BY JACKIE STRAWBRIDGE
The months-long push for union jobs at Astoria Cove has ended in victory, the Queens Tribune has learned.
According to Build Up NYC, developers and trade unions agreed on a contract Tuesday evening to employ union labor for all construction, building maintenance and security jobs, making it a “shovel to broom” project.
This deal gives the project a huge boost before the City Council will issue their final vote on the 1,700-unit waterfront megaproject by the end of the month.
Employment will include state approved training and apprenticeship programs and union standard wages.
Build Up NYC is a labor coalition that has been leading the charge for union labor at the project, which would bring residential towers, a public esplanade and space for a public elementary school to the Astoria waterfront.
Alongside added affordable housing, guaranteeing union labor at Astoria Cove has been a major sticking point in debates and negotiations as the proposal has wound through the ULURP process.
Gary LaBarbera, Build Up NYC president, said, “Alma Realty has agreed to create good jobs for all construction, building maintenance and security workers in Astoria Cove. We encourage the developer to continue working with all stakeholders to meet the community’s affordable housing and infrastructure needs, and we commend Councilman Costa Constantinides for standing firm on the needs of constituency and of working families across the city.”
A deal has also been struck on affordable housing, the Queens Tribune has learned from a source close to the situation.
The project will now include 27 as opposed to the originally proposed 20 percent units set aside as affordable, the source said. The rents at these apartments will cater to renters at 50, 80 and 150 of the Area Median Income – roughly, these means that low income and moderate income renters will be able to take advantage of these residences.
The deal also included upgrades to a nearby senior center.
Reach Jackie Strawbridge at firstname.lastname@example.org, (718) 357-7400 x. 128 or @JNStrawbridge.