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Queens Chronicle

Astoria in first stages of waterfront plan

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Posted: Thursday, August 30, 2012 10:30 am | Updated: 11:07 am, Thu Sep 6, 2012.

The oft-neglected southern edge of Astoria’s waterfront is in the beginning stages of a transformation.

Canada-based real estate agency Avison Young continues to market a four-acre site at 3-15 26 Ave. The mixed-use plot would need to be rezoned for residential use to accommodate a large-scale housing and retail development envisioned for the site.

The location sits between Astoria Cove, an area where Alma Realty is eyeing a similar mix of apartments and retail spaces, and Hallets Point.

The Hallets Point Project progressed some in June when a bill, which transfers ownership of the land from the state Parks Department to the City Housing Authority, passed. The legislation makes rezoning in the area easier, taking the $1 billion project one step closer to becoming a reality. Groundbreaking reportedly could happen as early as 2013.

Plans call for the construction of seven residential buildings, possibly as tall as 40 stories, with an estimated 2,200 units, 20 percent of which would be allocated for affordable housing.

Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) supports the redevelopment of the area overwhelmed by dilapidated warehouses, but says “the devil is in the details.”

Vallone’s concern is with balance. He said the area should be able to handle such large-scale development with parks, schools and another ferry stop.

“We can’t put a thousand more people on the N train,” he said. “Why is there only one stop in Queens?”

Economic Development Corp. President Seth Pinsky has said the organization is looking at more ferry stops. The ferry stops at Hunter’s Point South in Long Island City.

There are also aesthetic concerns for the councilman, who points out that tall buildings could block views for the many homeowners in the area.

State Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) has also conditionally supported growth in the area and points out the need for public transportation and affordable housing.

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