The Real Deal New York

Council member says Astoria Cove plan has housing loophole

Alma Realty receives same bonus for 700 moderate-income or 345 low-income units, pol claims
August 27, 2014 04:00PM

Queens City Council member Costa Constantinides fired off a letter to city officials last week, expressing concerns that the proposal for Astoria Cove could allow the affordable-housing component to be far from affordable.

Developer Alma Realty had agreed to designate 20 percent of the 1,723 units at the mega-development as affordable. As part of the deal, Alma is able to build a larger development.

Constantinides argued that the language in the proposal could result in two different outcomes: the creation of 345 apartments for low-income households, or the creation of 700 units for moderate-income households, according to Crain’s. Alma would receive the same development bonus if it goes the latter route instead. Constantinides said that he is concerned Alma could charge $2,600 per month for a one-bedroom rental that was designated affordable.

“We are actually pleased by the letter, since all of the concerns addressed by the council member have been or are being addressed,” Howard Weiss of law firm Davidoff Hutcher & Citron, who represents Alma, told Crain’s. “I just want to reiterate that the commitment is that the affordable housing will be for the low-income band.” [Crain’s]Mark Maurer