A major new supermarket, financed with Recovery Zone bonds, opens today at the Arverne by the Sea development complex on the Rockaway Peninsula. The $23 million, 55,000-square-foot Stop & Shop supermarket is located on Rockaway Beach Boulevard between Beach 73rd and Beach 69th Streets. The supermarket has created 200 construction jobs, and now will employ 100 full-time and part-time workers. As part of the City’s 2008 “Going to Market” study, Arverne was found to have a high need for more supermarkets.
In late 2009, the New York City Economic Development Corporation authorized $5.5 million in tax-exempt bond financing made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for the new supermarket. Under ARRA, the City received $122 million in private activity, tax-exempt financing capacity to help jumpstart stalled retail and commercial development projects. The aim of this financing was to provide critical support for local projects in disadvantaged communities, while creating thousands of new jobs for unemployed workers. In order to ensure that the City’s allocation of this valuable bonding capacity was allocated equitably and efficiently, NYCEDC developed the Recover NYC Program in June 2009, creating a public process and a unique set of parameters for selecting among the many worthy projects in the City eligible for the bonds. The City was one of the first municipalities in the country to allocate the bonds, and is on track to make use of the full $122 million before the program expires at the end of the year.
“The Recovery Zone bond allocation is a great example of a federal program that really worked. Without financing to jumpstart construction, projects like this important supermarket could not have been completed,” said NYCEDC President Seth W. Pinsky. “The projects that have been financed with Recovery Zone bonds will create jobs and improve the lives of New Yorkers across the City, and we are proud to be a national leader in putting this financing to use.”
“New York City has been a national leader in the use of Recovery Zone bonds to invest in hard-hit communities,” said Dan Tangherlini, Assistant U.S. Treasury Secretary for Management and CFO. “With the help of this low-cost borrowing tool, this new supermarket is a perfect example of what the Recovery Act was intended to do – jumpstart development and create new jobs.”
“For far too long residents who were in search of fresh produce and grocer items traveled to other neighborhoods, which created a hardship for many residents,” stated Congressman Gregory W. Meeks. Meeks continued, “The opening of the Arverne by the Sea Stop & Shop will provide residents with access to fresh healthy food at lower prices. I would like to thank NYCEDC and its President Seth W. Pinsky, along with my colleagues in local government for their commitment to the economic development of the Rockaways.”
“I am delighted that Stop & Shop has decided to make the Rockaways their new home. It will not only boost the economy but also create hundreds of jobs on the Peninsula,” said State Senate President Pro Tempore Malcolm A. Smith.
“This much-needed supermarket is a welcome addition to the Arverne by the Sea development complex. In addition to giving shoppers access to a wide array of products in an environmentally-friendly building, it provides hundreds of jobs and supports the local economy. Stop & Shop and creative financing using Recovery Zone bonds have quickened the pace for filling the needs of residents of the Rockaway Peninsula,” said Queens Borough President Helen Marshall.
“I am extremely proud and excited to be welcoming Stop & Shop to our community. For years, the Rockaways have been without a major supermarket chain, making something as simple as buying milk or a loaf of bread a major chore. Today, with the opening of this brand new Stop & Shop center, we are expanding access to high quality food and market items to the people of the Rockaways, while simultaneously creating new job opportunities for the community. I want to thank Stop & Shop for being a willing partner in this endeavor, and welcome them once again to Far Rockaway,” said Councilman James Sanders.
“Arverne by the Sea is proud to welcome Stop & Shop to our fast growing sea-side community. The store is testament to the fact that Arverne by the Sea has become one of the most exciting new neighborhoods in the City of New York. In addition to our wonderful residents, magnificent beachfront location, award-winning two-family homes and great services, this store makes Arverne by the Sea one of the best places to live in New York City,” said Gerard Romski, Project Director of Arverne By the Sea.
The Stop & Shop offers the full range and choice of products, including international, natural, organic, and ethnic and specialty foods, in a safe and convenient one-stop environment that local residents have not had access to before. The building incorporates numerous eco-conscious design features. Energy efficiency will be leveraged through systems such as an Energy Star-rated reflective white roof, which will reduce energy consumption by reducing building heat, energy efficient equipment, daylight harvesting from skylights and windows, lighting with occupancy sensors and dimmable controls, and low-flow water fixtures. The site will also include use of bioswale retention systems around the perimeter of the parking field to provide storm water pretreatment.
About NYCEDC New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City’s primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC’s mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City’s competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City’s many opportunities.