On Thursday, we brought you news of a new building permit filing for 65-70 Austin Street, a seven-story apartment building planned for Rego Park. The developer, Woodmere Development, has since shared a rendering of the project with YIMBY.
The building, designed by GF55, will fit in perfectly with the other seven-story buildings that have been erected on the south side of Austin Street over the past decade or two. The structures have been filling in a formerly industrial low-rise strip, set up against the Long Island Rail Road’s Main Line, right beside what used to be the Rego Park station, shuttered in 1962.
65-70 Austin Street’s 45 apartments will be rentals, the developer told us, with the permit application indicating an average unit size of a bit under 800 square feet. The building will rise 70 feet into the air, and contain 28 off-street car parking spots.
The project will add new rental product at more affordable price points than you’d find in new construction in western Queens neighborhoods like Long Island City and Astoria, opening up this solidly middle-class area to more residents. While Rego Park has traditionally been home to a large community of Eastern Europeans and Bukharian Jews from Central Asia, the neighborhood has, along with much of the rest of central Queens, been growing increasingly popular with immigrants from China.
Amazingly, this is actually not Rego Park’s first influx from the Far East. About a century ago, Chinese farmers, growing food to be sold in Chinatown, once worked the land west of 63rd Avenue and south of Queens Boulevard. The farms were bought up in the 1920s by the Real Good Construction Company, which fashioned the term “Rego Park” out of its name, and the plots were redeveloped into much-needed housing – the kind of dynamic change that those wishing to freeze New York City today would rather prevent.
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