With new rental, western Astoria grows taller

November 04, 2011 01:26PM

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From left: Bridge Side and Hoyt South apartments
Something of an oddity will rise in western Astoria this fall, when Giannola Realty breaks ground on an 11-story rental building, the New York Times reported. Up until a recent change to zoning laws designed to encourage development, the maximum building height in the neighborhood at the foot of the Robert F. Kennedy bridge was six stories.

The 34-unit building, named Hoyt Plaza, is expected to open in about two years with prices similar to Giannola’s two other Astoria buildings. The firm also developed Bridge Side seven years ago, a 27-unit building with rents ranging from $1,500 per month for a studio to $2,200 a month for two-bedrooms, and the two-year-old, 19-unit Hoyt South, which is priced from $1,800 for a studio to $3,500 for two-bedroom penthouses. Hoyt Plaza’s rents will be slightly higher than those of naerby Hoyt South. Giannola expects units to fill up quickly, as its previous two endeavors were fully occupied within six weeks.

Giannola has taken special care to put amenities, such as gyms, in his buildings, something that many other Astoria developers have eschewed. That creates buildings people want to live in, and helps revitalize the neighborhood, locals say.

To that end, Giannola’s efforts extend beyond pure residential real estate development, the Times said. Though much of the neighborhood is known for its dining scene, the western edge is relatively barren, so in the last year Giannola has opened a pizzeria and a frozen yogurt parlor in the area. He wants to open a yoga studio next. [NYT]