Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, longtime companion of Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa, has come out strongly against Alma Realty’s new residential project for Astoria Cove on Long Island Sound.
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Katz feels the project would disrupt the area’s public transportation and that it does not offer enough affordable housing.
She was quoted as saying that, “The projected rents for the proposed affordable housing would still be higher than what current local Astoria residents, who will bear the brunt of the impacts of the proposed project, could afford to pay.”
The Borough President also voiced concerns that the construction workers doing the building be guaranteed a fair wage and that the people who take the permanent jobs at the site once it’s open also be given a proper living wage. In addition, she wants Alma to build a promised new elementary school building at the beginning of construction, instead of at the end, as they had promised.
Alma had increased affordable housing from 17% to 20% in the ptoject.
Howard Weiss, a lawyer for Alma, stated, “We remain confident that the City Planning Commission and City Council will recognize that Astoria Cove will be the crown jewel in the revitalization of the Queens waterfront with its promise for the Astoria community of much needed housing, local retail with a FRESH supermarket, construction jobs and permanent employment, and waterfront access with expansive publicly accessible open space.”
The Astoria Cove residential development will have 1, 723 units over 2.2 million square feet. It will include three high towers and several smaller buildings.
Melinda Katz, 49, has served as Queens Borough President since January 1, 2014, and was previously a member of the New York City Council.