The Real Deal New York

Queens borough president to city: Reject Astoria Cove

Melinda Katz cited transportation concerns and low affordable-housing count
July 31, 2014 04:00PM

Melinda Katz, Queens borough president, advised that the city reject Alma Realty’s massive residential project Astoria Cove. She argued yesterday that the 1,700-unit complex would have a negative impact on transportation and has an inadequate amount of affordable housing.

Earlier this month, Alma proposed making the affordable housing component roughly 20 percent, up from the 17 percent initially allotted. Katz did not recommend a specific percentage.

“The projected rents for the proposed affordable housing would still be higher than what current local Astoria residents, who will bear the brunt of the impacts of the proposed project, could afford to pay,” Katz said, as cited by Crain’s.

Katz requested that the developer build the elementary-school component at the beginning, instead of the end, of the project.

Howard Katz, an attorney for the development team, said they are disappointed with Katz’s recommended disapproval.

“Her recommendation … does not object to the essential elements of the project, including its density, building heights and overall design,” Katz said. [Crain’s]Mark Maurer