Newly renovated basketball court at Astoria Houses makes its long-awaited debut

Photo courtesy of the office of Councilman Costa Constantinides

Councilman Costa Constantinides unveiled the newly renovated basketball court at the Astoria Houses on July 20.

The councilman, along with members of the Astoria Houses Tenant Association, the New York City Housing Authority, (NYCHA) Urban Upbound and HANAC Cornerstone gathered at Astoria Houses (4-25 Astoria Blvd.) to showcase the renovations made to the complex’s basketball court.

Improvements to the Astoria court included new asphalt, newly painted shot lines and lanes, steel benches, a new water fountain, an electronic scoreboard and a shot clock.

“This beautiful, state-of-the-art basketball court will provide generations of Astoria Houses residents with a safe environment to gather and play,” Constantinides said. “Three years after we first secured funding for this much-needed refurbishing, I am happy to see this is a slam dunk for the community.”

Funding for the basketball court came from the approximately $600,000 that the councilman has allocated for this crucial community use.

“It’s been a long time coming. It’s been a lot of work. It’s been a lot of hands in the pot, but we have arrived,” said Claudia Coger, president of the Astoria Houses Tenant Association. “The Council member has been excellent, that he’s given us his attention here not just by words but by deeds. He has stuck to his word. And we are still going forward. There’s a lot more to come.”

Astoria Houses is a 2,400-unit NYCHA apartment complex located in the Hallets Point Peninsula. Since he was elected in 2014, Constantinides has been taking part in broader investments on the Peninsula, including the reopening of a boat landing that brought ferry service back to Astoria after more than a century and new developments that are presenting more options for affordable housing. In total, $25 million has been secured over the last few years for investments on the Peninsula.

In addition to the basketball court, construction on a multipurpose court will begin this fall at the Astoria Houses. The councilman has also secured $250,000 in the Fiscal Year 2019 budget for new lighting and additional security cameras at the complex’s community center.

“In the midst of the negative things happening at NYCHA, I’m glad that we still have advocates like Ms. Coger and Councilman Constantinides that somehow manage to bring a ray of hope to our young people,” said Bishop Mitchell Taylor, co-founder and CEO of Urban Upbound. “This newly renovated basketball court and playground will be a beacon of positive activities for the young people in Astoria.”