Far Rockaway Rezoning And Development Offers New Yorkers An Affordable Coastal Escape

The city is offering $91 million for a redevelopment project in Far Rockaway.

By Jeff Vasishta December 19, 2016
Beach Green Dunes. Photo courtesy of Curtis + Ginsberg

Don’t get crushed in the stampede. A publicly-owned vacant lot in downtown Far Rockaway is being touted by the city for developers to turn into affordable housing, stores, and a community center. De Blasio administration is prepared to pony up $91 million to do so. The Economic Development Corporation in partnership with the HPD are spearheading the call for proposals for revitalize the 42,5000-square-foot parcel of land and surrounding area.

“The release of this RFP reaffirms the city’s commitment to investing in Downtown Far Rockaway, and to re-establishing it as a mixed-use village,” EDC President Maria Torres-Springer said in the statement.

Change in downtown Far Rockaway has been a long time coming, says Councilman Donovan Richards, who urged the need for a mixed-use development to encourage growth.

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“Anything coming into my district needs to be a mixed-use development,” he told DNA Info, adding that locals “need more than just housing in the community,” while also highlighting the importance of affordable units. HPD Commissioner Vickie Been is particularly excited about the chance for locals to afford to continue living in their community.

“As we work with our partner agencies on a larger initiative to revitalize the Far Rockaway area, we see this RFP as a chance to create more affordable housing opportunities for a range of incomes,” she said.

Less than an hour on the train from Manhattan and Brooklyn, the Rockaways, of which Far Rockaway is a part, were mentioned almost a year ago in The New York Times as one of New York’s next hot neighborhoods because of it’s relatively affordable housing, accessibility, and summertime surfing and beach going. New waterfront developments in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, which battered the peninsula, have been sprouting up, altering the landscape and driving up sales.

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“As a rare beach-side neighborhood in New York City, Rockaway possesses a unique and rich history,” Tom Alaimo, managing director at JDS Development Group told the NY Post last year. “And as the neighborhood undergoes a renaissance, we believe we can positively contribute to that growth.”

If you can’t wait to get to Far Rockaway to escape the congestion and expense of the city, there may be a way for you to do it before the developers submit proposals for the downtown bus turn-around site. A lottery is now open for 100 units in Far Rockaway’s new passive house— Beach Green Dunes—starting from $653 a month. The passive part doesn’t refer to the fact that with rent this low, you may not feel the need to work full-time—but rather that the property requites little energy for heating and cooling, due to its energy efficiency.

The structure, a seven-story 94,000 square-foot building with studios to three-bedrooms, is a product of a partnership between the Bluestone Organization and Triangle Equities, and cost a total of $32.5 million. According to architects Curtis + Ginsberg, it was “designed to withstand the severe weather conditions of the Rockaways, while incorporating many energy-efficient features.”

Near to the city’s proposed rezoning for affordable housing, New York Yimby reported that plans were submitted a year ago for two hotels at 1021 and 2015 Beach St. in Far Rockaway by developer Amritpal Sandhu—with Jamaica based architect Manish Savani handling the design.

Oh I do love to be beside the seaside….

Jeff Vasishta



Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

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