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Astoria Cove Victory for the Laborers

After months of work the final push for union jobs at Astoria Cove has ended in victory. The deal will ensure that union workers will build Astoria Cove, maintain and service the project and that 27% of the residential units will be affordable housing, with some monthly rents as low as $800.

The project was granted approval by the City Council’s Land Use Committee this week, and approval by the full City Council is expected by the end of the month. The path to victory at Astoria Cove was paved by members of Local 79, Build Up New York City, and local community groups who began organizing months ago in the community of Astoria.

The developer, Alma Realty, initially planned to build the over 2.2 million square foot mixed-use development with non-union labor and to set aside 20% of the residential units at below-market rates.

The grassroots effort to fight against the initial plans for the development took many forms: outreach to affected community members; a large-scale presence at community meetings, Community Board meetings and hearings, and at hearings held by the Queens Borough president; and pressure on other key politicians. In the end, the developer understood that this project would not go forward until it met the demands of the unions and community groups.

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