Hunter's Point South , New York City

Reclaimed land in Queens with a spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline.

One of the most ambitious waterfront projects in New York City history

Arup led a project team charged with designing infrastructure (including a waterfront park) to support a new 30-acre neighborhood.

Hunter’s Point South is a proposed development on the East River waterfront in Queens. When finished, it will include up to 5,000 new housing units, 60% targeted to middle-income families. The client (the New York City government) is also planning for 100,000ft2 of retail, 50,000ft2 of community space and two schools.

The 11-acre riverfront park, currently in construction, will include a children’s playground, basketball courts, a dog run, a multipurpose play field and an urban beach. Signature architectural elements include overlooks of the East River and the Manhattan skyline with large elevated decks and sweeping shade canopies.

Our infrastructure designs for the new development include 7,500ft of sanitary and storm sewers, 3,700ft of water main, and 4,000ft of new or reconstructed streets, all now in construction.

Challenging geotechnical conditions

Located on reclaimed land in riverside marshes atop a century and a half of industrial and transportation development, the Hunter’s Point South project area poses a number of geotechnical challenges.

In addition to the variable (and, in places, loosely compacted) manmade fill, the site is underlain by soft organic silts that are highly compressible and variable in thickness. Additionally, shallow transportation tunnels reduce the options for structural support of new infrastructure.

To mitigate post-construction settlement of new constructed roadways and sewers, we surcharged the ground to reduce the compressibility characteristics of the soft silts. Lightweight backfills were also used in places were pile supports for the sewers were forbidden due to the presence of the tunnels.

Public and agency coordination

Construction of public works in New York City requires regulatory review by a number of agencies and commissions. Hunter’s Point South underwent reviews by New York City’s Departments of Environmental Protection, Transportation, City Planning, and Parks and Recreation, in addition to the city's Fire Department, Metropolitan Transportation Agency and Public Design Commission, as well as the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Adding to the complexity of the project, Arup’s work is occurring in coordination with the building of a new school by the New York City School Construction Authority and the development of new mixed-use towers by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

Altogether, over 70 independent parties were consulted or coordinated with through the design stage, with more to come in construction.

Sustainable design

Sustainable features include bioswales, streetside stormwater planters, and the separation of the previously combined storm-sanitary sewer system.

The park comfort station, maintenance and office building will be LEED® Silver-certified and include photovoltaic power systems.