Back in August, the City Planning Commission green-lighted a condo development for 5Pointz, a mega mall for Willets Point, and 2,600 housing units for Hallets Point. All these plans move to the City Council and will receive a vote today. Crain’s reports that the City Council will likely approve plans for Hallets Point, a ten tower, $1 billion mixed-use proposal for a sleepy section of the Astoria waterfront. City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. still hasn’t given the proposal his blessing; he is working with the City Council subcommittee to include increased bus and ferry service. If the Council approves the plans, the developer hopes to break ground next year and complete the first building in mid-2016. UPDATE: Crain’s reports that the city made a last-minute agreement with Vallone, promising that the city will study the feasibility of adding ferry service to the site.
As the story goes with Willets Point, there is lots of controversy surrounding the vote. Local officials asked the city to include an extra $70,000,000 to build highway ramps leading into the development to help spur residential construction. Still, the plan’s detractors say the last-minute request misses the point that the proposal does not guarantee affordable housing, and only promises a mega mall on public parkland.
Over at 5Pointz, more controversy ensues. According to the 5Pointz Twitter, many thought that City Council would hold a public hearing this morning — instead, the Council is taking a vote on the proposal for two condo towers. The Times published an overview of the 5Pointz plans just yesterday. Most recently 5Pointz owner David Wolkoff promised to include 209 affordable apartment units in the development, up from 75 units. But as a graffiti artist and 5Pointz curator told the Times, the plan will “just destroy more of what made New York what it is. Now it is just boring, full of bland boring towers of boxes of glass.”
It’s likely that all three plans, despite the amount of controversy, will ultimately receive approval from the City Council. Stay tuned for news of the votes…