A rendering of the Astoria Cove development in Queens. Source: Cushman & Wakefield
NEW YORK CITY—Cushman & Wakefield has set an initial deadline of June 28th for bids to purchase a fully-approved more than 2-million-square-foot mixed-use development site in Astoria, Queens.
The 8.7-acre waterfront property is being sold by Alma Realty of Long Island City and is pre-approved for 2.2 million square feet of mixed-use space. Published reports have put the asking price for Astoria Cove at $350 million.
Astoria Cove has been approved for approximately 1.7 million residential square feet, nearly 110,000 square feet of retail, approximately 62,250 square feet for a school, and 300,000 square feet of parking. One-quarter of the site’s projected 1,700 residential units are required to qualify as affordable housing, C&W officials say.
The recent approval of the new 421a program has triggered a surge in investor interest in development sites in New York City, Cushman & Wakefield reports. The new 421 a program entitled “Affordable New York,” extends incentives to developers that dedicate a minimum proportion of their developments to affordable housing.
That’s not to say that the Astoria/Long Island City market has been bereft of investment. More than 25 institutional investors and developers have been responsible for a total of more than $16.7 billion in investments associated with approximately15.8 million square feet of commercial and residential projects that have been either recently completed or planned in Astoria and Long Island City, according to C&W.
“Immediately upon adoption of the new 421a incentive program, we witnessed a substantial uptick in investor interest in Astoria Cove,” says Cushman & Wakefield executive managing director Robert M. Shapiro, who is leading a marketing team that includes Robert A. Knakal, chairman of New York Investment Sales for Cushman & Wakefield, and chairman Adam Spies. “The development community uniformly recognizes that this site represents the future of luxury living along Queen’s shoreline. Astoria Cove is destined to advance Astoria’s historic transformation into one of New York City’s most vibrant and attractive destinations for residential living.”
He adds that the Astoria route of the Citywide Ferry Service set to open in 2017 will connect the area’s growing business and residential communities, including the new Cornell Tech Campus. The ferry service will have landings on 34th Street, Roosevelt Island, Long Island City and Wall Street / Pier 11.
The development site is located nearby the Durst Organization’s planned $1.5-billion, 2,400-unit Halletts Point development, which is already under construction.
Cushman & Wakefield notes that only two city properties exceeding 2 million square feet of development potential have sold since 2009. Only one—the Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn—was a waterfront location.