NEW YORK – Queens Borough president Melinda Katz presided over a hearing on July 17 on a major residential real estate development project on the East River in Northwest Queens called Astoria Cove.
Many community groups and residents have complained that not enough of the 1700 planned units will meet affordable housing criteria – the developers, which includes Alma Realty Corp, have recently raised the percentage from 17 to 20 percent, the statutory minimum, but activists are advocating for a 50/50 split.
The hearing also aired concerns about the quality of the jobs the development will create .These and others concerns were addressed if not always allayed by attorney Howard Weiss of Davidoff Hutcher & Citron, who represents the developers.
Jay Valgoria, the principal of the Studio V architectural group which designed the project, made a slide presentation that was well received even by groups that had non-design concerns.
He emphasized that one of the main purposes of the design was to give the community good access to the waterfront.
Katz announced that she will make her decision about whether or not to support the project by July 30, and said the City Planning commission will then deliberate. A City Council vote is expected within a few months.
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