner have big goals. Heuberger said the entire project will generate its own electricity. To make that possible, new gas service will be brought into the project to power three co-generation plants. Waste heat from the generators will be used to heat the project’s water.
Along with a new supermarket and retail, the scheme also includes an MTA restroom and dispatch facility to support existing and possible future bus service to the area. Durst is also pushing for new private ferry service from the Queens waterfront to Manhattan. This seems plausible as Helena Rose Durst, a vice president at the organization, is also the president of New York Water Taxi.