Affordable Units To Be Built In Downtown Far Rockaway

Rendering of new development on Beach 21st Street. Image credit: HPD.

Project will provide large number of affordable housing to recently rezoned neighborhood. On July 11, 2018, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Council Member Donovan Richards announced the two projects in the Downtown Far Rockaway area that will create over 670 units of affordable housing following the Downtown Far Rockaway rezoning approval ten months ago. The project is also being led by the New York City Economic Development Corporation, Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Housing Development Corporation.

The project includes improvements of an underutilized City-owned lot at Beach 21st Street and the Far Rockaway Village project, which will transform a long-neglected shopping center into affordable housing, retail, and public space.

The Beach 21st Street project will break ground on 2019 and is expected to be completed in 2021. The Community Builders, Inc., a nonprofit developer of affordable and mixed-income housing was selected as the developer for 224 units of mixed income affordable housing, commercial space, and community facilities at Beach 21st Street. Over 130 units will be allocated for households earning up to 60% of area median income and the remaining will be offered at a range of affordability levels. The ground-floor will provide 24,000 square feet of retail space, 8,000 square feet of community space for early childhood education and other community services, and approximately 90 parking spots for residents of the building and the public. The development is expected to create 70 permanent jobs and over 470 construction jobs. The Community Builders, Inc. have committed to have 40 percent MWDBE participation.

HPD and HDC recently closed on construction financing for 457 units of affordable housing for the initial phase of the Far Rockaway Village project. The project will include 67 units for extremely low-income households, 46 of which will be designated for formerly homeless households. The remaining 388 units will serve a range of household incomes including very low-, low-, and moderate-income.

Council Member Richards said, “Today’s announcement is another step in the direction of progress for Downtown Far Rockaway. The Beach 21st Street lot will be transformed into quality affordable housing for working families along with retail and community space to help lift up residents and local nonprofits delivering services to our community. As with every project in the Rockaways, we will work with the developer to ensure that we address the highest community needs, such as daycare services, good jobs and quality retail.”

HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer said, “The de Blasio Administration is making significant investments in neighborhoods across New York City, many that have been overlooked for too long. Today marks real progress as we advance a comprehensive community plan for Downtown Far Rockaway through financing for the first phase of Rockaway Village, which will transform a long-underused site into a vibrant mixed-use development anchored by affordable housing, and the designation of a non-profit partner to breathe new life into Beach 21st Street.”


By: Dorichel Rodriguez (Dorichel is the CityLaw Fellow and a New York Law School Graduate, Class of 2017.)


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