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Politics

New York City Planning Commission  Approves Astoria Cove Development 

ASTORIA – The Astoria Cove housing development was approved by the City Planning Commission  September 29.  The next step is a vote by the City Council, which will take place within two months.

The complex will include 1,700 apartments in 2.2 million square feet of new development.

Despite this approval by the City Planning Commission the project still requires final approval from the City Council.

“The final issue to be resolved is the amount of affordable housing to be available at Astoria Cove. According to developers, Astoria Cove will have 20 percent of its units under the affordable housing guidelines,” the Queens Gazette wrote.

According to the Wall Street Journal “In the past, affordable housing wasn’t required when developers sought a zoning change to high or midlevel density,” said Carl Weisbrod, chairman of the City Planning Commission. “In the case of Astoria Cove, the developers won’t receive any discretionary city subsidies, the WSJ reported he said, and quoted him saying that “By not using capital funds here and by requiring the developer to build affordable housing, those funds can be used elsewhere.”

“Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office said that the required number would vary with each development, depending on finances and what other benefits the project may bring to the neighborhood,” the Gazette reported.

In a press release published by the Gazette, “2030 Astoria Developers thanks City Planning Commission Chair Carl Weisbrod and the members of the commission for their decision. We believe it is a decision that heralds the dawn of a new era in equitable development in New York City. As developers, we look forward to Astoria Cove being the standard by which future development projects will be evaluated.”

The release continued “Astoria Cove will bring significant investment, good paying jobs, hundreds of units of affordable housing, local stores and shops, and an expansive open space network to a community that has been neglected for too long. Astoria Cove also will be one of the most environmentally friendly and sustainable projects in the city’s history. All of this will be accomplished without any public subsidy. As we move forward, we will continue gathering feedback from the local community, civic leaders and elected officials. We remain committed to ensuring that all residents on the Astoria Peninsula, especially those who live in Astoria Houses, will share in the benefits of our investment in the community. We appreciate the guidance provided by Councilmember Costa Constantinides and will continue to work with him, along with his colleagues on the city council to ensure that our investment provides real opportunity for Astoria Houses residents and that the Astoria Cove development will be a force for good in the community, Queens and New York City.”

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