The coast of Queen’s Astoria is undergoing major developments. Soon the quiet front will be filled with buildings “with panoramic views of Manhattan into a gold coast” (Hughes, C.J., NY Times, 2017). The unpleasant sight of warehouses, power plants, and empty lots will transform into an upscale row of residential complexes, schools, and markets. Despite the combination of the luxurious views and high-end improvements to the area, the real-estate market is hesitant to implement co-ops and condos. Until the market receives enough traction, units will only be for lease. However, this has not deterred development by any means.
So who is taking on this endeavor to transform Astoria’s coast? AKI Development has already completed their ‘Graffiti House’ which comprises 28 units on seven floors. The building’s modern interiors and street art influence reflect Astoria’s artistic roots. AKI has also begun developing six other sites. Alma Realty Corp. is preparing for the influx of people with its 18 story building, comprising of 404 units. The building will be ready to move in this upcoming fall, and residents will have access to a variety of amenities. Alma Realty Corp. is also looking to acquire a 2.2 million square foot building. However, in order for Alma to take on this immense project, it will require a 421-a tax exemption.
Among other developers taking advantage of the opportunities in Astoria are the Durst Organization, who is adding to its portfolio a 20 story building and a plan to develop a 21,500 square foot market in 2018, and Excel Development Company, who is implementing an eight story residential building.
The new innovation is spurring further development in Astoria, including a ferry and Citi Bike’s $5 million investment for a kayak project. The potential migration of New Yorkers to Astoria will benefit the area’s real-estate and local businesses. At present, the greatest issue for new residents is the lack of transportation. Astoria is hopeful that the new ferry will offset this concern, making it easier for professionals to get to the city.