Neighborhood To Watch: Astoria, Queens, New York
Astoria, a bustling neighborhood of Queens, New York has long been attracting residents of Manhattan who seek out more affordable housing options. According to economists, affordability and access to Manhattan are driving the current surge in interest and new residents. This, paired with the fact that Western Astoria signifies one of the last developable waterfront areas in New York City, has ignited a massive demand for homes for purchase and rent.
The neighborhood offers the space and value NYC residents crave, particularly with the increased time spent at home, that originally put Brooklyn on the map but no longer exists. Many consider the area as one of the last places to score a deal in the City.
Nestled along the East River, Astoria is one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods dating back to the 17th century when early farmsteads along the waterfront grew into bustling hamlets. In the early 19th century wealthy Manhattanites began building their mansions in the area, some of which still stand today. Officially founded in 1839, Astoria Village continued to expand as commercial growth brought German immigrants to the area.
Today, Astoria’s residents enjoy 60 acres of public green space along with an abundance of arts and culture. In fact, Astoria signifies one of NYC’s best cultural enclaves. A cluster of prestigious arts institutions has made the western area of Astoria somewhat of an arts district, with the Isamu Noguchi Museum, Socrates Sculpture Park and the Museum of the Moving Image, while MoMA PS1 and The People’s Museum are in nearby Long Island City.
Long considered a prime foodie destination, at night bustling bars spill onto lively streets, while food lovers can enjoy Michelin-rated restaurants and some of NYC’s most delectable and original Greek cuisine. In addition to eclectic diners and other small outposts, you’ll find hip new eateries like Blend Astoria, a Latin American staple and winner of the Alfresco Awards for best outdoor dining space.
Astoria West, a residential community developed by Cape Advisors and designed by Fogarty Finger, brought over 500 rental units and 40,000 square feet of amenities to the waterfront area along Vernon Blvd. Cape Advisors was banking on the demand for a Manhattan-level property in this western part of Astoria that offers seamless connectivity to the City via the ferry, a short walk across the street from the property.
Craig Wood, Founder and CEO of Cape Advisors, recently spoke about the ambitious project.
What prompted you to develop this area?
Cape Advisors was drawn to this western, waterfront area of Astoria as it signified one of the last developable waterfront parcels in the city. There was a lack of elevated residential offering in the area that paired high-end design and architecture with the amenitized lifestyle that buildings in Manhattan are known for. With all of the fantastic elements that Astoria has to offer, and the easy connectivity to Manhattan, the team knew that building a Manhattan-level product on the waterfront would attract residents looking for more bang for their buck without sacrificing quality. Astoria West spans three buildings, over 530 residences and 40,000 square feet of amenities including a rooftop pool club and lounge area that overlooks the iconic New York City skyline, and a multitude of live/work offerings that speak to today’s remote workforce including indoor/outdoor co-working spaces, DAGNY, an onsite grab-and-go cafe and bar, as well as a fitness center and entertainment spaces including a media and billiards room.
What has been the response from the public thus far?
Leasing has been swift. People have been attracted to the amount of space, light, air and amenities as well as access to the outdoors and parks, all at a significant discount to what they would have to pay in Manhattan.
Describe the overall theme for the architecture and design.
The architecture and design at Astoria West was done by the award winning firm Fogarty Finger. Incorporating light, air and open spaces was incredibly important to the Cape Advisors team during the development process, as much of the construction overlapped with the pandemic, and the team knew that people were going to be spending more time at home and really craving those outdoor spaces, natural light and expansive layouts. The light-filled spaces offer high ceilings, generously sized bedrooms, and enjoy picturesque views. The interior design interprets the material and color palette of the building’s surrounding neighborhood in a modern way, while making the most of the oversized floor-to-ceiling windows. Rich materiality and light-toned, neutral finishes allow residents to get creative with their decor and add personal touches through their choices of furniture, accessories and art. A variety of studio, one and two-bedroom residences are available, with several different layouts to choose from – many with private roof terraces, patios or gardens. Overall, the themes were a focus light, air, integration of nature and the outdoors, a rich materiality and an emphasis on personal comfort.