BY JACKIE STRAWBRIDGE
The City Council gave a greenlight to Astoria Cove Tuesday afternoon in a unanimous vote.
The final deal, which was struck mid-November after months of negotiation, calls for 27 percent of the development to be set aside for below-market-rate housing, up from the originally proposed 20 percent. Union labor is also guaranteed for construction, building maintenance and security jobs.
“We got a deal that sets the bar for what development can and should be. It’s a win for everybody,” Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria) said after the vote.
Nevertheless, Astoria Cove skeptics remain perched on a couple of fronts.
The coalition Real Affordability For All has been pushing for 50 percent affordable housing at Astoria Cove since its early stages in the ULURP process. Following Tuesday’s vote, RAFA leader Maritza Silva-Farrell slammed the development for its “lack of real affordability.”
“All communities deserve a much greater level and depth of real affordability than what was approved for Astoria Cove. In East New York, Flushing and other neighborhoods, City government should push developers who will reap huge profits from rezonings to deliver at least 50 percent mixed-income housing that meets the needs of struggling families,” Silva-Farrell said in a statement.
Meanwhile, some real estate players reportedly believe the deals on housing and union labor make Astoria Cove untenable.
Constantinides said he is confident the project will succeed as planned.
“I’m going to take developers at their word that they have the capacity to build this project,” he said. “They feel very strongly, is good for their bottom line, is good for the neighborhood.”
John Mavroudis of Alma Realty, the lead investor behind the project, also expressed his continued commitment to the project on Tuesday.
“[Astoria Cove development team] 2030 Astoria Developers is looking forward to the next steps towards building Astoria Cove,” Mavroudis said in a statement.
Reach Jackie Strawbridge at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 128, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JNStrawbridge.