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Community Board approves massive Astoria development

May 22, 2013 By Christian Murray

A development plan that would bring thousands of apartments to Astoria’s waterfront passed an important hurdle Tuesday night when it received the unanimous approval of Community Board 1.

The project, called Halletts Point Astoria, would add 2,200 units of housing to the area, a supermarket and park space. According to the plan, 20% of the units would be “affordable”, with the rest at market-rate.

Lincoln Equities Group, the developer, needed to present the plan before the community board since it requires zoning changes in order to go ahead with the billion dollar project. The plan calls for 11 buildings ranging from 11 to 31 stories.

Presenting the plan to the community board is just one step in the lengthy process toward getting the zoning change.  While approval is not required, several other government bodies that weigh in on the development– such as the Queens Borough President and the City Council– are influenced by the board’s decision.

At the hearing last night, Robert Schenkel, the development director for Lincoln Equities, said the plan would transform an unkempt industrial zone into a more appealing neighborhood. He also said that the development would include upgrades to the NYCHA Astoria Houses, a public housing complex next to the site.

Schenkel spent a great deal of time explaining to the community that the development would not force current NYCHA tenants out from their apartments. Furthermore, he said the new development would not be a “private gated community,” and noted that it would be part of the revitalization of the East River waterfront that goes to Long Island City.

Lincoln Equities is working with the MTA to expand service on the Q18, Q19, Q102 and Q103 bus lines in order to accommodate more than 6,500 new residents.

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