From The Real Deal:
Astoria, characterized by old-fashioned, low-rise housing stock, has traditionally been home to first-generation European immigrants. With limited available land to build on, developers have sandwiched a new crop of condos and rentals into the established residential neighborhood.
Shibber Khan, managing principal of the Criterion Group, said many of those who are moving into the new construction buildings are 20- and 30-something "yuppies" who are taking advantage of the first-time homebuyer tax credit.
Still, Criterion was forced to adjust the marketing strategy for its properties to jump-start sales activity and stoke rental demand.
Criterion's 80-unit Broadway Apartments complex is slated for completion in June 2011. Khan said a one-bedroom will rent for about $1,500, roughly 28 percent less than what he could have gotten during the boom.
"Before, I would have easily gotten $2,100," Khan said.
At the Piano Factory, on the same block as East River Tower, at 31-01 Vernon Boulevard, sales started in March 2009, but none of the units had sold as of last month, according to StreetEasy. Elliman, the marketing agent for the project, declined to comment.
The former Sohmer Piano Factory in the historic, landmark building was overpriced, other sources said. According to StreetEasy, a one-bedroom in the building was priced at $590,000.
The property is far from the train station, and the demand was questionable "for that kind of luxury in the area," Hultmann said. (The condo includes amenities such as a pet spa and penthouses with working fireplaces.)