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Features

Astoria Lights, 24-39 38th Street, Queens Astoria Lights at 24-39 38th Street. Credit: Redundant Pixel
On Independence Day, developer RockFarmer Properties announced the sales launch at Astoria Lights, adding 38 converted co-op units to the existing 57-unit, multi-building prewar complex converted in 2014. The expanded development spans four adjacent, four-story buildings at 24-39, 24-51, 24-65 and 24-75 38th Street in Astoria, and brings up-to-date amenities and unit finishes to the structures that date to 1929.

 

Prewar apartment buildings, a cherished New York City staple, compose some of the city’s most delightful neighborhoods. However, even the grandest old dames tend to suffer from woes common to aging buildings, such as dated layouts, lack of common resident services, and obsolete infrastructure. Until a few years ago, the buildings at 38th Street shared the syndrome, even as their lozenge-themed facades of warm red brick remained as charming as ever.

 

George Michelis, Managing Principal of RockFarmer Properties, acknowledges as much in the press release. “Astoria and surrounding neighborhoods like Jackson Heights and Sunnyside are dominated by these beautiful pre-war buildings that have great bones but unfortunately haven’t been upgraded or amenitized,” Michelis states, adding that at Astoria Lights, the developer “recognized the opportunity to breathe new life” into the building with layouts, finishes, and amenities comparable with new construction.

Astoria Lights, 24-39 38th Street, Queens Astoria Lights at 24-39 38th Street. Credit: Manuel Rodriguez
Astoria Lights, 24-39 38th Street, Queens Astoria Lights at 24-39 38th Street. Credit: Manuel Rodriguez
Existing nine-foot-ceilings set up effective staging for additions such as eight-foot-tall doors, chevron oakwood flooring, Caesarstone counters in the kitchens, an array of high-end appliances, and bathrooms decked out in Italian Arebescato and Bardiglio marble.
Astoria Lights, 24-39 38th Street, Queens Astoria Lights at 24-39 38th Street. Lounge. Credit: Redundant Pixel
The expansion bolsters the existing amenity package, which includes a laundry room, bike storage, and a fitness center, with a new resident lounge, children’s playroom, co-working lounge, conference room, package room, and a pet grooming area.
Astoria Lights, 24-39 38th Street, Queens Astoria Lights at 24-39 38th Street. Roof deck. Credit: Redundant Pixel
A new courtyard, furnished with a bocce court, hammocks, and barbecue grills, offers cozy outdoor space for recreation and socializing. However, the most striking addition sits atop the complex. A 1,200-square-foot rooftop terrace expands the existing deck with a new Zen garden, cabanas, and an outdoor theater with an expansive backdrop of the Manhattan skyline.

 

The addition of the roof deck underscores the yet-untapped potential in scores of other prewar buildings across the city, where the majority of rooftops remain inaccessible. As a whole, Astoria’s subway access (Astoria Lights stands a few blocks east of the Astoria Boulevard station of the N and W trains), vibrant dining and nightlife scene (Steinway Street is a block away), and relative abundance of underdeveloped land are prompting an increasing number of developers to construct new apartments, such as Steinway & Graham and The Rowan, both located nearby. However, Astoria Lights testifies that abundant prewar housing stock in Queens holds just as much promise for 21st-century revival.


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Content & Research Manager Vitali Ogorodnikov
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