This is our final installment of a three part series on Arverne View, a housing complex in the Far Rockaways. When Hurricane Sandy hit, L+M Development Partners was in contract to purchase the complex. They closed when the development, then called Ocean Village, had no power whatsoever. In the year since, the company undertook a massive renovation project that addressed the building problems before Sandy, as well as the many concerns of building resiliency after Sandy hit. In Part One, we detailed the extent of the renovation. In Part Two, we toured just about every corner of the complex, which is still under construction. For Part Three, we talk with three residents who live here now. Belinda Cook, a Rockaways resident for years, came to Arverne View after being displaced from her home by Sandy. That’s the same story for Mirian Herrera, who spent six months in a hotel after being displaced by the storm. Finally, we talked to Lola Vaughn, who has lived in the same apartment at the complex since 1987. Read their stories, after the jump.
The city released renderings for the Rockaway boardwalk redesign, but it may not become a reality until late 2016. DNAinfo reports that the designs includes a wavy pattern along the boardwalk, as well as one with blue stones placed throughout the concrete. The concrete boardwalk will be elevated above the former height to comply with new FEMA flood standards. Unfortunately, the Parks Department does not think it will finish the entire $200,000,000 project until 2016, for the 2017 beach season. The idea is to begin work at Beach 88th Street and continue working west, with the first section of the project between Beach 86th Street and Beach 97th Street finished in the summer of 2014. The city announced the design and construction team in charge of the rebuilding earlier this month.
Here is a modest bungalow at 811 Bay 25th Street, in the Bayswater neighborhood of the Far Rockaways. (This neighborhood is actually better known for its gorgeous mansions.) Not surprisingly, every room in this home is small, but at least you have a back patio to spread out. It’s asking $249,000. Seems like a reach to us, what do you think?
The Parks Department just announced that the city awarded CH2M HILL the contract to oversee the design of the new Rockaway boardwalk and Skanska to manage the boardwalk’s construction. The boardwalk design is now being finalized after ongoing community outreach, and preliminary work is expected to begin this winter. Nearly five miles of the Rockaway Beach boardwalk, running from Beach 20th Street to Beach 126th Street, will be rebuilt as part of this project. According to Parks, “The new boardwalk will be constructed with steel-reinforced concrete and elevated above the 100-year flood plain. A baffle wall will be incorporated into the design and the structure will be bolstered by sand berms planted with native grasses.”
The project also incorporates a master plan for the entire length of Rockaway Beach — this conceptual planning process will run concurrent with the boardwalk design. Parks expects a final conceptual plan to be complete early next year; one goal of this plan is to increase access to the beach and improve surrounding parks and rec facilities. The Parks Department already made huge strides along Rockaway Beach by removing debris, making repairs to damaged boardwalks, replacing buildings with elevated and storm-resistant models, creating boardwalk islands around beach amenities, installing ramps and stairs for beach access, implementing shoreline protective measures, repairing playgrounds and environmental monitoring.
Thai Kitchen by the Sea, at 67-20 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, just opened in the Rockaways and is serving up lunch, dinner and takeout. Yesterday was the first day of service and they are planning a grand opening party for the near future. The massive menu includes many Thai classics, including curry and noodle dishes, soups and salads. There’s also a lunch special from 12 to 3:30 pm everyday. You can see photos of the construction, and the interior space, right here. GMAP
This is our second installation in a three-part series on the renovation of Ocean Village (now Arverne View), a housing complex in the Far Rockaways. L+M Development Partners was in contract to purchase Ocean Village when Sandy hit. For background on this ambitious renovation project, and how the storm changed it, you can read Part One.
The other day we hopped on the A train to visit Arverne View, a 1,093-unit housing development in the Far Rockaways now under renovation by L+M Development Partners. The scope of L+M’s work is truly impressive — not only has the company made the complex more resilient for future storms, it renovated all the apartments, upgraded the buildings, redid the facade, replaced the roofs, and is completely landscaping the grounds. Currently, L+M completed 70 percent of the project (they began work soon after Sandy hit, installing emergency generators to bring power back to the development); they expect to completely finish by March of next year. After the jump, tons of pictures from our tour with L+M’s Rick Gropper, who showed us the entire complex and explained the details of this large-scale rehab.
In our third and final installment, we’ll head back to Arverne View to speak with residents living at the complex.
This week, the Citywide Monuments Conservation Program is dedicating its field team to perform preservation of several military monuments in the Rockaways. The monuments include the bronze sculpture of a World War I infantryman, crafted in 1927, at Rockaway Beach Boulevard and 94th Street. Facing that work is the Rockaway Women’s Veterans Monument, a bronze effigy of a female soldier dressed in military fatigues. And in Belle Harbor, there is the Flight 587 Memorial and remembrance plaza (pictured above) honoring those who lost their lives in a plane crash nearby on November 12th, 2001. The preservation work consists of cleaning, recoating bronze statuary and markers, and other mediation. The field team will start this Wednesday with the goal to finish prior to Veterans Day on November 11th and the anniversary of the Flight 587 crash on November 12th.
The Rockaway Artists Alliance is now showing the exhibit Calm, Storm, Rebirth: Artists’ Interpretations of Hurricane Sandy. The Wave writes that “the exhibition traces the experience of Hurricane Sandy through the work of more than 40 artists and more than 100 works of art. The work runs the gamut from painting to sculpture to assemblage, original song lyrics, photography and more.” Visitors can walk through before, during, and after phases of the storm. Earlier this week the Rockaway Artists Alliance hosted a Night of Reflection at the exhibit and more than 100 people attended. Calm, Storm, Rebirth will be on view until November 24th at sTudio 7 Gallery in Fort Tilden.
Yesterday Mayor Bloomberg announced that the city is funding three multifamily buildings for repairs and resiliency measures through the Build it Back Fund. A total of $2,500,000 is going to Knickerbocker Village, an affordable housing development in the Lower East Side, 9501 Rockaway Beach Boulevard and 334 Beach 54th Street. 9501 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, the 72-unit mixed-income rental pictured above, will receive $770,000. The funding will go toward the installation of a permanent emergency generator and wall-mounted boilers that will be above flood level to help ensure resistance to future flooding. The building owner previously repaired all other hurricane damage. 34 Beach 54th Street, a 32-unit low-income rental building, will receive $326,000. Work includes the installation of a permanent emergency generator on the roof. Sandy completely damaged six ground floor apartments here, which the owner is repairing through additional market rate financing on the property. Those units should be ready for occupancy before the end of the calendar year.
Last week Rockaway residents organized the event Hands Across the Sand, an attempt to form a record-breaking human chain along Rockaway Beach. Its purpose was also to show solidarity at the one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. The event took place this Sunday, and the organizer reports via Facebook that, although the numbers aren’t official yet, they counted 4,672 participants. Not bad at all! The organizers will not know until after the new year if they officially made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest-ever human chain.