Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Astoria Cove battle is gonna get interesting

From Crains:

Later this month, the City Planning Commission will give its imprimatur to the Astoria Cove project in Queens and send it on to the City Council, where its final shape will be hammered out, setting the benchmarks for the mayor's affordable-housing plan. The key issues to watch are the percentage of affordable housing required, whether there will be a city subsidy (and, if so, what kind), and if union labor will be mandated.

Under the Bloomberg administration, developers received density or height bonuses in agreeing to build low-cost housing. If conditions changed, they could forgo the bonuses and not include affordable housing. Astoria Cove has agreed with the de Blasio administration to set aside 20% of the expected 1,700 units for lower-income residents no matter what. That's why it's called "mandatory inclusionary zoning'': The developer agrees to do it because the projected rents allow for a reasonable-enough profit.

However, 20% will not be the final figure. The City Council is certain to insist on a higher number, something like 30%, although no one is sure yet what it will be. The real question is whether the developer will accept a smaller profit or insist on a subsidy in return. If so, will the city offer low-cost financing, tax breaks or cash? Remember: The de Blasio housing plan allocated $8 billion over 10 years, and this will be the minimum for every subsequent proposal.

Also at issue is who builds Astoria Cove. In pre-de Blasio New York, almost all affordable housing was built with nonunion workers because the difference between the cost of union and nonunion construction work was as much as 30%, according to the definitive study of the issue from the Regional Plan Association.

The mayor says he is committed to requiring union workers in his housing plan, and his aides and the building trades are working on what's called a project labor agreement, or PLA, that's reported to cut costs by 40%.

Unfortunately, the RPA study shows that previous PLAs have actually produced a tiny fraction of the savings promised.


Anonymous said...

All this, of course ignoring the real issues which is living on a brownfield flood plain across the river from a sewage plant, next to a housing project with no services or access.

Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit.

That is what happens to a community of backward people with no real leadership or grasp of civic involvement.

It makes me so angry I want to go over to Athens Sq and watch a cultural event featuring over-the-hill ladies in costume belly-dancing with amphorae on their heads - or perhaps drown my sorrows with some Indonesian noodles and Belgian craft beer, while my girl gets her hands doodled with henna.

Then later everyone can go over to a hookah lounge and watch local movers and shakers of the construction trade and their high-class booty dance Euro-trash trance music.

Anonymous said...

That is what happens to a community of backward people

Got that right. Walk around Old Astoria. Wait to you see what they have planned for the Mansion. Look at that medical clinic or the unfolding disaster Dutch Kills and Queens Plaza.

Go to the blog Astoria Ugly and imagine that aesthetic in a dozen 30 story buildings.

I cannot imagine any other community in NYC that has such lack of respect for its residents or lack of pride or taste in what what it shows the outside world.

Anonymous said...

Give Me Astoria!

We Heart Astoria!

Anonymous said...

Technically, the location is on Pot Cove, but the name Astoria Cove is more marketable. Who cares about history.

Anonymous said...

Technically, the location is on Pot Cove, but the name Astoria Cove is more marketable. Who cares about history.

True enough - which is why it will now be confused with Halletts Cove and will be referred by everyone as 'those towers near the Astoria Houses that gets flooded every year'.

Anonymous said...

Another reason to avoid the name 'Pot Cove' is that the area is rich in Native-American objects and is perhaps a Native-American burial site.

There have been many finds in Pot Cove and the latest dig was only some 30 years ago.

Anonymous said...

I hope the developers walk away.

Fuck this socialist dipshit.