A $2 billion housing project was approved by the New York City Council on Tuesday, November 22nd. The project, which is the largest privately funded development in Queens, is called “Innovation QNS”. It will see the construction of a 3,190-unit apartment complex in Astoria. 825 units of the apartment complex will be for extremely low-income households including those living in the city’s homeless shelters. Almost half of the apartments, which are 1,436, will provide affordable housing rates for lower to moderate-income households.
Mayor Eric Adams approved the housing development project. “This is exactly the kind of historic work we must do to tackle the housing shortage at the root of our affordable housing crisis,” Mr. Adams said.
Queens is an area of New York in which great developmental projects are taking place. LittleAfrica News recently reported on the New York City Football Club’s stadium construction project which will include a hotel and 2,500 units of housing. These developments will lead to economic improvement and create employment in the area.
“Queens is the borough of ‘yes,’” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards. “We can’t recycle old rhetoric. It’s time to build our way out of the housing crisis. Queens is the borough of the future and is leading the way,” he said.
Julie Won, the councilwoman for the district in which the project will be built, initially opposed it until the developers increased the number of affordable housing units from 700 to more than 1,400. “From Day 1, I have stood with my community in demanding deeper affordability from this development,” Ms. Won said, referring to the fact that having more affordable housing was important.
The developers of the housing project are Silverstein Properties, BedRock Real Estate, and Kaufman Astoria Studios. The project will see a major overhaul of an area of Astoria that includes industrial territory and the Museum of Moving Image. According to the NY Post, the developers will have a legal fund worth $2 million to assist neighboring tenants in cases of possible displacement.