Last month, the New York City Housing Authority began work on $88 million worth of repairs and renovations at Astoria Houses, which were slammed by Hurricane Sandy three years ago. Now the agency has filed plans for a new 14-story apartment building at the development on Hallets Point, along the western Queens waterfront.
New building applications filed last week call for 136-foot-tall development at 3-24 27th Avenue. The site is a parking lot at the northern edge of Astoria Houses, between 3rd and 4th Streets. There would be 136 apartments and 126,176 square feet of residential space. A typical apartment would come in at 774 square feet.
Each floor would hold 10 to 14 units, and typical amenities would occupy the cellar. Future tenants would be able to take advantage of a lounge, fitness room, laundry room, and bike storage.
Dattner Architects will design the building. We’re guessing this is another one of NYCHA’s slow-moving plans to create mixed-income housing at its existing developments. Mayor Bill de Blasio’s version of this program is called NextGen NYCHA, but the city didn’t include Astoria Houses on the list of housing projects that are set to be redeveloped. The public housing agency revived a Bloomberg-era plan to develop at Fulton Houses in Chelsea a few months ago, and this could be a similar, long-dormant proposal.
Durst Organization hopes to develop its massive, seven-building Hallets Point complex across the street. The firm led by real estate scion Douglas Durst broke ground on the 2.4 million-square-foot development in January. But it was forced to halt construction a day later, thanks to prohibitively high taxes and some rather poor policy planning from Governor Cuomo.
“Without a new 421-a or a replacement program, we can’t continue with the project. Nothing can be done,” a Durst spokesman told DNAinfo at the time. The 421-a tax exemption would have allowed Durst to get a discount on property taxes for up to 20 years, but Cuomo and the state legislature allowed the 421-a law to expire in January. The tax break helps lower construction costs and props up much of the market-rate and affordable development in parts of the outer boroughs. The governor unveiled a deal that would potentially revive the program in August, and it involved subsidizing construction workers’ wages so that they would match union construction pay. However, the policy has not yet been finalized or approved by the state legislature.
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