A newly opened building at the sprawling mixed-use development, Halletts Point, is helping to transform Astoria from a residential outpost to a magnetic point-of-interest.
One of two residential towers at 10 Halletts Point — a peninsula just below Randall’s Island that protrudes into the East River — started leasing this month, and according to representatives for the Durst Organization, demand has already been palpable. Two studio apartments were nabbed the day leasing opened.
The newly opened tower spans 22 floors and contains 404 units with views of the East River and Manhattan.
“Our vision for Halletts Point is to celebrate the storied cultural and prolific artistic community in the Astoria neighborhood,” said Helena Durst, principal of The Durst Organization, which is developing the project.
To help reflect Astoria’s artistic spirit, the buildings — two copper encrusted towers decked from top to bottom with floor-to-ceiling windows — feature a striking mural by artist, Jason Middlebrook, which stretches across the first-floor lobby, interpreting the shape and contour of New York City skylines and landscapes.
Elsewhere within the residences at 10 Halletts Point — designed by Dattner Architects — artwork was curated by non-profit ChaShaMa, a nonprofit run by another Durst, Helena’s sister, Anita, that specializes in repurposing unused spaces to feature artists. In this case, artists were chosen for their connection to Western Queens.
Pricing for the 400-plus residential units will start at $2,150 per month for a studio; $2,525 for one-bedrooms; $3,595 for two-bedrooms; and $4,050 for two-bedroom and two-bathroom.
According to data in a January report from MNS Real Estate, on average, a studio apartment in Astoria costs $1,833 while a one-bedroom costs $2,058 — estimates factor in both new and old housing stock.
In Long Island City, which sits adjacent to Astoria, average rents haves soared throughout the last several years, exceeding $3,000 per month on for a one-bedroom apartment.
Move-ins are expected to begin taking place in March as the towers upper floors continue to undergo construction with a slated completion date in July.
In addition to views of the Manhattan and Brooklyn skyline, amenities, several of which are still under construction, will include a fitness center with a yoga studio, two outdoor terraces and a sun lounge, barbecue grills and dining tables on an outdoor terrace, a party room with a catering kitchen and private outdoor space, a children’s playroom, on-premise parking, and a bike room.
Halletts Point may be on a oft-overlooked peninsula, but the community does its best to balance peace and quiet with transportation and nightlife.
Just a short walk away from the community is the Astoria ferry terminal where residents will have access to Manhattan, Roosevelt Island, Brooklyn and the Rockaways.
While the closest subway stop to Manhattan is a more cumbersome journey — approximately a 30 minute walk — residents of the building will be able to access private shuttle service for morning and evening commutes.
Nearby, residents will also have access to a number of cultural institutions including Socrates Sculpture Park, Museum of the Moving Image, and MoMA PS1, as well as dining like Parisi Bakery, which has been open for 50 years.
While the footprint of Durst’s Halletts Point is tangible from the exterior — surrounding the sprawling site are clusters of the low rise duplexes common throughout much of Queens — architects and developers worked to makes sure the environmental impact is less apparent.
According to a statement from the Durst Organization, 10 Halletts Point is going for a “gold” designation from Leaders in Energy and Environmental Design, LEED, one of the world’s most popular green certification programs.
Among the initiatives helping to lower the development’s environmental footprint are a water treatment and re-use plant that will reduce indoor potable water use by 55 percent, and a host of other energy efficiency programs that developers say will reduce energy usage 27 percent below LEED’s baseline model.
Residents will also be able to recycle otherwise difficult to manage waste, such aa old electronics.
At 10 Halletts Point, an unveiling of the first residential tower marks more than just a new building.
The opening constitutes one of the first major steps in a larger plan by The Durst Organization to reshape Halletts Point into a new waterfront community.
Once completed, the development will boast a substantial seven buildings, 2.4 million s/f of mixed-use space, and a grand total of 2,160 apartments, 515 of which will be affordable units.
Among the retail slated for the project is a 25,000 s/f grocery store, Brooklyn Harvest Market, which will anchor the base of 10 Halletts Point and auger in the chain’s first-ever Queens based location.
A master plan for the development also includes the construction of a public esplanade and space for a school ranging kindergarten through 8th grade.
While the development is readily underway, the road to fruition of 10 Halletts Point hasn’t been without setback.
The project, first approved in 2013 and taken over by the Durst Organization in 2014 after the developer acquired a majority stake, was halted temporarily in 2016 after the lapse of tax abatements for builders helping to create affordable units.
Durst’s project came back online in 2017 after the passage of Affordable New York, the city’s replacement of its affordable abatement program, 421-a.
“While it seems like this project has been a long time coming, in Durst time, it’s been the blink of an eye,” said Lucas Durst during a tour of the new project last week.
“My family has been in this business for more than 100 years and for us, the five years it’s taken to open this building is relatively short.”