Five years ago, Lincoln Equities engaged Cozen O’Connor to help win approvals to undertake a major new waterfront development on Halletts Point, a peninsula in New York City’s East River. When complete, this $1 billion project will transform an underserved and impoverished corner of Queens into a vibrant and accessible mixed-income community.
Lincoln Equities was committed from the start to partnering with residents to build a shared vision for the new Halletts Point. Ultimately, Lincoln Equities won full community buy-in for the development of about 2,000 market-rate housing units, 500 low-income units, a large supermarket, public school, renovated playground, and landscaped waterfront promenade. The towers will be the tallest buildings along that section of Queens waterfront.
In addition to gaining resident support, Lincoln Equities also had to obtain approvals from a very long list of stakeholder agencies. Cozen O’Connor led successful efforts to get sign-off from the local Community Planning Board, Queens Borough President, City Planning Commission, New York City Housing Authority, School Construction Authority, City Department of Parks & Recreation, City Department of Transportation, State Office of General Services, State Legislature, Governor, New York City Council, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. “If you pulled out any one piece, everything else would fall,” says Ken Fisher, the lead Cozen O’Connor attorney on the project.
In order to get the deal done, Cozen O'Connor negotiated for a portion of a city park to be transferred to the Housing Authority, which was necessary to secure waterfront development tax incentives, and negotiated for the Housing Authority to donate land for the new public school.
To the 1,100 families who live on Halletts Point today, this development will provide access to vastly improved housing, services, jobs, and public amenities. For the City as a whole, this project represents a reaffirmation of the city’s commitment to revitalizing its formerly industrial waterfronts.