February 16, By Hannah Wulkan
The Durst organization is making headway on the first building in its Halletts Point complex, and expects the building to open in the summer of 2018.
The first building in the $1 billion, 7-building complex is under construction, said Durst spokesman Keith Dumanski at the Old Astoria Neighborhood Association meeting last night. Once finished, the building will stand 20 stories tall with 405 units, 81 of which will be affordable housing.
The building, which will be at 1-02 26th Avenue on the waterfront, will have two towers connected at the base, with retail space for a 21,500 square foot supermarket on the ground floor.
The rest of the development is currently stalled, however, and is waiting for the 421-a tax code, which provides property tax breaks to developers if they include affordable housing in the plans and use union labor to build, to be re-upped in Albany.
The first building in the development was grandfathered in to the old 421-a tax code, as it broke ground in January 2016, the day before the old 421-a code expired.
Despite waiting to break ground until 421-a is reinstated, the Durst Organization is pushing ahead with planning for Halletts Point.
The second phase of construction will see another waterfront building and a building on the nearby NYCHA Astoria Houses campus, and recent plan tweaks have added retail space to the first floor of that building as well, offering necessary services to the fairly undeveloped area, Dumanski said.
He estimated that, provided a fairly speedy passage of new the new 421-a code, the second and third phases of the project, which would add several buildings to the waterfront and a building on the Astoria Houses campus, would likely be completed by 2019 or 2020.
Beyond those phases, he said that the company couldn’t provide estimates for the rest of the construction, as it was too far in the future to predict.
Once completed, the Halletts Point development will add a total of 2,400 rental units, as well as 65,000 square feet of retail space, a public elementary school, and a waterfront park, which will be owned and maintained by Durst but open to the public.
Of the new units, almost 500 will be affordable housing, and Astoria Houses residents will have first dibs on half of the affordable apartments.
Durst is also working to add more transportation options to the area, Dumanski said, given that it is not near a subway.
He outlined several new bus routes that, in collaboration with the MTA, the company is working to add to the area.
An expansion of the East River ferry service will also open a dock at Halletts Point this coming summer, offering ferry service to Roosevelt Island, Long Island City, and the east side of Manhattan as an alternative to buses and subways.