whenever I ride the LIRR to Citi Field, or pass by while transiting the East River, I am amazed how quickly that part of Queens has become the new real estate hot spot. high rises everywhere.
Don't be fooled by the buildings, this border area of LIC/Astoria still has a long ways to go for gentrification. Someone has to be first I suppose, but there is a lot more to be done IMHO to make this area like the LIC you see down by Gantry State Park, which is very nice. I guess they feel there is enough traffic to warrant a station, or perhaps it's a build it and they will come idea. Or maybe they were secretly expecting Amazon HQ2 back in 2015, lol. Oops. It would be very interesting to also understand the occupancy rates of the high rises as well.
I've walked this part of Astoria (though some places addresses north of 495 are apparently considered LIC) in daytime and nighttime to get an idea of it and to visit some local breweries. It is still very run down for the most part. The selection for places to go to for fun were also somewhat limited in comparison to other neighborhoods. The car dealerships on Northern Blvd still have fences and barbed wire galore. The Queens Plaza subway station and outside of it in particular seems to be a hangout for shady people.
For finding a place to live, I wanted to avoid uneasy feelings just walking to/from the subway. Add that the cost of a room in a microsuite (bed pulls down from wall) in that particular building is as much or more than a decently spacious room in the UWS/UES of Manhattan (safe, lots to do, central park, etc.), it was a no-brainer to stay in Manhattan and only venture out to the boroughs when I wanted to. It would have been cool to watch Sunnyside yard from the roof though.