NYC Council approves two projects that together bring 5,000 apartments to Brooklyn and Queens

November 23, 2022

Rendering of the proposed Innovation QNS district. Image courtesy of VERO Digital

The New York City Council on Tuesday voted to approve rezonings Innovation QNS in Astoria and Innovative Urban Village in East New York, two mixed-use districts that will create more than 5,000 units of housing, with 65 percent of them designated affordable. Over 34 percent, or 1,900 of the new housing units, will be deeply affordable for extremely or very low-income households.

Rendering of the proposed Innovation QNS district; courtesy of VERO Digital

With the passage of Innovation QNS and Innovative Urban Village, the City Council has now approved over 40 land use applications since the start of the year, creating a total of 11,447 housing units, 7,238 of which are designated as affordable, according to a press release from the council.

In a vote of 46-1, Astoria’s Innovation QNS was approved, allowing its team of developers to begin constructing the $2 billion, 2.7 million square foot project spanning from 37th Street to Northern Boulevard between 35th and 36th Avenue.

The entire district’s construction will take approximately 10 years, according to its team of developers consisting of Silverstein Properties, Kaufman Astoria Studios, and BedRock Real Estate Partners.

Work will be done block by block, with the first area to start constructing being two blocks between Steinway and 42nd Streets, according to Patch.

Innovation QNS faced opposition early on in the process from Queens Council Member Julie Won who said it would provide insufficient affordable housing to the area, according to The City. Won had initially set a goal of the development having 55 percent of its units designated as affordable housing.

Last week following the City Council committee’s vote, it was announced that Won had reached a deal with developers to increase the number of affordable units in the project to 1,436, over 300 more than the previous total of 1,100.

Won has also secured a deal with developers, who will pay $2 million for an anti-displacement fund that will provide legal services to tenants in the area and help relocate nearby residents and businesses.

Developers of Innovation QNS will work to transform the area’s underutilized industrial and commercial buildings into 3,200 housing units, 1,400 of which will be designated as affordable.

The district will also include a supermarket, retail space, medical office, daycare center, community recreation center, and a new movie theater to replace the Regal UA Kaufman Astoria theater on 38th Street, as 6sqft previously reported.

“As our city grapples with a housing crisis that threatens communities, the Council has advanced major projects that provide tens of thousands of affordable homes to New Yorkers,” Council Speaker Adrienne Adams said.

“With today’s approval of Innovation QNS and Innovative Urban Village, we are delivering affordable housing and unprecedented public benefits for the residents of Brooklyn, Queens, and the entire city.”

east new york, CCC, affordable housingRendering of the proposed Innovative Urban Village district. Image courtesy of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism

Headed to East New York, Innovative Urban Village is a mixed-use development with 2,000 affordable homes, 200 of which will be reserved for seniors, and another 100 for homeownership opportunities.

The sprawling mixed-use district will include a senior center, 24-hour childcare facilities, a grocery store, retail space, walk-in medical services, an athletic space, and over two acres of public open space.

Now that both districts have been approved by the City Council, it’s up to Mayor Eric Adams to give final approval.


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