Top stories to watch for in western Queens in 2023

The Hunters Point Parks Conservancy has concerns over the new $12.2 million NYC Ferry landing at Hunters Point South Park. (Photo courtesy of HPPC)

Western Queens saw a lot of change in 2022, from new real estate projects to transportation developments that will drastically transform the landscape of the neighborhoods along the East River. In the new year, readers should look out for the following stories in western Queens:

City Council votes to approve massive $2 billion Innovation QNS project in Astoria

The City Council on Tuesday, Nov. 22, voted to approve the Innovation QNS project in Astoria. (Rendering courtesy of Innovation QNS)

The past year held a lot of uncertainty for the notorious Innovation QNS project. However, in November 2022, the full City Council voted to approve the rezoning applications 46-1 to remake a five-block area of southeast Astoria.

When the shovels hit the ground on the largest private affordable housing project in Queens history, it will be a far different project than the one the developers drew up a half-decade ago.

In order to gain the support of Councilwoman Julie Won, the Innovation QNS team — Silverstein Properties, BedRock and Kaufman Astoria Studios — agreed to surrender office and community space to create an additional 299 affordable housing units. Their “exhaustive negotiations” with Won, Speaker Adrienne Adams and the mayor’s office yielded more than double the number of affordable units that were originally offered, as well as an unprecedented package of community benefits.

“Today’s vote to approve the largest private affordable housing initiative in the history of Queens is a tremendous victory for our Astoria neighbors,” Kaufman Astoria Studios VP Tracy Capune said. “And we look forward to working with the community to ensure Innovation QNS is worthy of the overwhelming support it has earned from neighboring residents, tenant leaders, labor leaders, faith leaders, small business owners, nonprofits and cultural institutions.”

Hunters Point Parks Conservancy concerned about impact of proposed $12.2 million NYC Ferry landing

The Hunters Point Parks Conservancy has concerns over the new $12.2 million NYC Ferry landing at Hunters Point South Park. (Photo courtesy of HPPC)

Members of the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy (HPPC) said they were blindsided by the city’s plan to move and expand the NYC Ferry landing in Hunters Point South Park, claiming the plan was proposed without any community or stakeholder input.

HPPC said the proposed plan, which was publicized by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers but not sent to any community groups in Long Island City, would place a 262-foot docking area directly in front of the park’s main waterfront promenade.

NYCEDC presented the plans to Community Board 2 (CB 2) in June and plans to return to CB 2 this winter. In addition to meeting with the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, the agency plans on communicating with other community groups throughout the process.

“NYCEDC looks forward to continued briefings and conversation with the community as we prepare for construction in the fall of 2023,” the spokesperson said.

The construction is anticipated to be completed around the end of 2023.

Northwest Queens sees 2.4% monthly rental price increase from October to November: report

(Photo courtesy of Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

Western Queens saw a dramatic increase in the average rental prices compared to 2021, and prices are continuing to slowly rise month-over-month. According to a recent Douglas Elliman report, the medial rental price increased 22.5% this year compared to last.

The average rental price in November of last year was $2,914 compared to $3,402 in 2022.

According to Elliman economists, there has been heavy demand for listings over the past 18 months, and the inventory has been unable to keep up. Inventory took a big hit this year, dropping 27.9% compared to 2021.

As far as hoping for any affordability in rental prices, Elliman economists say: don’t hold your breath.

“I don’t think we will see a significant improvement in affordability shortly,” Miller said. “High mortgage rates have helped keep rents elevated as buyers that were priced out move into rentals.”

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