The first two affordable housing towers at Long Island City megaproject Hunter's Point South were rising rather nicely as of October 2013, but that progress screeched to a halt as the developers entered into a six-month-long scuffle with a contractor, specifically, the Florida company set to provide $13 million worth of windows for the two buildings' 925 units. Per the Wall Street Journal, the first panes that arrived last week were long overdue, with delivery previously scheduled for September. One tower was ready to get glassed in as of October, and the other in January. And don't think area residents haven't taken note of the arrested developmentback in February, a savvy tipster wrote in with some observations about the stalled towers.
The tipster speculated:
It is unclear if Related/Monadnock forgot to order windows, if the window contractor went bankrupt, or if the windows didn't fit on the building because of some design error on the part of the architect (SHoP). The superstructure is completed, but they removed the construction cranes until window installation is ready. Without windows, no work can be done on the interior. Either way this is very costly and embarrassing for Related and means that the completion of much-needed affordable housing is delayed. ... This would never happen if Related was developing luxury condos here. Serves them right for trying to do too much... like expanding into professional sports franchises. ...[V]isit the site, you wont see any activity. Atypical for a large project to stall considering the construction loan interest is accumulating. According to the WSJ, a spokeswoman for the developers described the kerfuffle as "an unavoidable delay of the delivery of the windows from an outside vendor," while that outside vendor retorted that "$7 million or $8 million of windows had been ready for months but the development partnership has tried to renegotiate the contract and refused to pay for them." Whoever is right here, the dispute is expected to get settled this week.
Ground was broken last March, and completion of Phase I, a $332 million project, was slated for 2015, with occupancy for the residential towers in 2014, but we'll see how that changes given this setback.
This is what construction looked like in late October, as the towers were rising:
If anyone has updated photos of the windowless (or gradually windowed) buildings, please do send them to the tipline.
· At Hunter's Point South in Queens, Towers Wait, and Wait, for Windows [WSJ]
· Hunter's Point South's First Affordable Towers Are Rising [Curbed]
· All Hunter's Point South coverage [Curbed]