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Massive Housing Complex Among Plans for Astoria Waterfront

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | August 27, 2012 9:59am

ASTORIA — New developments proposed for the Astoria waterfront would beautify a run-down portion of the neighborhood, turning it into a well-maintained area with high-rises, esplanades and shopping centers.

According to the Daily News, Alma Realty is looking to build 1,800 housing units on the East River waterfront.  The Astoria Cove project, which would be built along 26th Avenue, would include four towers and some low-rise buildings, as well as a promenade, stores, restaurants and a supermarket.

The plans are preliminary and Alma Realty plans to file applications with the city before the end of the year, according to the report.

The paper also reported that the owners of a nearby site, currently occupied by a lumber company and a movie studio, are looking for a partner who would help them develop their property.

The biggest development in the area is planned by Lincoln Equities Group, a New Jersey real estate firm.

The company wants to build a $1 billion development in Hallets Point. It would include seven residential buildings ranging from 20 to 40 stories with approximately 2,200 units, 20 percent of them set aside as affordable housing, Andrew Moesel, a spokesman for Lincoln Equities Hallets Point project told DNAinfo.com in June.

Lincoln Equities also plans to build a landscaped public waterfront esplanade with pedestrian walkways and bike paths and a water taxi stop. The neighborhood would get a supermarket, a drug store and restaurants, according to the developer.

Astoria councilman Peter Vallone said the projects have both pros and cons.

"This area is in dire need of development. And these projects would upgrade it," he said noting that the developments would bring new amenities, like a supermarket and bank to the neighborhood. They would also make the waterfront accessible to all Astoria residents.

"But each of these developments would bring a lot of new people and we need to make sure that we have the infrastructure to handle these people," he added.

The N and the Q trains would need to have more service, there would be a need for another school in the area, and ferry service would also be a welcome addition, he said.

Vallone also noted that the developments would alter the view that residents currently enjoy from Astoria Park.

The City Council must approve the rezoning of the industrial area before any of the projects can move forward.