Residents grill Alma Realty about Astoria megaproject

Community wants affordable housing before zoning committee makes recommendation
June 11, 2014 02:50PM

Astoria residents want to know just how much affordable housing Alma Realty will provide at Astoria Cove before the one million-square-foot project at Hallets Point moves forward.

In April, Alma reduced the number of affordable apartments at Astoria Cove from 340 to 295, slightly more than 20 percent of the planned units. However, Howard Weiss, a lawyer for the developer, told residents the final number had not yet been decided, adding that Alma is still in discussions with the City Planning department, Curbed reported.  Weiss said his client is “working to exceed” 295 units.

Residents worry that the zoning committee will have to make a recommendation on the project at a Community Board 1 meeting on June 17 without specifics. The City Planning Commission allowed Alma to start the seven-month Uniform Land Use Review Procedure in April.

Weiss also said he was unable to specify what percentage of construction jobs would go to union labor, according to Curbed.

Jay Valgora, a principal for Studio V Architecture was on hand to address concerns that Astoria Coves’ three towers – which will rise between 22 and 32 stories – would block some neighbors’ views of Manhattan, Curbed reported. Valgora said the firm wants “to create slender buildings that allow views and connectivity to the waterfront.” [Curbed]Tom DiChristopher