Critics irked by reduction in affordable units at Astoria Cove

Alma Realty cuts number of below-market rate apartments at Queens project to 295 from 340

From left: Steve Valiotis of Alma Realty and rendering of 3-15 26th Street in Queens
From left: Steve Valiotis of Alma Realty and rendering of 3-15 26th Street in Queens

Alma Realty’s future Astoria Cove in Queens will reportedly have fewer affordable units than housing advocates were expecting.

The developer of the complex, which could house up to five towers each topping out at 32 stories, reduced the number of affordable units for the project to 295 apartments, according to an application filed with the city this month.

That figure is 45 units shy of the “minimum” of 340 units Alma Realty indicated it would deliver, the New York Daily News reported.

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“Converting from manufacturing to residential is a huge windfall for real estate developers to begin with,” Barika Williams, the policy director at the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, told the paper. “To not task them to do a significant amount of affordable housing with that is not getting a good deal for the neighborhood.”

Alma’s attorneys defended the move, arguing the project  is still 20 percent affordable — a requirement for residential development incentives that include permission to build higher than zoning allows, the article said.

Astoria Cove will also contain a public school and a promenade with retail and open space at 3-15 26th Avenue, between Third and Fourth streets, as previously reported.  [NYDN]Angela Hunt