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Thread: Astoria Development

  1. #46
    Senior Member DKNY617's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Astoria, Queens


    That photo above is a block away from my house. Ha.

  2. #47
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Oct 2002


    The Halletts Point development in Astoria – overview and photos

    by Meg Cotner

    Image source: Lincoln Equities

    The Halletts Point development has been back in the news recently. First, what is Halletts Point? It’s a new development planned for the waterfront along the land mass called Hallett’s Point, a peninsula that juts out into the East River (GMAP) just south of Astoria Park. It is home to the Astoria Houses, Build it Green! and a few other businesses (including the mysterious Hellgate Filming Studios), and Whitey Ford Field.

    Here are some of the elements in this development:

    • Lincoln Equities is the developer.
    • Costs are estimated at $1 billion
    • The development could create jobs though construction and later, retail.
    • The mixed-use development is slated to have eight buildings on ten acres.
    • Three of the buildings would be on existing NYCHA property (Astoria Houses)
    • Seven of the buildings would be residential, containing 2,200 apartments
    • 20% of the units would be affordable housing, geared toward seniors.
    • The other 80% of the units would be market rate housing.
    • Heights of the buildings would range from 20 to 40 stories.
    • Other elements of the development could include a K-8 public school; retail, including a supermarket, drug store and restaurants; and a landscaped public esplanade along the East River.
    • An on-street bus layover facility would be built to accommodate increased transit needs.
    • Some streets would be remapped.
    • A water taxi dock (maybe an East River Ferry stop?) is also a possibility.
    • Parking is planned for the development.

    Here’s a drawing of the map of the area with the Halletts Point development in place:

    The following image shows the location of the buildings a little clearer (click to enlarge):

    Image source:

    Here’s yet another view, which gives a little sense of depth (click to enlarge):

    Image source:

    A document called Halletts Point Rezoning Environmental Impact Statement Draft Scope of Work was released and it is chock full of information about the site and the plans for the development and area. Here is a segment from this (quite long) document that talks about the site in more detail, and gives you an idea of the area as it is now.

    The WF [Waterfront] Parcel, Eastern Parcel, and Buildings 6, 7, and 8 on the NYCHA Parcel comprise a total of approximately 420,000 sf (9.65 acres); Buildings 1 through 5 on the WF and Eastern Parcels are approximately 343,000 sf (7.87 acres, including land underwater) and Buildings 6 through 8 on the NYCHA Parcel are approximately 92,659 sf (2.13 acres). The Eastern Parcel is occupied by an electronics and ink toner company, who is expected to vacate. The WF Parcel contains three building structures and three open lots. It is predominantly vacant but portions of this waterfront parcel have been leased to two tenants for construction and telecommunications storage and parking on a short-term or month-to-month lease agreement.

    The waterfront along the project site consists of structural bulkheads and soil embankments armored with large stone rip-rap or construction debris. An existing platform and bulkhead extend approximately 175 feet north from the southern tip of the site. The bulkhead and platform are in good overall structural condition. The remainder of the waterfront along the waterfront parcel consists of a soil embankment lined with large stone rip-rap. Buildings 1 through 5 are currently zoned M1-1, permitting light industrial uses subject to performance standards common to all M1 districts.

    Buildings 6 through 8 are zoned R6 and contain parking lots, trash compactors, walkways, and a small amount of landscaped area within the Astoria Houses campus. The Astoria Houses contains 22 six- and seven-story residential buildings on an approximately 27-acre campus with a total of 1,103 residential units, as well as surface parking lots, a day care center and senior center, basketball courts and playgrounds, walkways, and other landscaped areas. The campus was completed in 1951. The NYCHA Rezoning Area is also located within the Astoria Houses campus.

    Whitey Ford Field is an approximately 3.6-acre park bounded by the East River, 26th Avenue, and 2nd Street, containing a baseball field, bleachers, and open lawn area. It is under the jurisdiction of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), although it is not mapped parkland. Whitey Ford Field is currently zoned R6. The Parks Parcel consists of a portion of the Hallet’s Cove Playground, which contains an asphalt baseball field and basketball courts. The approximately 10-foot wide alienated Parks Parcel that would be incorporated as part of the project includes a number of trees, the park perimeter fence, and a portion of the perimeter sidewalk and baseball field back stop area. The Parks Parcel would be incorporated in the NYCHA Astoria Houses campus as part of the proposed project.

    Back in December, there was a public scoping session at the Goodwill Astoria Headquarters (GMAP), which is located in the Astoria Houses. The next step for the development is to go through the city’s formal Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), which Linh Do, of the consulting firm AKRF, believes will happen in February 2013. After that, Community Board 1 will preside over the ULURP. If all goes well, the developers could break ground as early as 2014. The project could be completed by 2022, nine years from now.

    An artist’s rendering of the Halletts Point development

    Local opinions about the development range from support, neutrality, and caution. Bishop Mitchell Taylor, who is among other things, CEO of the East River Development Alliance (ERDA), a not-for-profit that he founded (2004) “to expand economic opportunity for public housing residents,” supports the development and said, “The project is only going to enhance (public housing’s) footprint.” Community Board 1 has not taken a position on the proposal. Senator Michael Gianaris, (he represents Halletts Point), supports the project, though is concerned that existing services and infrastructure could be stressed. Still, he says the growth “helps boost our economy by attracting more jobs as well as residents to fill them.” Astoria City Councilman Peter Vallone hasn’t taken a side, though (however, his father, Vallone Sr., is a consultant to the developer).

    Transit and transportation issues are something to consider - the developers have included parking the plan, and it sounds like additional bus service is planned (one of the buses that travels there now is the Q103, and this development could be enough to extend its schedule). But will that be enough public transportation? This patch of land is located over a mile from the closest N/Q subway stop, so direct subway access is not likely a practical form of transportation for residents here (bus to subway is the current option). Perhaps they will also implement a subway shuttle – Shore Towers (GMAP), the established development just south of Astoria Park, has done such a thing.

    On the subject of transportation, there are plans to adjust the streets in this area. Again, from the Halletts Point Rezoning Environmental Impact Statement Draft Scope of Work document. Most notably, Astoria Boulevard would be connected through the Astoria Houses:

    A portion of 27th Avenue, located west of 1st Street and currently used as accessory parking for adjacent businesses, would be demapped and transformed into a pedestrian waterfront access corridor. The portion of 26th Avenue west of 1st Street would also be demapped and transformed into a pedestrian waterfront access corridor. In addition, a new connecting street segment between existing mapped portions of Astoria Boulevard is proposed on the NYCHA parcel. Between 1st Street and 8th Street, Astoria Boulevard would be two-directional with one lane in either direction. Parking may be added along some segments of the street, depending on required street widths and the location of existing mature trees.
    To the north, 26th Avenue would become one-way eastbound between 1st and 2nd Streets. Between 26th and 27th Avenues, 1st Street would become one way northbound and 2nd Street would become one-way southbound. Third and 4th Streets would remain unchanged in their directionality between 26th and 27th Avenues.

    Here is an image of the proposed street network changes (click to enlarge):

    Image source:

    Currently, it’s a pretty desolate part of Astoria (apart from the housing project), and we would guess that a lot of Astorians haven’t made it out that far. Build It Green! and Whitey Ford Field are there, and of course the Astoria Houses. We took a walk out there and snapped some shots – we found lots of quiet, a few buildings under construction, a couple of stray dogs roaming the streets, and a homeless man occupying one of the vacant lots. Here is more of what we saw.

    The long view along 26th Avenue toward the waterfront

    The western end of 26th Avenue – Whitey Ford Field to the right

    Neighboring Whitey Ford Field

    Looking east from Halletts Point

    The nearby Hellgate Filming Studios

    More of the industrial neighborhood surrounding the area

    The view from the water’s edge, looking out to Manhattan

    The lot on which the north end of the Halletts Point development will sit. To the left out of sight is a small homeless camp

    Another view of the location of the Halletts Point development

    Looking south from Halletts Point (Big Allis power plant stacks are in the distance)

    The nearby Astoria Houses

    Looking west along 27th Avenue – note the newer building on the right

    Looking back toward Halletts Point from Shore Towers

  3. #48


    That area is so far past anything I just don't know how they expect people to want to live there. Oh.. AND it's across from the projects. Subway shuttle is obvious, as in a water taxi stop. Good luck!

  4. #49


    There's also a bike path. You can be in Midtown in a sweaty 30 minutes.

  5. #50
    Fearless Photog RoldanTTLB's Avatar
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    May 2009
    Broomfield, CO


    This is a mile from the nearest subway station. It's actually an incredibly bad place to develop housing. Even so, 2200 apartments, with an expected occupancy of 1.6 or so (the same average occupancy of new-ish LIC) is a reasonable amount of people. The problem with much of it being affordable, is that the people who will be in affordable housing wont be able to afford the ferry (and there SHOULD be a ferry stop).

    A different idea, perhaps: It's a straight shot Astoria Blvd to the subway though, and because it's wide, it might be worthwhile to try and force the developer to build a street car connection. At a single mile of track, it can be built for about 30-50 million. While that's not cheap, it's barely an additional 5% of the project costs. They could save money by building a ton less parking and call it a day. There'd be good money in fares from other residential in the neighborhood using the same service. Some of the revenues could even be bonded to the developer from the MTA, who would presumably assume service to keep it to 1 fare. Another 2.5 miles of the route and it's a rail connection to LGA too.

  6. #51


    Quote Originally Posted by RoldanTTLB View Post
    The problem with much of it being affordable, is that the people who will be in affordable housing wont be able to afford the ferry (and there SHOULD be a ferry stop).
    Affordable housing doesn't mean low-income housing. It only means that there's some type of income restriction tied to regional median incomes.

    For example, in Long Island City, some of the newer affordable housing tops out at around $160,000 household annual salary. Sometimes the income limited housing has higher rents than the market rate housing, so the developers have to cut the affordable rents to match the market rents (otherwise, obviously these units would go empty and the developer loses the tax benefit).

    I think this development will do well, BTW. Great waterfront location, and there are already successful older condos in the area. Lots of people don't want to live in super-busy locations, and Astoria is hot.

  7. #52
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Oct 2002


    Queens Loses a Street and Gains a Slice of Hollywood


    Courtesy of Kaufman
    Astoria Studios Paris in the foreground; Astoria, Queens, in the background.
    This was the scene along 36th Street in the summer of 1929 as “The Gay Lady” (retitled “The Battle of Paris”) was being filmed.

    Dust off the Duesenberg. New York is getting two new studio gates.

    David W. Dunlap/The New York Times
    A detail of the original 1920 Astoria studio building.

    The gates will close off a one-block stretch of 36th Street in Astoria, Queens, allowing Kaufman Astoria Studios to consolidate its complex on either side of the street. This will allow the studio to create — in the former roadway itself — a 34,800-square-foot back lot, almost exactly where many outdoor scenes were filmed in the 1920s and ’30s for movies that are themselves long forgotten.

    “When you think of going to a studio, you expect to pull up to a gate,” said Hal G. Rosenbluth, the president of Kaufman Astoria. “This will become an iconic symbol for the area.”

    The historical heart of Kaufman Astoria complex is an enormous studio building on 35th Avenue that was opened in 1920 by the Famous Players-Lasky Corporation, the predecessor to Paramount Pictures. Directly behind this building was a back lot, now occupied by soundstages and offices, that was used for dozens of movies produced or distributed by Paramount until 1939.

    The last great exterior set built at Astoria was for “One Third of a Nation,” an adaptation of a rabble-rousing Federal Theater Project play, said Richard Koszarski, author of “Hollywood on the Hudson: Film and Television in New York From Griffith to Sarnoff” (2008). The director, Dudley Murphy, originally planned to shoot on location on the Lower East Side, Mr. Koszarski said, “but because the script called for the character played by young Sidney Lumet to burn down one of these tenements, Murphy decided to construct his own slum on the Astoria back lot.”

    Another memorable set was a Parisian streetscape, complete with kiosks, for “The Battle of Paris” (1929), about an English singer in Paris during World War I. Originally titled “The Gay Lady,” it starred Gertrude Lawrence and featured original music by Cole Porter. Filming began on the outdoor set every evening at 8 o’clock, The New York Times reported.

    “Night work was imperative in such a scene because of the available silence that reigns in Astoria between dusk and dawn,” The Times said. “Sometimes the company remained at the studio until 7 in the morning, continually working, with but a few moments’ rest for a sandwich.”

    David W. Dunlap/The New York Times
    The original studio building, at 35th Avenue, is on the National Register of Historic Places.
    A gate will be built on 36th Street, at the right of the photo. The original back lot was directly behind this structure, on 34th Avenue.

    The new back lot will be 60 feet wide and 580 feet long, running from 35th Avenue to 34th Avenue. Studio executives and city officials envision it as an alternative to some of the location filming that snarls neighborhoods and tests New Yorkers’ patience. It would offer filmmakers a controlled outdoor environment on which temporary sets could be constructed, stunts and car chases could be staged and large-scale equipment could be used.

    “The working back lot will create a totally unique production opportunity in New York City that will allow Kaufman to continue to attract world-class films and television series,” said Julie Wood, a spokeswoman for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

    Kaufman Astoria rents its studios to producers. (All Saints Hospital from “Nurse Jackie” occupies Stage G, for example, while “Sesame Street” can be found on Stage J.) It has not been affiliated with Paramount Pictures for many decades. It will lease this one block of 36th Street from New York City and effectively control it until 2049.

    As a technical matter, the 36th Street segment has been closed — or “de-mapped” — since June 2012. In 2015, Kaufman Astoria will begin paying rent; it will start at $140,000 annually and escalate every five years. It has already begun making payments to the city in lieu of real estate taxes. These began at $33,137 annually and will increase every year.

    Rockwell Group/Archtagon
    A rendering of the planned main gate to Kaufman Astoria Studios.
    It will close 36th Street to the public from 35th Avenue to 34th Avenue. The building at right is the Museum of the Moving Image.

    Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, whose district includes the studio, asked Kaufman Astoria not to shut off the street to traffic until it was ready to start construction. The studio agreed.

    “Obviously, we’d never take lightly the closing of a public street,” Mr. Van Bramer said. However, he added, it was important to accommodate the studio because Kaufman Astoria “really began the renaissance of 35th Avenue,” an area he said he remembered from his childhood as all but abandoned.

    The look of the new gates, by David Rockwell of the Rockwell Group, was approved last month by the mayoral Design Commission. Tracy Capune, the vice president of Kaufman Astoria, said the main gate, on 35th Avenue, would include a steel truss 40 feet above the street that can double as a working catwalk for outdoor productions.

    Mr. Rosenbluth, the studio president, said the gates should be completed this summer. He estimated the total cost at $2 million to $3 million, following a protracted government review that included an initial rejection by the Design Commission.

    Mr. Rosenbluth and the studio’s developer, George S. Kaufman, have dreamed of a gated studio complex since the 1980s. They once produced a rendering of an arched entryway that closely resembled the celebrated Bronson Gate at the Paramount studios in Hollywood.

    “We got a cease-and-desist order from Paramount,” Mr. Rosenbluth said, now able to laughat the memory.

    David W. Dunlap/The New York Times
    The portion of 36th Street that will be closed to the public and turned into a back
    lot includes the main entrance to the Kaufman Astoria Studios headquarters, at right

  8. #53


    So a new building has sprung up right off the N/Q line between the Ditmars and Astoria Blvd. stops. Any info?

  9. #54


    You might be thinking of the Astoria medical facility at 23-25 Thirty-first Street.

  10. #55


    Queens Chronicle

    Astoria medical site debacle unresolved

    Insurance agencies visit affected homes; BSA stalls variance vote

    Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:28 am, Thu Mar 28, 2013.

    Photo by Josey Bartlett

    by Josey Bartlett, Editor

    The Board of Standards and Appeals decided for the second time on Tuesday to not vote on a zoning variance for a medical facility in Astoria.

    The eight-story edifice at 23-25 31 St. was partially erected when five homeowners who abut the construction started seeing cracks in their foundations, resident Robert Draghi said. They first asked the developer, Pali Realty, to assess the damage. No one showed.

    Then in July the Draghis demanded the Department of Buildings conduct an audit. When the department came out, it saw the facility and 135-car parking garage was being built 20 feet from its property line instead of the legal 30. The DOB then issued a stop-work order that is still in place. The board asked for more information from Pali Realty. The vote will come before the board again on April 23.

    If the BSA votes in favor of the zoning variance to allow the 10-foot reduction in the setback, Pali Realty will be able to restart construction.

    Community Board 1 and the Queens Borough President’s Office recommended the variance with four stipulations: the gray brick wall separating the structure from the homes be finished with a desirable stucco finish; a barrier be installed in front of the air-conditioning unit to modify noise; the developers mitigate the problems with the adjacent homes using a third party; and the front of the building be lit for security reasons.

    “We’re begging them to leave the stipulations,” Draghi said of the BSA. “We had a house, we want a house.”

    The stipulations would require the developer to resolve the issue with the five owners.

    On March 5 someone with Seabreeze General Construction’s insurance company, Chartis Inc., visited all five houses. The Draghis and Imbajas, two families with homes that based on reports from a private engineer need to be rebuilt because of foundation cracks created by the shifting caused by the massive medical building, submitted proposals this week for what they want Chartis and Pali Realty’s insurance, Ace Insurance, to cover.

    The Draghis’ and Imbajas’ houses are built with cinder blocks that were not flexible to shifting ground, Draghi said. The Draghis have monitors on most visible cracks in their walls, which show their home is still moving.

    The other three homes have wood frames and are most likely fixable.

    Nevertheless, Draghi said all the homes need their backyards dug up and repacked. The drainage also needs to be reset. At the Draghi home they have severe water damage and mold.

    They will ask for reimbursements for architects, engineers, rebuilding, demolition and relocation during the construction and storage for property that will not fit at the temporary locations.

    “We’re moving full speed ahead,” Draghi said. “We don’t want to stall this process at all.”

    Seabreeze General Construction did not return a call for comment.

  11. #56
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    3,700+ Queens Waterfront Apartments Might Really Get Built

    by Hana R. Alberts

    [Part of Lincoln Equities Group's $1 billion plan for Halletts Point.]

    For a time, it was doubtful that anything would happen with Lincoln Equities Group's ambitious plans for Halletts Point, a peninsula that juts out into the East River near Astoria—especially after a lot of missteps, revised renderings, and community skepticism—but perhaps we were too cynical, too soon. This week Community Board 1 approved Lincoln Equities' $1 billion plan to put 11 buildings that would range from 11 to 31 stories along a broad swath of the waterfront, according to the WSJ.

    In real terms, that would mean circa 2,000 new market-rate residences, mostly 1 and 2BRs with a sprinkling of townhouses. Four hundred eighty three more units would are earmarked as senior citizens' affordable housing. Sweetening the deal for area residents—probably the only reasons CB members voted in favor—the developer has promised to put in an esplanade, parking spots, parks, and retail space (including a big supermarket). Lincoln Equities must ease traffic and help push for better public transport to the area, and eventually build a school.

    Before we get ahead of ourselves, though, the developer has to get a thumbs-up from the borough president and the City Council. If all goes according to plan (and there's no guarantee, considering we've been tracing their travails since 2009), then construction would start this year with an estimated 2022 move-in.

    [A rendering of Astoria Cove.]

    There's even more action at Halletts Point. Last month, we reported that a mystery developer submitted a proposal for a different chunk along its northern shore—another megaproject containing about 1,700 units in a mix of towers and townhouses named Astoria Cove. And now the WSJ reports that the investors behind this $800 million project are led by Efstathios Valiotis of Alma Realty Corp. Less far along in the bureaucratic approval process than Lincoln Equities, the Astoria Cove plan will be vetted by the Department of City Planning next week. But at least meetings are going on. Perhaps this time change really does lie ahead for what's been called a 'desolate' stretch of the northern Queens waterfront.

    Halletts Point Gets Attention With Projects [WSJ]
    Community Board 1 supports $1 billion Halletts Point project in Astoria—if developer includes a supermarket and traffic calming [NYDN]

  12. #57
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Astoria Waterfront Braces for Influx of Luxury Apartments

    In Halletts Point, a quiet Queens neighborhood on the East River, empty lots and industrial
    warehouses may soon become luxury residential towers. All photos by Nathan Kensinger.

    Halletts Point is one of the few remaining New York neighborhoods that feels like a timeless, undisturbed backwater, forgotten by the city and left to urban entropy. With just one access road, the streets of this isolated community are unusually quiet at midday, only seeing the occasional truck or bus. At the industrial edges of the neighborhood, within view of midtown Manhattan, life slows to a crawl in the hot summer sun. Baby geese wander dead end streets. A tow truck driver naps on the sidewalk. Teenagers sit in an empty waterfront lot, watching East River tugboats go by. All of this may soon change, however, as the city contemplates rezoning the area to make way for two huge new development projects. If completed, these projects could triple the population density of this sleepy Queens peninsula.

    In May, Community Board 1 backed a major rezoning of this neighborhood's industrial waterfront, which would allow a parade of new luxury residential towers to be built. The first project planned for the area was unanimously approved, and would result in more than 2,100 luxury housing units, and another almost 500 affordable housing units on the western shore of Halletts Point. A second residential project called "Astoria Cove," planned for the north side of the peninsula, would construct "seven new buildings ranging between eight and 30 stories with a total of 1,701 apartment units," according to the Wall Street Journal. Business owners and residents along the waterfront are conflicted about these plans.

    "If they rezone this neighborhood, we'll lose our space," said Justin Green, the program director of Build It Green, a nonprofit located on the north side of Halletts Point. His 40,000-square-foot warehouse is located near the water's edge, where they have leased a space for the past eight years. His neighbors include a bus depot and a lumber yard. "I don't know where businesses like our are supposed to go after all this rezoning," said Green.

    After Hurricane Sandy, other local residents are concerned about the city's desire to drastically increase the population of the neighborhood, which has only one means of egress. "This is a flood zone!" said Dennis Donnelly, who has lived in the neighborhood since 1961. His home, located across the street from several East River warehouses, was flooded with five feet of water during the recent storm. "I don't even know if they can build over there," said Donnelly, gesturing towards the proposed site for Astoria Cove. "They went down a couple feet and found contamination." These residents' concerns, however, seem unlikely to stop the Bloomberg administration, which has tirelessly worked to aid developers in their quest to transform the shoreline of the once-industrial East River into a playground for newer, wealthier residents.

    Along the western shore of Halletts Point, low warehouses and overgrown empty lots line the East River.

    Developers have proposed to transform these quiet spaces into the Halletts Point
    project, according to the Journal, with an estimated cost of $1 billion.

    In the meantime, some local residents use the isolated waterfront as a personal backyard,
    with views of the Empire State building.

    The area includes a number of older homes near the waterfront, some of which have been converted
    to apartments. Dennis Donnelly, a local resident, believes his home is "definitely over 100 years old."

    In recent years, several new apartment buildings have been built in the neighborhood.
    These apartments are five years old, according to one resident, who refers to them as the "super ugly new buildings."

    Illegal dumping is a problem throughout the neighborhood, with trash mounds in parks
    and on sidewalks. Hundreds of mail bins were dumped at the dead end of this street.

    "It's been a mess down here for a long time, since I've been coming here," said one MTA bus
    driver during his break, but "on the waterfront, that's money. You've got a view of Manhattan."

    Build It Green's next door neighbors include a bus depot, where buses are
    parked on crumbling concrete at the water's edge.

    In some ways, "it is unfortunate that a lot of industrial space got pushed to the waterfront,"
    says Justin Green. "The industrial space keeps the public from the waterfront."

    Several of Build It Green's industrial neighbors have already closed down, including Super Stud,
    a manufacturer which was located on the proposed site of the Astoria Cove project.

    Just north of Halletts Point sits one example of the type of development that might be coming the the area.
    This apartment tower on the East River provides a free shuttle service to residents, because the subway is so distant.

    The promenade, located 30 feet above the water, is used as a graying bike path
    for visitors trying to reach a greener space nearer to the water's edge.

    Nathan Kensinger

    Nathan Kensinger [official]

  13. #58
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    City Council Approves 2,500-Unit Megaproject for Hallets Point

    by Hana R. Alberts

    After more than four years of waiting, developer Lincoln Equities finally got the green light for its $1 billion Hallets Point megaproject (warning: PDF!). What does it all mean? That 2,100 luxury apartments, 500 affordable units, and community necessities like a bank, supermarket, school, and landscaped waterfront promenade (rendered above) are headed for what is at present an isolated, sleepy peninsula that juts out into the East River near Roosevelt and Randalls Islands. To woo local council members, the city agreed to conduct a $500,000 feasibility study to see if ferries between Hallets Point and Manhattan could help increase transportation options to and from the area, which are currently minimal at best. And because another developer is eying a nearby site for a 1,500-unit complex with similar bells and whistles called Astoria Cove, yeah, the population is bound to spike soon. Lincoln Equities plans to break ground in late 2014 or early 2015; meanwhile, Astoria Cove's exact future remains a mystery.

    $1B Housing Development for Hallets Point Approved by City Council [DNAinfo]

  14. #59


    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    I detest that stepping down feature, where the first floor is sunk into the ground. You also see that in a number of apartment buildings from the 60's & 70's -- almost all of which have a walled / fenced area to either side of the entry, blocking off the sunken "plaza" that fronts the sidewalk and creating a dead zone along the property line (except, as seen, the lovely display of garbage receptacles).
    The prospect of more hurricanes is bound to put a halt to this nonsense. Many houses with the step down feature got hit very hard during Sandy.

  15. #60


    See post 56.

    The article title is a little confusing. The project is called Astoria Cove. Over the last year, the drawings have become more refined; still just massing models, but the project has cleared approval by the DCP.


    Astoria's Crescent Cove
    STUDIO V presents a mixed-use vision for Queens' waterfront.

    Courtesy STUDIO V

    The march of development along the Brooklyn and Queens waterfront is heading further north. Plans for Astoria Cove—a one-million-square-foot, mixed-use development in Queens—has been approved by the Department of City Planning, moving it one crucial step closer to breaking ground. The plan calls for three residential towers, commercial space, a school, and green space on the currently industrial site along the East River.

    But it is the Cove’s crescent-shaped shoreline that is its defining feature. “Astoria Cove is really an outdoor room,” says Jay Valgora, principal at STUDIO V Architects, which is designing the project. “It’s a huge inlet that wraps around you.” And to paint that room green, the firm has recruited landscape architect Ken Smith to transform the space with walkways, rows of trees, flowerbeds, and a rain garden. An “intimately-scaled” street separates the greenery from local restaurants and shops that are tucked into the towers. From the water’s rocky edge, a view opens up to Randall’s Island and the Triborough Bridge. To accommodate for climate change, the entire scheme is set above the current, and future, floodplain.

    Valgora is adamant that rising sea levels should not deter development along the East River. He says that a transformed waterfront could provide “the most important series of public spaces” in the city’s future. Beyond creating new housing and open space, the development of the city’s riverside has been good to STUDIO V’s bottom line. The young firm has been commissioned for major projects along the water including the renovation of the Empire Stores warehouse in Dumbo, and the redevelopment of the seven-acre Halletts Point site in Queens. The latter sits adjacent to Astoria Cove.

    The landscape design extends throughout the 8.5-project, binding the tall towers along the water to the stepped townhouses further inland. These modern single-family homes are partially clad in horizontal wood slats and connected to each other through a landscaped courtyard. At night, the green space between them is lit with canopied, industrial lamps.

    The site is scaled to “step up” as it approaches the shore, with three waterfront towers that will house 1,689 apartments, 259 of which are affordable. When asked about the new, generic glass towers of Jersey City and Williamsburg and Long Island City, Valgora says he is determined to not continue that trend.

    At this stage, the towers at Astoria Cove are just massing studies, but they’re said to have “expressive” carved-out corners and tops. From the renderings, that expression is hard to decipher, but all of that could change. “We’re already speaking with the developer to create a whole new language of buildings,” says Valgora. It remains to be seen what that language will be.

    Henry Melcher

    Copyright © 2003-2014 | The Architect's Newspaper, LLC

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