Driving past the corner of State and 9th Streets, I noticed construction is underway on Astoria Tower Residences & Spa, a 30-story tower with 241 condos. The Art Deco-inspired development promises panoramic views, high-end appliances, spa bathrooms, a full-time concierge and gourmet kitchens. The building’s spa includes a pool, massage areas, two sundecks and a yoga studio, and the high-rise will have significant commercial space. Residents also will be able to tee off at a golf simulator, play a game of billiards or work in the business center at this loaded high-rise, but as construction proceeds, we’re most interested in something much more prosaic – the parking.
The second through ninth floors at Astoria will house 224 garage parking spots, but instead of showing blank walls to the neighborhood, architects FitzGerald Associates wrapped residential units and some office space around the core of parking on the exposed sides of the building – State and 9th streets. This allows the high-rise to hide an unsightly garage from view instead of having it dominate the street like so many new towers. This might seem like a minor thing, but if you’ve seen the dreadful parking bases at many new high-rises, you’ll appreciate how much a little creativity from an architect can benefit our built environment.