NYC's biggest 'affordable' housing project in 35 years attracts numerous real estate powerhouses, who will participate in the first phase of the bidding process, a recent Reuters report said.

The waterfront Hunter's Point South project, which involves constructing homes, shops, a park and a school, is currently the primary focus of Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Of the 1,000 new homes that will be built on two sites in Long Island City, at least 60 per cent of those new homes will be set aside for middle- and lower-income people. Friday is the cut-off date for bids.

Competitors for the project included AvalonBay Communities Inc., Douglaston Development/Levine Builders, and a venture between The Durst Organization and Jonathan Rose Companies.

Spokesmen for the related firms and L+M Development Partners, which Crain's New York Business said would also submit a bid, were not immediately available.

Prior to the market slump, most big developers concentrated on luxury housing only to see some of their projects falter. Working-class housing seems to be the next big thing in the realty market. Public subsidies for the new Queens project are expected to include tax-exempt bonds.

Jeffrey Levine, chairman of Douglaston Development/Levine Builders, said by telephone that The subsidies and the market create a very good formula for a low risk.

Considering the grants and municipal debt that each developer seeks through these projects, we can hope to see more choice in this space.