May 5, 2023 By Michael Dorgan
A fully affordable housing complex for low-income families and the formerly homeless has opened in Astoria — and officials including Mayor Eric Adams held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the occasion on Wednesday, May 3.
The new development, located at 3-24 27th Ave., is situated on a former parking lot inside the Astoria Houses NYCHA complex and comes with 163 units. All of the units in the building are classified as affordable.
The 14-story building, which cost $90.5 million to build, was constructed by the Durst Organization and features a fitness room, a tenant lounge and a laundry room, while apartments come with oak floors, large windows and energy-efficient appliances.
The new building was developed through a wider partnership between the city, local leaders, and the Durst Organization, which is also constructing several buildings at the nearby Hallets Point development. The Durst Organization, as part of the partnership, is also carrying out upgrades to public spaces and a heating plant at the Astoria Houses complex.
Adams was joined at the ribbon-cutting ceremony by Douglas Durst, the chairman of the Durst Organization, and Queens Borough President Donovan Richards. Leaders from city agencies, Community Board 1 and the Astoria Houses Tenant Association were also present.
“This project shows how cooperation and investment by the public and private sector can transform communities,” Adams said. “What was once a grouping of empty and underutilized lots is now affordable housing for over 160 families.”
The city gave preference to NYCHA tenants, formerly homeless households and locals from the surrounding community in the application process. Rents range from $665 per month for studios, to $1,601 per month for two-bedroom units. Tenants have already started moving into the building.
Construction was financed by the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development via its Extremely Low- and Low-Income Affordability (ELLA) program. At least 15 percent of units must be set aside for formerly homeless households.
Durst said that the city is facing a housing crisis and there is a need to build more homes to tackle the issue.
“Our partnership with Astoria Houses, our elected officials and this community helped to build new homes in Queens. It’s a special day seeing residents move into this beautiful new building,” Durst said.
Jonathan Gouveia, the executive vice president for real estate development at NYCHA, said the project was a testament to various city agencies, local leaders and the Durst Organization coming together.
“NYCHA is proud to be in partnership with the Durst Organization, Mayor Adams, the City of New York, Astoria residents and all local elected leaders who worked hard to bring this quality 100 percent affordable housing development to fruition,” Gouveia said.
“We remain committed to preserving and advancing NYCHA communities for years to come.”