Astoria Cove Unleashed: 1,535 New Homes Proposed at Halletts Point


Massing diagram of the Astoria Cove project, from the environmental assessment statement.

The Halletts Point redevelopment proposal to bring 2,644 apartments to a forlorn peninsula of the Queens waterfront has been in the works for three years, but now a different developer is throwing its hat into the ring.

The vaguely-named 2030 Astoria Developers LLC submitted an early application to the Department of City Planning today to rezone another smaller chunk of Halletts Point. They’re calling the project Astoria Cove and they want to build another 1,535 housing units—a combination of townhouses and apartments—on a site overlooking Pot Cove in Astoria, with a pristine view of the Queens leg of the Triborough (RFK) Bridge. Twenty percent of the project, or about 340 units, would be set aside for affordable housing.

The site sits on Halletts Point, the bulbous peninsula in queens right above Roosevelt Island.

The site sits on Halletts Point, the bulbous peninsula on the Astoria waterfront right above Roosevelt Island.

When asked about the identify of those behind the LLC, Sean Crowley, the lobbyist who’s representing the developers and is the brother of Congressman Joe Crowley, told The Observer, “I’d rather not speak for them at the moment.”

“The buildings located along the waterfront,” reads the environmental assessment statement, “would have base heights between 80 to 100 feet that would be topped with towers ranging in height from 120 to 300 feet,” with the buildings further inland topping out at around 80 feet.

In addition to opening up the waterfront—with about twice the 20 feet of space required by the Department of City Planning, according the developer’s lobbyist—the builder is also planning to leave room for a 456-seat public elementary school, and “is exploring providing shuttle service for residents during the weekday a.m. and p.m. peak hours to and from the 30th Avenue station serving the N and Q lines.” (The proposed development is about three-quarters of a mile from the nearest train station.)

Contacted by The Observer this afternoon, Councilman Peter Vallone, who represents Astoria, said that he hasn’t yet thrown his support behind even the first project. The project, he said, “came in at almost twice the size they are now, so for years we’ve been working to whittle it down to something that’s economically feasible for them.”

The site is currently made up of vacant lots and underused industrial structures.

The site is currently made up of vacant lots and underused industrial structures.

“That peninsula needs development,” Mr. Vallone said, “and can’t be left as it is. It has dilapidated warehouses on the waterfront. People on the peninsula have no bank, no supermarket.” The developers are planning to build 117,000 square feet of retail, including a 25,000-square foot supermarket.

“But the problem,” Mr. Vallone continued, “is that both of these projects are going to be very large, and until I get commitments from the city”—on transportation infrastructure, especially—“I can’t support them.”

He did, however, acknowledge the economic realities of development in the city. “If they can’t come in big,” he said, “they’re not coming in.”