Saturday, July 19, 2014

Controversy over Astoria Cove continues

From Crains:

Affordable-housing advocates are concerned about the number of low-income units that will be a part of the new Astoria Cove project in northwestern Queens. Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said she was worried about gentrification of the area and [held] a hearing on the 2.2 million-square-foot project Thursday, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The developer of the project Alma Realty Corp. has offered to make 20% up from the original proposal of 17%, but some advocates want 50%.

From the NY Observer:

An anti-Walmart coalition and a Queens councilman are announcing a campaign today to keep Walmart, the big box superstore, out of a proposed residential and retail development in Astoria, Queens. It’s not clear yet if Walmart, thwarted before from building in New York City because of its anti-union approach, is planning on an attempt to bring a store to the 2.2 million square foot and 1,700 unit waterfront and retail complex known as Astoria Cove.

Anti-Walmart forces, though, aren’t taking any chances.

“Workers, consumers, and local businesses in Astoria need a retail component that preserves the small-business character of our community. Astoria Cove should prioritize employers that meet the highest standards,” Councilman Costa Constantinides, the area’s representative, said in a statement to the Observer. “The retail component of Astoria Cove should help build entrepreneurship both inside the development and within the greater Astoria community.”


Anonymous said...

Come on now! How in hell does one build affordable housing on a waterfront property ? It's all BS! Might as well build a housing project there instead.

JQ said...

in the post fun size mayor era,this and other mega tower and condos are housing projects.

Anonymous said...

There is a housing project right over there anon. Plenty of housing projects are right by the water.

Deke DaSilva said...

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said she was worried about gentrification of the area

Question: Has Borough President Melinda Katz ever been worried about slumification?

Mr. Constantinides already signed onto an open letter from various City Council members condemning Walmart for flooding the city with philanthropic dollars.

Question: Is Mr. Constantinides concerned about the Federal Government flooding NYC with undocumented guest Democrats from Mexico and Central America?

Labor groups, along with Democratic elected officials, railed against the superstore chain for the relatively low wages it pays its workers and its drive to crush unionization efforts.

Question: Are these labor groups and Democratic elected officials also concerned about the low wages paid to the thousands of workers in bodegas and restaurants throughout NYC? Also, what union represents these same workers?

Various liberal groups and coalitions……want half the units below market rate, far more than the developer is pushing for, and higher wages for the workers on the project.

Liberal groups and coalitions obviously haven’t even taken a basic college-level economics course. They want below market rate housing units, and they want construction workers to get higher wages. And who is going to pay for this?

Anonymous said...

> And who is going to pay for this?

The people renting the market rate units.

If this wasn't a mile from the subway they should demand the building have more units in the same footprint instead. Would do more to push the project downmarket than what they're doing now.

Anonymous said...

Yet another example of the poor planning in Astoria, home to some of the ugliest buildings in Queens over the past 20 years.

I think there are some second thoughts on making this an upscale community. It ain't going to happen, but will simply concentrate more poor people into a potentially explosive area. Even if they charge high rents, we all know they will cover it with 5 or 6 people per unit.

Walmart? A potential grid lock of cars sitting in the middle of sniper's alley.

The area is a toxic brownfield equal distant to two sewage plants.

Add global warming and soon to be yearly flooding and our friends at Alma, Community Board 1, and an elected leadership that does one thing well - running donor efforts to curry favor in Albany or Washington, and you will have the greatest urban disaster in NYC.

Anonymous said...

Its always great to see Costa taking a break for doing fund raising for his boss Crowley.

Miles Mullin said...

This blog is soooo educational!

The Astoria Avenger said...

Did they warn everybody that this is a flood zone? The lust to live on the water is appealing to the newly arrived from the Midwest hipsters. If I could make millions off of selling a Rube a pig in a poke, maybe I might decide to cash in too.