Hallets Point gets key City Council OK, funds for ferry study

October 09, 2013 04:46PM

Thanks to a last-minute agreement secured with City Council member Peter Vallone Jr., the Hallets Point residential project along the Astoria waterfront has knocked over the remaining hurdle standing in the way of City Council approval.

Vallone, long concerned about a dearth of transportation to the proposed 10-tower, 2,200-unit development, agreed to get behind the proposal under a deal in which the city pledged to study the feasibility of adding ferry service to the site.

“Since the increased demand will not arrive on the peninsula for over three years at a minimum, a guarantee of ferry service was not possible,” Vallone told Crain’s. “But continued increases in transit options will be a necessity as this needed development moves forward.”

Vallone and lawmakers on the council’s subcommittee on zoning and franchises, chaired by Council member Mark Weprin, also banged out a deal to allocate $500,000 to fund an engineering design and the study for bringing ferry service to the peninsula. The money will come from both the city’s Economic Development Corporation and Lincoln Equities Group, the project’s developer.

“This agreement is a culmination of five years of work adding benefits to the community,” Vallone told Crain’s.

Lincoln has also promised basic services such as a bank and supermarket, currently absent from the area.

The first building is expected to open in mid-2016 and will include residential rental units and the promised supermarket, should the project win full council approval. [Crain’s]Julie Strickland