Mayor Eric Adams was in an industrial pocket of Astoria on Monday. It falls within the footprint of the Innovation QNS project, a mammoth, $2 billion mixed-use development proposed for the area.
What You Need To Know
- On Monday, Mayor Eric Adams toured the proposed site of the Innovation QNS project with community leaders who back the project
- The $2 billion mixed-use project would create office and residential towers as high as 27 stories, plus generate retail and open space
- City Councilwoman Julie Won, whose vote is critical, wants to boost the number of affordable units from 40% of the total to 55%
- Won says she is actively negotiating with the mayor’s team and the project’s developers
The project has drawn fevered opposition, including from many local elected officials who believe the project will fuel gentrification in the area and displace long-term residents. But the mayor is a supporter of the plan.
“When I heard some of the testimony that people were saying that this is not a good location, I said I wanted to come out here and see for myself,” Adams said.
The mayor was joined during a walking tour by another prominent supporter, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards.
“There is a divide somewhat in the community. There’s also a lot of support for the project,” Richards told the mayor.
Richards threw his support behind the project after developers boosted the number of affordable units on the site to about 1,100, or 40% of the total.
“Is this project going to resolve the total affordable housing crisis in Queens and the city? Absolutely not,” Richards said. “But every bit counts, and we can’t simply talk our way out of this crisis, we have to build our way out.”
On Monday, union workers and a public housing tenant leader were among those who talked up the project, which will radically transform the neighborhood with commercial and residential towers as tall as 27 stories. The proposed project also includes retail space, two acres of open space and a hub for community groups.
“When you walk through this location, this is a prime example of the type of spaces we should utilize to build affordable housing, jobs, build park space,” Adams said.
But local City Council member, Julie Won, whose vote could make or break the project, wants to see a higher percentage of affordable units.
“Even if we talk about 1,100 units, that’s still not enough,” Won said on NY1’s Inside City Hall last week.
Won said in a statement Monday that she’s actively negotiating with the mayor’s team and the developers to reach her goal of 55% affordable units.
“We were not invited to the Innovation Queens site tour today, but we are in daily conversations to ensure the community’s voice is heard and their concerns are met,” the statement said.