Oct. 17, 2022 By Christian Murray
Mayor Eric Adams said today that he is in support of the Innovation QNS development and that the project should move forward.
Adams announced his support when he was asked about the project by a reporter at the end of a press conference he was holding about trash pickups.
“We have a housing problem,” Adams said in response to the question about Innovation QNS. “Addressing the housing problem means building more housing, and this project is a good project.”
The development would bring 2,800 units to five square blocks in Astoria, including approximately 1,100 affordable units. The project would consist of 12 buildings that would range in height from eight to 27 stories in the vicinity of Steinway Street and 35th Avenue.
Adams said that his administration is engaging in conversations with Councilmember Julie Won, who represents the district where the development is proposed. Won is opposed to the project in its current form arguing that it does not include enough affordable housing.
Won wants the developers–Silverstein Properties, BedRock Real Estate Partners and Kaufman Astoria Studios—to set aside at least 50 percent of the units for affordable housing, up from the current figure of 40 percent.
The developers agreed to boost the number of affordable housing units from 25 percent to 40 percent last month.
The $2 billion proposal, which is dependent on a rezoning, is scheduled to go before the city council for a vote next month that will determine its fate.
Traditionally the city council votes in lockstep with the official where the development is proposed—known as council deference—although many high-ranking officials want Innovation QNS to be built and believe the council may break from this tradition.
“There are things that the council woman wants to talk about to get to a good and comfortable place. We are open to that, but the project should move forward,” Adams said, “We can’t continue to stop these projects.”
Adams described the concept of member deference as an informal council tradition. He said he aims to convince the council that the project makes sense.
Won was not immediately available for comment.