A consortium of developers including Kaufman Astoria Studios, Silverstein Properties, and BedRock Real Estate Partners has revealed extensive plans to redevelop and construct a five-block mixed-use complex in Astoria, Queens. Designed by ODA’s New York design studio, the development is known as Innovation QNS and is expected to yield up to 2,700 apartments and more than 400,000 square feet of commercial area.
The project will break ground in an area known as the Kaufman Arts District near the neighborhood’s southern boundary, which is currently filled with low-rise industrial buildings, parking lots, and underutilized parcels of land. When complete, the project is poised to reinvigorate the area between Northern Boulevard and 37th Street.
Planned components include two acres of publicly accessible outdoor area; up to 200,000 square feet of buildable commercial area including retail, restaurants, and a movie theatre; health and wellness facilities including doctor’s offices and clinics; and 250,000 square feet of additional commercial space reserved for small businesses, startups, and nonprofits in the creative industries to be leased below market-rate values.
The residential component is expected to include up to 2,700 mixed-income apartments and approximately 700 permanently affordable apartments with a portion reserved for seniors.
With a focus on sustainability, the project team will also construct multiple green roofs, managed beehives, and photo-voltaic panels as a source of renewable energy.
While an official project timeline has not be released, Innovation QNS is expected to create 3,700 construction jobs and 1,700 permanent positions from groundbreaking through completion.
Following a two-year community engagement process, which included focus groups, workshops, and surveys, the plan is now ready to take the next step toward public review. A preliminary action statement will be filed with the Department of City Planning in July, with the full public review process slated to begin in late 2020 or early 2021.