Astoria group, local leaders divided over $2 billion development project

NEW YORK — A listening to was held at City Hall on Wednesday a couple of $2 billion development project in Astoria, Queens.

It has the backing of the mayor and Queens borough president, however some residents there say it ought to embrace extra inexpensive housing.

As CBS2’s Alice Gainer stories, there have been dueling rallies on the steps of City Hall on Wednesday morning.

Those in help of the Innovation QNS project — labor unions, some group business leaders and the Queens borough president — say it might create good paying jobs.

“So that they can live and work in the city that they built,” mentioned Kyle Bragg, president of the 32BJ labor union.

On the opposite facet are Queens Councilmember Julie Won, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and different group teams who say it would not create sufficient inexpensive housing.

“I have more than 20, more than 20, homeless shelters in my district,” Won mentioned.

She testified earlier than the City Council subcommittee on zoning and franchises.

“More than 5,000 unhoused folks in the community,” she mentioned.

The proposed development would be located over five blocks in Astoria, from thirty seventh to forty third streets between thirty fifth and thirty sixth avenues. It consists of 2 acres of open space, a group hub for nonprofits, well being wellness amenities, outlets, eating places, leisure and practically 3,000 mixed-income residences. Some would vary from $2,400 for a studio to $5,000 for a three-bedroom.

Developers testified that greater than 1,000 of these residences can be inexpensive and senior housing models, with 500-plus put aside for these making 30% of the realm median earnings, or about $28,000 for a single individual or $40,000 for a household of 4.

All month-to-month rents for these residences can be under $1,000:  $514 for a studio, $652 for a one-bedroom, $770 for a two-bedroom and $878 for a three-bedroom.

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards voted in opposition to the project in August. He needed 50% affordability however feels 40% was a great negotiation from the 25% initially proposed.

“Perfect cannot be the enemy of progress,” he mentioned.

Won says she desires 55% affordability, noting the 40% is not assured since builders revealed they hadn’t secured the funding for the extra inexpensive housing.

Other residents testified about fears over the development bringing greater rents to the realm, resulting in their displacement.

“Yes, I do want development, but it has to be for us,” one resident mentioned.

While others testified, “If this project does not move forward, it would be a real missed opportunity.”

The council has till Nov. 20 to evaluate the testimony and schedule a vote.

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