Mayor Announces Completion of Two Far Rockaway Projects

Mayor Adams celebrates the opening of two major projects in Far Rockaway. Image Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.

In addition to 224 affordable homes, street safety improvements have been implemented in downtown Far Rockaway. On August 4, 2022, Mayor Eric Adams announced the completion of two projects in downtown Far Rockaway, delivering on key commitments in 2016’s Downtown Far Rockaway Roadmap for Action. Together, both projects brought $234 million in investment to the neighborhood.

The first project, a 100 percent affordable housing development known as Beach 21st, was led by the Economic Development Corporation (EDC), the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), and the Housing Development Corporation (HDC). The new mixed-use development is conveniently located near the Far Rockaway-Mott Avenue subway station.

Built on vacant city-owned land, this $120 million development includes 244 apartments and approximately 28,000 square feet of retail and community space. All of the homes are affordable to New Yorkers earning between 40 and 80 percent of area median income, while 23 apartments with on-site services are reserved for tenants who formerly experienced homelessness. Amenities at Beach 21st include on-site laundry, a fitness room, a daycare center, and a rooftop terrace with a walking track.

Additionally, a $114 million infrastructure project was carried out by the Department of Design and Construction (DDC), in partnership with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Department of Transportation (DOT). Originally estimated to cost $139 million and take seven years, the improvements were then promised to the community in three years. Now, these infrastructure improvements have been completed three months ahead of the promised three-year schedule and $25 million under budget.

The finished project includes critical street safety improvements, including new landscaping, more sidewalks, and green infrastructure. It also includes upgrades to 25 blocks of stormwater draining, reducing flooding risk from heavy rain. Further, a 15,000-foot pedestrian plaza will offer community space for events, seating, greenery, bike racks, and a public restroom. The new plaza will be maintained by DOT, the Rockaway East Merchants Association, and the Horticultural Society of New York.

In total, the infrastructure work includes:

-More than two miles of new storm sewers and 88 new catch basins to alleviate flooding,

-More than two miles of new curbs,

-101,000 square feet of new sidewalks,

-10,000 feet of existing sanitary sewers replaced with new pipes,

-10,000 feet of aging water mains replaced with new pipes, and

-A net gain of 71 new trees for the neighborhood.

Both projects were informed and supported by the Downtown Far Rockaway Working Group, a team of community members, businesses, nonprofits, and local and state elected officials. The group created the neighborhood Roadmap for Action in 2016, which spurred a rezoning that prioritized local businesses and affordable housing.

Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer shared, “The city is delivering on promises made to Far Rockaway today with transformative affordable housing, green infrastructure, and streetscape projects that make the area safer and more attractive to residents and businesses.”

Mayor Adams stated, “This is the kind of community-led and community-supported investment we want to see more of and a prime example of government working the right way for the people of this city — getting this done ahead of schedule and under budget.”

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. also praised the new development, stating “Seven years ago, I convened the Downtown Far Rockaway Working Group to develop a $288 million roadmap for this community’s revitalization and reverse decades of deliberate disinvestment. I could not be more proud of the life-changing progress we are delivering for the families of this neighborhood in the form of housing, open space, education, and beyond — it truly is a new day for Far Rockaway, where its residents are finally being heard loud and clear,”

Queens Community Board 14 District Manager Jonathan Gaska added that “the revitalization of this site and the surrounding area has been a board priority for almost 30 years. This project will be the economic engine to bring Downtown Far Rockaway back.”

By: Cassidy Strong (Cassidy is a CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2024.)

Mayor Adams Announces Significant Quality-Of-Life, Infrastructure Improvements, New Affordable Homes in Downtown Far Rockaway, August 4, 2022.



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