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Developer, City Locked in Standoff Over Astoria Cove Proposal

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Alma Realty's Astoria Cove is, as the Wall Street Journal puts it, "the first major development project to be shaped from early stages by Mayor Bill de Blasio," and both the city and the real estate industry think (fear, rather) that it could set the tone in terms of how much affordable housing the new administration will be able to extract from megaproject developers in the coming years. As such, both sides are talking a big game and, with the City Council's land-use committee set to vote on the proposal by Wednesday, have entered into a standoff of sorts. Local City Council member Costa Constantinides told the Journal that, "We're running out of time. I've been very clear that I can't live with what currently exists." Meanwhile, a real estate lobbyist contends that driving a hard bargain with developers could be "a risk because the developer can say, 'I'm going to wait and I'm not going to develop anything right now.'" Both sides are pretty obviously posturing, to an extent—it seems unlikely that the city will flat out refuse to approve a 1,723-unit megaproject, and even less likely that developers are just going to stop developing rather than add a few extra units of affordable housing. But still, everyone seems pretty tense and upset with one another (to be fair, people would be pretty upset with Alma Realty regardless of the affordable housing situation) and, in this case especially, it's still not clear which way the pendulum will swing.
· Old Politics Hamper City's New Approach on Affordable Housing [WSJ]
· Astoria Cove coverage [Curbed]