Saturday, January 8, 2022

Tiffany Caban caves and approves luxury public housing towers with her council cronies

Astoria Post

 The City Council unanimously approved a developer’s plan last month to rezone a section of 31st Street in Astoria—making way for three large buildings that will collectively bring 278 units along the strip.

The city council voted 47 for and zero against the rezoning plan—the final step in the public review process. The vote means the project can now officially move forward.

The rezoning clears the way for MDM Development, an Astoria-based real estate company, to construct three buildings on the east side of 31st Street between Astoria Boulevard and 24th Avenue. Two of the buildings will be 11 stories, the other 12 stories.

The plan calls for 278 apartments, 69 to be affordable, in accordance with the city’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) requirements. The plan will also bring retail space and community facilities—such as senior and youth centers.

The buildings are slated to go up where the Neptune Diner, Staples and a nearby vacant lot are currently located. The popular diner and Staples will be bulldozed.

Without the upzoning, MDM would still have been able to develop the sites– with about 200 units permitted as of right, according to landuse attorney Frank St. Jacques. However, MDM would not have been required to build the 69 affordable housing units.

The rezoning got the approval of Council Member Tiffany Cabán, despite her saying at a candidate forum on Oct. 19 that the project didn’t have enough affordable units. “We are 67 of the 200-plus units being affordable. That is not good enough.”

 Cabán also said that the units were not affordable enough. “It is not affordable housing,” she said. “We need ultra-affordable housing.”

The 69 affordable units, up from the initial 67, will be set aside for low-and-moderate income New Yorkers across a range of incomes, in accordance with Option 1 of the MIH requirements.

There will be 24 units available for households earning up to 40 percent of the Area Median Income — $42,960 for a family of three; 25 units set aside for those earning up to 60 percent AMI — $64,440 for a family of three; and 20 for those earning up to 80 percent AMI — $85,920.

Cabán’s spokesperson said that Costa Constantinides, the former councilmember, had already negotiated the deal prior to her taking office. Constantinides stepped down from office in April 2021 to take a position as the CEO for the Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens.

Cabán’s spokesperson said that the council member was able to secure $250,000 from the developer prior to the vote to go toward upgrading Hoyt Playground, which is located across the street from the project site.

The council vote, however, was held just days after Cabán was sworn into office. The vote was held Dec. 9, while Caban was sworn into office a Dec. 1.

“The project was in its 11th hour when we came into office,” said a Cabán spokesperson. “It was slated for passage and the majority of the [council] body was going to vote for it.



Anonymous said...

Is this part of the New "Green" deal ?
Reducing emissions could have been accomplished with a smaller project.
“Trains over the oceans” & "Eating Bugs" is not going to work. Just saying...

Anonymous said...

Two points here:

Vallonia is where all the developers live who destoyed everything south of Astoria Blvd - so here the vultures are destroying their own. Justice.

The hipster amatuer politicians have taken office with little or no knowledge on how good communities could work or should be led and governed beyond the current 'social justice' cant. When a developer comes to them about housing for 'immigrants' and 'hipsters' (along with a big campaign donation) these unseasoned civic leaders will be all ears. Expect the worst development yet for the balance of their term. Big damage in store for NYC.

Anonymous said...

Of course she did, bought and paid for by developers...

NPC_translator said...

Another diner bites the dust. Someday will have to tell the children tales of long ago, when New York City was famous for its diners.

Anonymous said...

And to think this moron was thisclose to being Queens DA.

Anonymous said...

Build baby build. Don't care what the Karen's think.

Disgruntled Citizen said...

she’s taking lessons from Cathy Nolan on how to get the biggest schmears.(translation- kick backs & pay offs)

Anonymous said...

Cathy Nolan was famous for her 'magic minute'

When you would call her office for support, and were not a targeted voting block or developer, whe would actually come to the phone (after weeks of trying to set up a meeting with staff) and give you the MAGIC MINUTE of her time.

A real swell civic leader there.

Anonymous said...

And to think this moron was thisclose to being Queens DA.

Pretty scary huh? Anyway she still has the line to Uncle George.
Like a good droid she needs her instructions.

Anonymous said...

We invited Tiffany to speak to our block and discuss ongoing issues with the nypd, changes in the community, and how to help keep those who called our block home for over 40 years. She said she didn't need our votes. So, now when we write her office at, we recieve no assistance just like the empty chair that we suffered during the pandemic.
We even reached out to AOC, her Rotnem, yes Mentor backasswards, to get her to answer us. Nothing.
4 years of Lame Duck government and a lot of crying. No wonder my 93 year old is selling and moving on. She cashes out, I get a property tax raise, and my quality of life sinks like a dep cistern in the middle of my block.

Anonymous said...

What great electurds the sheeple voted for in New York !

Anonymous said...

Well you Mediterrian Hillbillies never bothered to get engaged in civic stuff as your Padrones were there to do your thinking for you. You were smug and lazy. Now they cashed in (no names please we know who they are) and you are stuck with the empty shell of a community that was vibrant when you handed it over to them some decades ago.

So cry in your gravy. No one cares ... and you did this to yourself. The only key is did you learn anything and if so, what are you going to do?

Keeping in character, you will do nothing and move and spread your idea of 'civic engagement' to another community that looks like yours did some decades back. Restart the 'Smug and Lazy' cycle again. That we call the 'Hollowing out of America'.