Up to 2,300 Homes, Retail, Recreation Center, and Charter School to be Constructed on the Rockaway Peninsula.

Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani today joined Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Jerilyn Perine and Queens Borough President Claire Shulman to announce the designation of developers for the construction of Arverne-by-the-Sea, an approximately 100-acre oceanfront site on the Rockaway peninsula in Queens.

“This expansive development will foster a wide range of housing and economic opportunities in the Rockaway peninsula community,” said Mayor Giuliani. “Moving forward with this ambitious initiative, especially in light of the recent tragic events in Belle Harbor, sends a strong signal that this Administration remains committed to bringing important new projects to Queens and the Rockaways.”

Benjamin-Beechwood, LLC was selected as the developer from among several competitive proposals submitted to HPD for the site. As part of its proposal, Benjamin-Beechwood plans to develop as many as 2,300 residential units in a mix of one- and two-family homes with some mid-rise apartment buildings, as well as up to 250,000 square feet of commercial/ retail space, an approximately 30,000 square-foot community recreation center, and a charter school for up to 800 K-8 students. Benjamin-Beechwood proposes to privately-finance the improvements.

“We are excited about the selection of Benjamin-Beechwood, LLC as the developer for Arverne-by-the-Sea,” said HPD Commissioner Jerilyn Perine. “We are moving quickly to begin construction in order to bring needed jobs and economic activity to the Rockaways.” Queens Borough President Claire Shulman, Queens Community Board 14, local organizations, and neighborhood residents participated in the planning process as part of the Arverne Working Committee, which developed the guidelines upon which the Arverne-by-the-Sea Request for Proposals (RFP) was based.

“Today’s announcement is good news for the Rockaway peninsula,” said Shulman. “It is another step forward in our continuing plan to bring much-needed quality housing, along with related activities, to a spectacular oceanfront location that is a great natural resource. These new homes will help to continue the renaissance of the Rockaways.”

Benjamin-Beechwood, LLC is a joint venture of Benjamin Development Company, Inc., a housing developer with more than 50 years of experience, and the Beechwood Organization, a developer of one- and two-family homes with more than 25 years of experience. The two organizations have collectively built more than 8,500 units of housing and have previously collaborated on large-scale development projects in the New York metropolitan area.

In a statement, Benjamin-Beechwood, LLC said: “We are confident that the extensive neighborhood amenities, the easy commute to job centers and the unique oceanfront setting will make Arverne-by-the-Sea one of New York’s most desirable communities. Arverne-by-the-Sea will feature a myriad of community resources, including a new charter school, a community recreation center, and shops and restaurants in a town-square setting centered around a renovated subway station.”

Construction is expected to begin on a first phase of residential units by June 2002, with additional phases of development in construction throughout the next several years. Qualified buyers for the new middle-income homes will be selected through a lottery process administered by HPD.

HPD’s mission is to promote quality housing and viable neighborhoods for New Yorkers. The department is the nation’s largest municipal housing development agency. Since Fiscal Year 1994, the agency has completed the construction or rehabilitation of over 73,000 units of affordable housing. To request a Homeownership Kit, call HPD’s Information Line at (212) 863-8000.