Rendering the civic park at Innovation QNS courtesy of ODA
A proposal to build a mixed-use district in Queens that would encompass five blocks and create thousands of new housing units was unveiled this week. Dubbed “Innovation QNS,” the $2 billion project would bring 2,700 units of mixed-income housing, 250,000 square feet of creative office space, 200,000 square feet of retail, a new school, two acres of public open space, and new neighborhood amenities to Astoria. With ODA Architecture as the architect of the master plan, the mixed-use district is a joint private venture led by Silverstein Properties, Kaufman Astoria Studios, BedRock Real Estate Partners.
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Photo courtesy of The Bel Aire Diner
A retro diner in Queens has transformed its parking lot into a drive-in movie theater, giving New Yorkers a way to be entertained safely during the coronavirus pandemic. The Bel Aire Diner, located at Broadway and 21st Street, set up a 25-foot outdoor projection screen in its lot that has enough space for 40 cars. After successful first showings of “Grease” and “Dirty Dancing,” the diner plans to keep the movie nights going, possibly with multiple showings per week.
Part of the Welling Court Mural Project; via Wikimedia
Located just steps from the Welling Court Mural Project and Socrates Sculpture Park, a new rental building in Astoria has launched an affordable housing lottery. Fifteen newly constructed units are up for grabs at the Amana Astoria, located at 14-47 29th Avenue. Qualifying New Yorkers earning 70, 80, and 130 percent of the area median income can apply for the apartments, which range from a $990/month studio to a $2,770/month two-bedroom.
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The Bay Ridge Branch crossing Ralph Avenue in Canarsie, photo by Jim Henderson / Wiki Commons
Since the 1990s, the Regional Plan Association has been advocating for the restoration of passenger service to a rail line known as the Bay Ridge Branch that runs from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn to Astoria, Queens and is now used as a freight line. The MTA has announced that it will begin a feasibility study to “evaluate the potential for subway, commuter rail, light rail or bus service” along the line, which the agency notes would create the potential for reverse commuting and connect to 19 subway lines and the LIRR. In October, the RPA’s Kate Slevin explained to NY1, “We don’t have unlimited resources here in New York City, as we know, so the fact that we already have tracks there, that are underutilized, really means a lot.”
MTA New York City Transit President Andy Byford at the 168 St Station on Monday, December 23, 2019, along with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Assemblymember Al Taylor. Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit
After a year, the 168th Street 1 train station has finally reopened, marking the first complete elevator replacement at this stop in more than 100 years. In addition, last week, the MTA announced that the Astoria Boulevard N, W station has reopened after nine months and the completion of the first phase of its station modernization.
, Fri, September 20, 2019
Renderings courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group and Wildflower Ltd.
The star power involved with Robert de Niro’s planned production studio in Astoria continues to grow. The development group—which includes developer Wildflower Ltd, Raphael De Niro, and Jane Rosenthal—has just revealed a first look at the 650,000-square-foot facility designed by Bjarke Ingels Group. The $400 million project, called Wildflower Studios, will establish a hub for the creation of film, television, and other forms of entertainment, including augmented reality and virtual reality. The facility is expected to create more than 1,000 daily union jobs.
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30-77 Vernon Boulevard. Renderings by Pax Brooklyn, courtesy of Fogarty Finger
A sprawling new residential development at 30-77 Vernon Boulevard from Cape Advisors and Wainbridge Capital will bring over 500 rental apartments to the Astoria waterfront area (h/t Yimby). The 522,000-square-foot construction site on two-and-a-half acres of land will be comprised of three adjacent buildings designed by Fogarty Finger. New renderings show a white and gray façade with rooftop recreation areas; amenity spaces will include a private courtyard, indoor and outdoor lounges, a fitness center and a rooftop pool East River and Manhattan skyline views.
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Rendering courtesy of EJ Stevens Group
Last summer, a developer announced plans to convert a restaurant supply store and warehouse in Astoria into a food hall. Now, after some construction delays, the World Artisan Market is officially moving forward, as Eater NY first reported on Wednesday, with an expected opening date in the late fall. Developed by the EJ Stevens Group, the former warehouse at 34-39 31st Street will be converted into a retail space with 18,000-square-feet of storefronts which will offer a diverse mix of vendors, from Korean barbecue to a French-Scandinavian bakery.
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The Wildflower Studios is part of a large swath of properties owned by piano manufacturer Steinway & Sons; via Google Streetview
As the number of movies and television shows filmed in New York City continues to grow, Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro wants in on the action. De Niro and his son, Douglas Elliman broker Raphael De Niro, along with development firm Wildflower and producer Jane Rosenthal, have entered a contract for five acres in Astoria with plans to build a production studio, as Commercial Observer first reported. The planned facility, which will be called Wildflower Studios, will cost about $400 million to build.
Image via Google Earth.
A planned expansion by Target into several Queens neighborhoods has run afoul of politicians and community groups. The chain store hopes to open new stores in Astoria and Elmhurst by 2022, but activists in the borough have been fighting to stop the new additions, objecting to the fact that they’ll replace mom-and-pop stores and concerned about the effects of gentrification in their neighborhoods. Another concern is that Target’s non-union workforce will replace union jobs, The City reports.
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