July 13, 2021 By Christian Murray
The New York City Council recently approved a developer’s rezoning plan to build an 11-story, 104-unit apartment complex near the 30th Avenue train station in Astoria.
The approval now means that MEDREP Associates, a Long Island City based company, can move forward with its plans to build its 11-story project at 30-02 Newtown Ave.
The building will include 104 units, of which 26 units will be designated as affordable, in accordance with the City’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program.
The development will also include ground floor retail space and space for a community facility—such as a child care center, health care facility or non-profit organization. There will also be 30 parking spaces in the cellar.
The development site has frontage along 31st Street, Newtown Avenue and 30th Street. The site is currently occupied by three interconnected two-story commercial buildings, which will all be demolished. The buildings are home to a tire repair shop, a warehouse and offices.
The rezoning application was approved by Community Board 1 in January, by a vote of 19 to 11 with three abstentions. It then got the support of the Queens Borough President in March and was later approved by the City Planning Commission in April.
The property’s zoning will now change from C4-4A to C4-4D, which represents an increase in the allowable buildable area.
The developer plans to offer the affordable housing units to households earning—on average—60 percent of the Area Median Income, in accordance with MIH guidelines. Some apartments will be offered to households making 40 percent of the AMI, while others priced for those making 80 percent of the AMI.
Renderings of the proposed development show that the height of the project will be staggered, ranging from six to 11 stories. The tallest section of the building will be concentrated along 31st Street, with the scale declining toward 30th Street.
Advocates for the project say that the development makes sense given its proximity to the subway and how it is located on a busy corridor. However, opponents say that more affordable units should have been included in the plan.