New York Construction Report staff writer
New York City Council has approved Innovation Queens, a $2 billion mixed-use development with 400,000 square feet of commercial space and 3,200 apartments in Astoria, about half to be priced below market rate.
The project, which includes a new movie theater, retail space, restaurants and office space for small businesses, start-ups, and non-profits will take over five city blocks in the Kaufman Arts District between Northern Boulevard and 37th Street.
It’s the largest privately owned housing development in the borough, designed by ODA New York.
Innovation QNS developers and the city’s housing department agreed to double the allotment of affordable housing units to 1,400, or about 45 percent of the project, to get approval.
The council’s support comes just days after the announcement of a 25,000-seat soccer stadium/affordable housing development in Queens’ Willets Point near the Mets’ Citi Field ballpark.
The $780 million soccer arena for the New York City Football Club will be privately financed and also includes a hotel along with 2,500 affordable apartments.
“In a community with a lower vacancy rate than the rest of the city, creating this kind of affordable housing is a game-changer,” Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement. “In just the last week, the city has advanced plans for nearly 8,500 new homes across the city. This is exactly the kind of historic work we must do to tackle the housing shortage at the root of our affordable housing crisis.
“But as this process shows, we need a better system to create new housing.”