Sunday, April 2, 2017
Proposed Astoria Cove site is a disaster
From the Daily News:
Frustrated neighbors for the last few years have bombarded 311 with noise and other complaints. And they’ve called any agency they think can help.
Officials with the state Department of Environmental Conservation confirmed they were investigating complaints at the site at 8-01 26th Ave. in Astoria.
Alma Realty, principal investor of 2030 Astoria Developers, the company intending to build on the site, denied any illegal activity had occurred.
Under state environmental law, anyone found guilty of dumping hazardous waste can face criminal charges and a fine of $37,500 for each day of violation and civil penalties up to $22,500.
Three years ago, the now-blighted lot was going to be the next hot waterfront development — Astoria Cove.
Mayor de Blasio praised it during his 2015 State of the City address — claiming its affordable housing component was a victory for his administration.
But instead of the promised housing, and jobs and community benefits, Astoria Cove brought chaos and frustration, local residents say.
Alma Realty owner Efstathios “Steve” Valiotis — who landed at No. 3 in Public Advocate Tish James’ list of worst landlords in 2016 — pledged to use union workers for all phases of clean-up and construction at the site, according to Build Up NYC, an umbrella-group of various labor groups.
Instead of hiring union workers to do environmental clean-up at the site, he brought in a “low-road” company called Tristate Cleaning Solutions...
Another snag followed.
The state’s 421-A tax abatement program — which gave subsidies to developers including affordable housing in their projects — expired in the summer of 2016. Without the tax break the project was completely stalled, Astoria Cove principals maintained.
Since 2016, no meaningful work has been done on the massive waterfront construction site — but there’s a constant flow of material on and off the property...