Randalls Island, SummerStage, Hallets Point? That’s right, the city’s next outdoor concert and arts venue vying for visitors will be on the Astoria waterfront. The Durst Organization has announced plans to use one of the parcels awaiting development at its massive mixed-use Hallets Point project as a temporary 30,000-square-foot outdoor venue starting this summer. The venue will include a stage and a fenced off area for other cultural events like dance and film.
“Hallets is something of a blank slate, and we want to start to highlight the cultural and arts community in Astoria,” Jordan Barowitz, a representative for the Durst Organization, told The Real Deal. “It’s the final phase of the project so construction is a few years away. The views it has of Manhattan, it would be a shame not to activate it.”
The venue will pop up near the corner of 27th Avenue and 1st Street and remain in use for at least the next few years, until the final phase of construction on Hallets Point begins. But that time estimate may change; timelines have gone awry at the 2,400-unit project nearly from the start.
The project became ensnared a day after its groundbreaking in January 2016 when 421-a, the program that provided tax breaks for developers who commit to building affordable housing, lapsed. At the time, just one of the project’s seven buildings had been financed leading Durst to put plans on ice for the larger Hallets Point development. “Without the abatement, the economics for the project collapse,” a representative for the Durst Organization said in January 2016.
The seven-building development was called back on with the passing of 421-a’s replacement, Affordable New York, in April 2017. But as TRD notes, a 163-unit development in the project’s second phase is being held up after the Housing Development Corporation removed $43.5 million in financing for the project.