Conch Playground, located on Beach 49th Street between Elizabeth Avenue and Beach Channel Drive, is one of the 35 New York parks that will receive capital funding through the Community Parks Initiative. And the Parks Department is kicking off renovations by holding a community meeting tomorrow, December 16th. According to a press release, “Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski and representatives of Partnerships for Parks and the Queens Capital Projects team will join community members to get their input and feedback on what they would like to see in the upcoming renovations to Conch Playground.” Currently the park has playgrounds and handball courts.
The meeting will be held at P.S. 105 The Bay School, 420 Beach 51st Street, from 6 to 8 pm.
This Wednesday, the Food Bank For New York City visited the Rockaways to kick off its “Thankful to Give” campaign for the holiday season. The Food Bank, alongside the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger, distributed Thanksgiving turkeys and other holiday trimmings to local residents still struggling with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Over 100 families came out and received food for the holiday. This event in the Rockaways is part of a larger effort of the Food Bank’s to distribute a total of 1,350 turkeys to those living in Sandy-affected areas.
This massive home, in the style of a Spanish Colonial villa, is up for sale in the Rockaways. This is the most amount of space you’re going to get for the least amount of money in New York City: it’s a 2,068-square-foot house on a 12,000-square-foot lot with six bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms, all asking $398,000. The only interior picture is of the underwhelming kitchen, and the listing notes that the “House Is Currently Being Cosmetically Renovated.” There’s also a two car garage and the property’s within walking distance of the beach. You don’t see NYC properties like this everyday, that’s for sure, but our guess is that the interior will leave much to be desired.
This week, L+M Development Partners and the Department of Housing Preservation cut the ribbon at Arverne View, a renovated Mitchell-Lama affordable housing complex in the Rockaways. The event marked the conclusion of a pretty amazing story — L+M closed on the severely run-down complex right before Sandy hit, and the hurricane pretty much wiped out all 11 buildings. What followed was a $60,000,000 interior and exterior renovation to storm proof the complex and upgrade the apartments. The 1,093-unit complex is now 100 percent occupied; before Sandy there were 350 vacancies.
The film above, which is produced, directed and edited by Jason Hutt, chronicles that whole story. The film looks at the history of the Rockaways and the inception of Mitchell-Lama development, the eventual decline of the complex (then called Ocean Village), and L+M’s strategy for taking on the massive amount of work to be done after Hurricane Sandy. It was filmed over 20 months with over 17 hours of footage and eight hours of interviews. Well worth a watch.
Despite a hard fight from Rockaway residents to save their ferry service, the city will stop running it at the end of this month. According to the Daily News, President of the EDC Kyle Kimball told residents at a town hall meeting that it just didn’t make sense for the city to shell out $5,000,000 a year to keep the ferry running. (The service was put in place after Sandy badly damaged other public transportation options from the Rockaways.) Riders paid $3.50 per ticket while the city paid around $30 for each rider. “I realize that I cannot convince you this is the right decision,” said Kimball, “There’s just a difference of opinion on how the city should spend its resources.”
Residents have protested the closure for months now, arguing that the ferry is a fast, convenient and affordable transit route for an area already lacking convenient public transportation. Earlier this month The Wave reported that Mayor de Blasio met with local elected pols on ways to possibly extend the service, with hopes that this was the “Hail Mary” the ferry needed.
Today at 11 am, L+M Development Partners and the Department of Housing Preservation cut the ribbon at Arverne View, a renovated 1,093-unit Mitchell-Lama affordable housing complex in the Rockaways. L+M bought the 11-building complex (formerly known as Ocean Village) right before Sandy hit two years ago. What followed was a massive, $60,000,000 interior and exterior renovation that included new storm-proofing and resiliency measures, as well as safer and more livable common spaces. We published a three-part series late last year on the impressive undertaking, speaking to both the developers and the residents of the complex. Great to see that the work has come to a conclusion.
Can’t say we’re surprised to see this report by DNAinfo that there are even more delays to rebuild the Rockaway boardwalk. The city announced it’ll need another three months to work on the design and address community concerns regarding waterfront access. Residents called for more access points and ramps along Beach 108th Street to Beach 126th Street, and the city’s new design is still awaiting approval. Reps for the city don’t think they will meet the original construction deadline of Memorial Day 2016. DNAinfo also shares that the city doesn’t have a contract yet for the concrete decking of the boardwalk, which is replacing the wood decking. So, things aren’t looking good for this project, but when are they ever?
Rockaway residents are not giving up their fight to keep Rockaway Ferry service, which the city plans to end after this October. Yesterday, residents held another rally to make the ferry service permanent. The group took the ferry into Manhattan, marched to the Staten Island and Statue of Liberty ferry, went up to Wall Street and then Federal Hall. This rally follows a previous one hosted by the Queens Public Transit Committee on the steps of City Hall.
While the city claims that the ferry service (which started up after Hurricane Sandy) does not make financial sense, commuters counter that it’s a fast, convenient and affordable transit route for an area that already lacks convenient public transportation.
There will be something sweet for foodies, green-living experts, nature lovers, youngsters, and even surfer dudes. Tomorrow, the fourth annual NYC Honey Fest will bring everything from monofloral honey to honey-infused desserts to beeswax-based cosmetics to the Rockaways. The daylong festival will include a bee-themed parade, a savory contest organized by the American Honey Tasting Society (submit form here), live music, film, a variety of food options, and children-friendly activities, such as hive-making and face-painting. More information and photos after the jump.
Now under construction in the Rockaways: Rockaway Roasters, a coffee cafe at 92-06 Rockaway Beach Boulevard. The Facebook page promises gourmet coffee (hot and cold), espresso, lattes, cappuccinos, an organic juice bar and more. It’ll be open seven days a week. There’s no official opening date yet, but it’s scheduled for the fall or winter of this year. GMAP