$1B Hallets Point project expected to get council OK

October 08, 2013 02:32PM

Lincoln Equities Group’s seven-tower, $1 billion mixed-use development on the Astoria waterfront is likely to snag City Council approval Wednesday.

The council’s Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises is still in the process of working out a few remaining kinks, and support from a key lawmaker — Peter Vallone Jr. — is not a sure thing. Still, the Hallets Point project is expected to get the green light, moving its way up to full council approval in the same day.

“I expect that it is going to go through,” Councilman Mark Weprin (D., Queens), who chairs the subcommittee, told Crain’s. “We just have to tie up some loose ends.”

The planned development would consist of ten towers holding 2,200 apartments — 20 percent of which are to be classified as affordable.

Despite that inclusion, Vallone has expressed concern about the influx of 6,000 new residents, straining the area’s already limited transportation options. Along with the subcommittee, he is exploring options for increased bus and ferry service to the locale.

“I’m working on that now with the administration and the developer, and it will come down to the last minute,” Vallone told Crain’s. “Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to ensure ferry service five years from now.”

Lincoln, which hopes to break ground on the project next year and complete the first building by the middle of 2016, has also expressed support for a ferry service, and has been in talks with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to increase bus service. The MTA has committed to adding a fourth bus line to the existing three once new residents increase demand.

Lincoln agree to build a comfort station as part of the deal, where bus drivers can unwind at the end of a route before resuming work. [Crain’s]Julie Strickland