Renderings courtesy of Durst Organization
Brooklyn Harvest Market will open a location at Hallets Point in Astoria next summer.

A massive development project in Astoria that had been put on hold after the 421-a tax abatement program ended is now back on track, and those behind it have reached an agreement with a supermarket that will serve the community.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Brooklyn Harvest Market will take up 25,000 square feet on the first floor of the first of seven apartment buildings that will make up Hallets Point. Elected officials helped to break ground at the 2.4-million-square-foot development in January 2016.

But when the 421-a tax abatement, which many developers use to receive tax breaks for building large projects, was not renewed last January, the Durst Organization said it would not be financially feasible to continue the project. In April 2017, the real estate industry and lawmakers agreed to a proposal brought forth by Gov. Andrew Cuomo called Affordable New York.

The new tax abatement program outlines new construction wages developers must abide by for projects with 300 or more units and expands the tax exemption for those including affordable housing from 25 years to 35 years. The affordable units must also keep the household income rent caps for 40 years instead of 35 years.

The first tower, which will open in spring 2018, will include 405 units and at least 81 units will be affordable to low-income families earning 40 percent and 50 percent of area median income (AMI). These numbers translate to individuals making incomes of $24,000 to an annual income of $38,000 for a family of three.

Brooklyn Harvest Market is slated to open in summer 2018, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Residents in the neighboring Astoria Houses will have a rental preference for 50 percent of all affordable housing units. Located at 01-02 26th Ave., the area has long lacked retail space and convenient access to Manhattan.

Hallets Point will add more than 100,000 square feet of public access space and reopen a section of Astoria Boulevard with improved bus service. The School Construction Authority will also build a school on site and NYC Ferry service will launch from the waterfront in August.

Claudia Coger, president of the Astoria Houses Resident Association and 50-year resident of Astoria Houses, recounted at the ground-breaking the struggles that residents of Astoria Houses experienced and noted how important this project is.

“For years, we had some desertions, we had some devastation on the peninsula, we had some evacuations, we had some escapes, we had all types of things that happened on the peninsula but we did not give up,” Croger said. “We have resilience. We the people here, we planned, we prayed, we hoped and today is a reality of all of that effort.”


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