As expected, things did not go smoothly for Alma Realty today when they presented the City Council zoning subcommittee with plans for Astoria Cove, the 1,723-unit megaproject they hope to build on the Queens waterfront. Crain's reports that several council members promised to vote against the project unless Alma increased the number of affordable apartments and agreed to use union labor. Councilman Jumaane Williams of Brooklyn called the current proposal "atrocious."
Alma defended their plan to make 20 percent of the units affordable by pointing out that they are doing so without taking a subsidy, though, as Crain's notes, they are receiving a tax abatement. The City Planning Commission already approved the plan, which includes but local Astoria councilman Costa Constantinides wants to see more than the mandatory 20 percent, even if it means giving Alma some subsidies. The full council usually follows the lead of the local member, and given today's hearing, it seems likely that the plan for Astoria Cove will see some changes.
· City council members rip proposed Queens project [Crain's]
· Affordability Critics Continue To Plague Queens Megaproject [Curbed]
· All Astoria Cove coverage [Curbed]