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Queens’s Astoria Is The Millennial Choice But A Construction Boom Means It Could All Change

A waterfront, industrial land ripe for rezoning means that massive gentrification could be around the corner for Astoria.

By Jeff Vasishta February 21, 2017

Relatively cheap housing, a great place to go on dates, and quick commute into the city. It’s no wonder that Astoria in Queens is the number one choice for millennial roommates to call home in NYC, according to data from roommate app Roomi.

Astoria may not be as hip as Williamsburg or Clinton Hill. But its affordability has 38 percent of Roomi users between the ages of 20 to 36 preferring to look in Western Queens than Brooklyn-shared apartments. In fact, it’s not even close. Astoria gets around 20 applicants—twice as much as any other neighborhood, Roomi found. As long as Astoria remains affordable— an average 90-day listing is $1,105 a month compared to Williamsburg’s $1,301 a month—Astoria will continue to draw millennials.

RelatedStats Say Millennials Are Staying With Their Parents In Ever Increasing Numbers

“While some users are moving to their dream neighborhood, the top housemate applications are not being submitted in 2016’s trendy hubs, such as Williamsburg or Bushwick but in Astoria, Clinton Hill, The West Bronx, East Harlem and Lower Manhattan.” Ajay Yadav, Roomi founder and CEO said.

Other neighborhoods, such as Clinton Hill ($1,416 a month), and Lower Manhattan ($1,603 a month,) were considerably more expensive than Astoria. However, the data also showed that millennials don’t always go for absolute cheapest neighborhood when looking for roommate residences. There choice tends to be based on a combination of affordability along with safety and social activities and amenities. The West Bronx (averaged $875 a month) and East Harlem )$950 a month) all had cheaper options but weren’t as popular search wise as Astoria.

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However, should developers and investors get their way, Astoria’s millennial favorability rating for shared accommodation may drop as more affluent residents move in. Rezoning along the always busy Astoria Boulevard in 2010 has allowed for bigger buildings—which has resulted in a construction room. A new spring time ferry service into the city, waterfront development, a $30-million fund to restore Astoria Park, along with talk of an expensive street car proposal, have all heaped on hype to the Queens neighborhood.

High-priced rental buildings currently being constructed on the edge Queens, where Astoria meets the East River and overlooks Manhattan, will surely drive up rental prices. It’s a scenario which played out in Long Island City further north.

“I’m a little surprised it’s been so untouched until now,” said Natassa Contini, 36, in The New York Times. She moved in 2013 from East Harlem to a one-bedroom rental in a converted piano factory. “The view blows my mind,” she added.

Based on the amount of new construction occurring in the neighborhood, it seems a lot of other people also feel the same way.

Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

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