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Old Posted Apr 22, 2014, 6:49 PM
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Smile NEW YORK | Arverne East (Beach 32nd-56th Streets)

NY Daily News:

Arverne East development could get a jump start this year with housing and retail plan
City Councilman Donovan Richards says affordable housing must be part of any Arverne East plan

BY LISA L. COLANGELO
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 2:00 AM



CHRISTIE M FARRIELLA/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
City Councilman Donovan Richards discusses potential plans at the Arverne East redevelopment site located on stretch of land along the beach between Beach 56th Street and Beach 32 Street in Rockaway.

Quote:
This could be the year that Arverne East finally comes alive.

City Councilman Donovan Richards said he is pushing the city — and prodding developers — to move ahead with plans to build affordable housing and retail on a portion of the dormant 80-acre site in Rockaway.

“We’re at a pinnacle time here,” said Richards (D-Laurelton). “Mayor de Blasio has set a (city-wide) goal of 200,000 affordable units and the developer is in a good place.”

Richards said he is meeting with officials from the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development on Tuesday to discuss the project’s future.

He is optimistic that shovels could be in the ground within the year.

Richards is insistent that affordable housing be included in any plan — saying it could be on a sliding scale that would include teachers, firefighters and police officers.

“We don’t want the beach gentrified,” he said.

Community Board 14 officials, who had originally argued the local economy needed a boost from pricier market-rate housing, said they are not opposed to affordable housing.

The Arverne East site was cleared as part of urban renewal plans of the late 1960s. But various plans to build on the site never materialized. The latest project calls for a mix of housing and commercial development as well as a nature preserve.

“We want mostly homeownership, condos and houses so that they have a vested interest in the community,” said Jonathan Gaska, the district manager of Community Board 14. “We are willing to have a conversation about affordable housing, but everyone is talking around us and not to us.”

The urban renewal area was cleared more than 40 years ago, leaving valuable beachfront property between Beach 56th St. and Beach 32nd St.

But a series of ambitious plans to develop housing, commercial space and even a sports and entertainment complex failed to materialize

In 2007, the city reached an agreement with L+M Development, Bluestone Organization and Triangle Equities to develop the site, but that plan was waylaid by the economic downturn. And then, in 2012, Hurricane Sandy devastated the peninsula.

Construction in areas closer to the water are still a way’s off because roads and other important infrastructure will need to be built, said Ron Moelis, the CEO of L&M, but that doesn’t mean the whole project must be stalled.

“There’s some land on the Edgemere side that already has infrastructure in place,” Moelis said. “We can build some housing and retail there."

CHRISTIE M FARRIELLA/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
The Arverne East site was cleared as part of urban renewal plans of the late 1960s. But various plans to build on the site never materialized. The latest project calls for a mix of housing and commercial development as well as a nature preserve.
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