Plans Unveiled For $2 Billion Cultural Center In Astoria

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Innovation QNS is what they are calling it.

A team of developers have leaked their plans to turn the industrial area, largely around the intersection of Steinway and 35th Avenue in Astoria, into an arts and culture center. Larry Silverstein who’s firm Silverstein Properties already owns/rents numerous locations in that area has partnered with Kaufman Astoria Studios, and BedRock Real Estate for the project.

Silverstein stated that this plan would re-activate a largely dormant portion of Astoria, especially during a time when people desperately need jobs. The project would create 5,400 onsite jobs, 3,700 construction jobs, and 1,700 permanent jobs. It includes 250,000 square feet of office space dedicated to creative industries and startups, 200,000 square feet of retail space, 2,700 apartments, dedicated senior housing, a state-of-the-art cinema, a 600-seat school, two acres of open space, health and wellness facilities, and a new grocery store.

Tracy Capune of Kaufman Studios assures us that no residents currently in the area will be displaced from their homes and all businesses will be accommodated and/or relocated. It is also said that 700 of the apartments would be affordable, and a portion of the office space would be available below market value for startups, artists, and non-profits.

The team on the project has been working with community groups and intends to host public workshops to gather feedback. The developers plan to submit a preliminary action statement for a City Council vote next spring or early fall. Construction could start as soon as 2023 with of an expected timeline of 10 years.

Here is to the next generation of artists, performers, makers, and creative entrepreneurs.