Last weekend, the first wave of extremely lucky residents moved into 31 units at Hunter's Point South Commons—one of two government-subsidized 'affordable' housing towers in Long Island City that broke ground as part of Mayor Bloomberg's affordable housing plan in 2013.

"This is the best apartment deal in New York City!" said Frank Monterisi, the Senior VP of Related Companies, which manages and co-developed both the Commons and next-door Hunter's Point South Crossing. Adding, quickly, "…if you qualify for the apartments and you're lucky enough to get one."

The Hunter's Point lottery, which closed last December, received a staggering 93,000 applicants—the largest response ever to a housing lottery in the history of New York City's affordable housing program.

Related has yet to assign all of the units, much less work its way through all of the applicants, so there's no wait-list to speak of. Applicants with impaired sight or hearing get a 7% boost in preference; residents of Community Board 2, which includes Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City, get a 50% preference; municipal workers are favored 5% more than other applicants.

There's something almost utopian about the sales pitch at Hunter's Point South—40% of the units are reserved for families, and there's no smoking allowed on the premises. The toilets are water efficient, the appliances are energy efficient, and there's a rainwater collection system and composting on the roof.

"How about the stone floors?" Monterisi asked a small group of reporters yesterday afternoon, as they adjusted their hard hats in the glossy lobby. "Didn't the stone come out nice? This is Spartan River stone. It's from somewhere in Italy."

A massive mirror with gold foil overlay leans against the right wall of the lobby, across from shiny copper mailboxes. "This is the largest affordable housing project in the country," Monterisi said proudly.

But "affordable" is a slippery term in New York City. In press materials, Hunter's Point South boasts a breakdown of "925 permanently affordable and moderately priced rent stabilized apartments." This is technically true. However, only 20% of the apartments are designated for low-income tenants (this controversial 80/20 breakdown is a vestige of Bloomberg's inclusionary zoning plan that de Blasio has vowed to improve).

At Hunter's Point South, low-income studios start at $494, and three-bedrooms at $743 (of which there are only 8 and 3 units, respectively). Moderate income studios start at $1,561 (103 total), and three-bedrooms at $2,729 (there are 12 of them up for grabs); 63 of the one bedrooms cost $835 or less, while 352 of them cost between $2,366 and $3,300.

Say you're a family of four from Long Island City hunting for a two bedroom apartment. sets the average household income for the neighborhood at $72,798. That means that 75% of apartments at Hunter's Point cater to families who make more than you.

That said, the apartments are significantly more affordable than neighboring units on Queens' so-called "Gold Coast," where the median rent for studios is between $2,290 and $3,800, the News recently reported.

The very first stop on our tour—an unfurnished 1,200 square foot corner three-bedroom, with floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room and bedrooms gazing out over the East River—is priced from $2,729 to about $4,300. "I take people to this apartment because it's a great indicator of value," Monterisi said. "Obviously it has an amazing view."

"People hear $4,300 apartment, and they say that's not really affordable housing," Monterisi continued. "But I say, find me someone in New York City who makes $150,000 a year, and find them a nice home to live in." We're talking families that make 165% of the current Area Median Income (AMI).

"Across the river, in our portfolio, we'll rent this same apartment for $10,000 a month!" Monterisi said. "And this one has a killer view, right? I mean, why would you ever leave?"

All of the two and three-bedroom apartments have washer dryer units in them, regardless of income bracket, and the same finishes are used throughout the building. "And we didn't have to do that," Monterisi said, "We decided to do that."

Our tour included a furnished studio apartment with a bed and dining table in one room, and a small kitchen divided from the rest of the space by a half wall, plus a surprisingly large walk-in closet. Most of these units are priced at $1,561, which is in the affordable brackets for singles who make between $55,200 and $97,020. "This is the same floor that we put in our market rate apartments in Manhattan, the same cabinets, the same air conditioning," Monterisi said.

A model one-bedroom on the sixth floor—master bedroom, living room with adjacent kitchenette, and those same floor-to-ceiling windows—was decked out for a fictitious "Italian guy," with a gym bag and sneakers carefully arranged next to the bed, and crushed tomatoes in the pantry. Monterisi assured us that a market-rate unit of similar proportions would go for $3,000.

Hopping from one pre-fab unit to the next, Monterisi showed us a glimpse of the still-in-progress "party room" in the Crossing tower, adjacent to an open-air terrace with chaise lounges and fire pits that juts out from the fourteenth floor like the prow of a ship, looming over the East River with an uninterrupted view of the Midtown skyline. There's also the fitness center, bike rooms, playrooms and internet cafes.

The Hunter's Point South towers also loom over brand-new Hunter's Point South Park, which Related helped subsidize to win approval for the rest of the project. Equipped with a playground, dog run, and East River Ferry dock, its most distinct feature is a round turf field that recalls an very-manicured crop circle.

The Farm, a 2,300-square-foot organic garden on the Eastern Terrace, was presented as the pièce de résistance of yesterday's tour. The assembled publicists grinned while David Graves of Berkshire Berries showed us city reporters how to swipe a finger-full of honey straight from the buzzing hive, and farm director Gerard Lordahl of GrowNYC pointed out vegetables to suit international cuisines—tomatillo for green salsa, Asian eggplant, Swiss chard, Italian arugula, and Callaloo "which a lot of Carribian people like to grow."

"Did you notice the strawberries on your way in?" Lordhal asked. "They're already quite prolific! We'll be making strawberry smoothies up here, on a bicycle blender." The garden will also have an outdoor kitchen for cooking demos, and for $12 a week, tenants can pick up a CSA box trucked to the Hunter's Point South garden from farms across the state on Saturday mornings (EBT accepted).

While Related is not receiving 421-a subsidies for the Hunter's Point South apartments, Monterisi told us that his company is benefiting from a "one-off" deal, which includes a 40-year tax break agreement (details were not disclosed). As an affordable housing project, the project also got $185 million in tax-exempt bonds from Cuomo, $236 million in said bonds from the Housing Development Corporation, and $68 million in subsidies from Housing Preservation and Development.

"I'm born and raised in Queens and I love Queens," Monterisi said as we emerged from the half-finished tower on to the windy sidewalk. "I think this is great not only for Queens, but for New York."

Additional reporting by Joanna Purpich.