New projects across East River show why Queens is king

By Steven Spinola

The Durst family made headlines recently when they announced plans to create a new residential development on the Queens waterfront.

This new complex will be located in what is now an isolated and underutilized section of Astoria known as Hallets Point.

The project will include seven apartment buildings with more than 2,000 apartments for residents of varied income levels, a public esplanade, a school, and a supermarket.

Hallets Point marks one more step forward in an entirely new vision for the Queens waterfront.

Just next door, at Astoria Cove, plans for 1,700 new apartments, 54,000-square-feet of retail space, a school, and a supermarket were approved last week by the City Planning Commission.

Nearby, at Queens Plaza South, Tishman Speyer is planning to build a rental complex with 1,600 apartments.

These projects are not alone. Many other members of The Real Estate Board of New York are doing exciting things in Queens, our largest borough and the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world.

Queens is becoming increasingly popular; a trend which I am certain will only continue to grow over time.

In mid-September, after meeting several times as a subcommittee, the Residential REBNY Queens Committee gathered and was formalized as an institution in Rockrose Development Corp.’s LINC building in Long Island City, where they shared ideas concerning business practices and examined market trends.

The New York City Council’s Majority Leader, Jimmy Van Bramer, addressed the Committee’s first meeting and spoke about Queens’ vibrant and changing neighborhoods, transportation issues, reasons to move to and build in Queens, and some of the new development going on in the area.

The Residential REBNY Queens Committee is open to broker and salesperson REBNY members who conduct either sales, rentals, or both in Queens.

I believe that the establishment of this committee is important for a number of reasons. First, it creates an opportunity for our members to educate themselves, and the public, regarding developments, new trends, and best practices in the Queens market place.

In order for our industry to continue advancing, it is vital that we continue generating and sharing as much information as possible with each other, and REBNY’s many committees create a variety of mediums for us to do so.

The mission of REBNY’s Residential committees is to provide open forums which allow residential members to create, advance, and nurture better working relationships between member firms and outreach to non-member firms.

Just one example of this open forum concept is our recent Residential Sales Agent Boot Camp Seminar: Queens Overview, which also took place in mid-September. The seminar featured a panel of speakers from Modern Spaces, The Corcoran Group, Argo Residential, and Douglas Elliman, and was moderated by Miles Chapin of Warburg Realty.

This seminar was focused primarily on Astoria, Flushing, Forest Hills, Jackson Heights, and Long Island City, and speakers discussed which areas are seeing high levels of activity, what types of real estate Queens residents are most interested in, which neighborhoods are best for walking or driving tours, and more.

The seminar was a huge success with hundreds in attendance, and only one of what I am sure will be several Queens-related events throughout the year.

It is very important to REBNY that we continue to serve the real estate industry’s best interests, and this can only be achieved by remaining active all over the city of New York.

In other REBNY news:


October 8 from 8:15 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. is the Building Agents Rental Meeting in the REBNY Boardroom. This event is open to Building Agent Rental Committee members and their guests. For more information, contact Ossie Shemtov at OShemtov@rebny.com.


October 8 and 9 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. is the 45 Hour Broker Qualifying Course, located in the REBNY Litwin Classroom. This 45-hour Department of State certified REBNY program has been prepared for a salesperson who is seeking a broker’s license.


October 9 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. is the Residential SFC meeting. This meeting is located in the REBNY Mendik Educational Center, and is to be an open forum for the continuing advancement of educational and business issues that are relevant to Residential real estate firms that are current active members of REBNY made up of 1-19 actives sale agents and/or brokers. For more information contact Yesenia Perez at YPerez@rebny.com.