The Durst Organization is investing $1.5 billion in a residential and retail development on the Halletts Peninsular in Astoria Queens. The development will build 2,404 units of rental housing, including 483 affordable units in eight high-rise buildings up to 40-stories tall. The project will transform an undeveloped and isolated stretch of the Queens waterfront into a residential community with a supermarket, a mix of retail, an extended and rebuilt waterfront esplanade and renovated playgrounds and parkland.
The City Planning Commission approved zoning changes last year to help move the project along and agreed to commit $500,000 to conduct a study on the feasibility of bringing ferry service to the site.
This is The Durst Organization’s first major development outside of Manhattan. Jonathan (Jody) Durst, President of The Durst Organization, said in a statement: “This project will transform an isolated and neglected stretch of the Queens waterfront and transform into a vibrant community.”
Lincoln Equities Group began the project seven years ago. Joel Bergstein, President of Lincoln Equities Group, said: “This new joint venture with The Durst Organization will enable us to realize our vision for Halletts. We will bring a much needed supermarket and affordable housing to Astoria as well as reinvigorating and reconnecting the peninsular to surrounding neighborhood through infrastructure improvements and retail development.”
“Lincoln began working with, and listening to, the community on day one of the project,” said Claudia Coger, President of The Astoria Houses Resident Association. “For decades there has been talk of revitalizing and reconnecting our community to the rest of our neighborhood but those efforts have always fallen short. As a 50-year resident of the Astoria Houses it is tremendously gratifying to see this project move forward and we are eager to work the Dursts and Lincoln to make sure the project is the best it can be.”
The 2.5 million square foot project includes eight residential buildings; four market rate, two 80/20 and two affordable buildings. The affordable buildings are being developed in partnership with the Jonathan Rose Companies. The rezoning also includes 65,000 square feet of retail and community use facilities, a site reserved for the construction of a new K-8 public school and an additional development lot for the New York City Housing Authority.
Community improvements will include a new public waterfront esplanade that connects Whitey Ford Field to the existing esplanade, rebuilding of the sea railing, and a large plaza and lawn at the termination of 27th Avenue on the waterfront lined with retail. Upgrades are planned for the Halletts Point Playground that will be maintained by the developer. A 25,000 square foot supermarket will open in the first building to be constructed and there will be 20,000 square feet of community service retail on the waterfront (café’s, restaurants, bakery, bank, dry cleaner, pharmacy).