Astoria draws homebuyers even as LIC cools off

While Long Island City dominates the Queens development landscape, nearby Astoria has quietly flourished, according to the Wall Street Journal. While average home prices in LIC and New York City as a whole declined 7 percent and 11 percent, respectively between the fourth quarters of 2010 and 2011, Astoria prices actually grew 5 percent to $414,000.

More new developments have been built in the neighborhood in recent years, such as Plaza 21, the Livelle and Norwood, but the area still maintains its middle-class charm, the Journal said. In fact, Modern Spaces CEO Eric Benaim said he brings many buyers priced out of Long Island City to the ethnic outpost.

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In 2010, the city worked to maintain that charm, rezoning much of Astoria to restrict building heights to three- to five-stories on side streets and eight stories on major thoroughfares.

In perhaps the best sign of the neighborhood’s appeal, a new development that sits on the border of LIC and Astoria, called the Santorini, has quickly sold 60 percent of its units by billing its location as Astoria. [WSJ]