ASTORIA — The developers behind a plan to build thousands of new apartments on Astoria's waterfront said this week that the project will include 345 affordable units, up slightly from their last proposal but still short of what local leaders want for the development.
2030 Astoria Developers said last month they were working to increase the number of affordable housing units in their Astoria Cove proposal — five mixed-use buildings with nearly 1,700 apartments on a portion of the Hallets Point peninsula.
The developers — a group of investors which includes Alma Realty — had last proposed 295 affordable units, which attorney Howard Weiss said accounted for 20 percent of the residential floor area of the development’s waterfront parcel (three buildings) but only 17 percent of the entire project.
He says they’re now applying the city’s Inclusionary Housing Program to the entire site, including two other buildings, which will result in 345 affordable units, or 20 percent of the entire project.
That still falls short of the 35 percent Community Board 1 requested of the project last month, when the board presented a list of stipulations to the developer following a lengthy public hearing the week before, where a number of speakers said they were worried about affordability.
Check out DNAinfo's coverage of Astoria Cove:
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►Residents Question Affordability of Astoria Cove Development
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But Weiss said the change was made in response to concerns from CB1 and other local leaders, and that the affordable housing is also now a mandatory part of the project.
At CB1's public hearing last month, some residents questioned why preliminary documents for the project released last year said it would include 340 affordable units, a number that dropped to 295 when the public review process began this spring, the Daily News first reported.
Weiss said the number of units stated in the 2013 documents was based on a calculation error and when the project was still in its early stages, but that the percentage of floor area devoted to affordable housing remained the same because the units were larger.
"Although there was a drop in units, the affordable floor area in the project never changed," he said.
The developers are applying for zoning changes for the project, which requires their proposal to undergo the city's Uniform Land Use Review Procedure.
The Borough President's Office is expected to issue a recommendation by July 30.