Arverne-by-the-Sea brings NU to New York City



The city picks a design and development team for a $350-million, transit-oriented, walkable neighborhood that willfill oceanfront property on the Rockaways peninsula in Queens.

The New York City Department of A New York City Department Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) has announced a plan to develop 100 acres of the Arverne Urban Renewal area, one of the largest developable, urban oceanfront properties remaining in the country. The Arverne -by-the-Sea project, nestled between a subway station and a boardwalk on the Atlantic Ocean, is a new urban extension of the traditional low- and mid-rise neighborhoods found m the Rockaways.

“This plan is much more attainable than those that have gone before,” says Carol Abrams, an HPD spokesperson. In the nearly four decades since New York City Mayor John Lindsay ordered the demolition of a colony of deteriorating summer cottages on the site, a series of more ambitious development visions have come and gone. One called for the construction of 7,500 apartments, another suggested building a $1billion sports, entertainment, and hotel complex. Recession and developers with cold feet have stranded these proposals. “The city is committed to this plan, and there is am enormous desire among the powers that be in Queens to get this project moving,” Abrams says.

SUBWAY STATION AT CENTER The master plan by Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects of New York City is focused around the Beach 67th Street subway station. Approximately 250,000 square feet of retail would be located immediately adjacent to the elevated station and on the ground floor of the mid-rise housing lining Ocean Way, the neighborhood’s main street which runs north-south from the station to the beach. In keeping with the local vernacular, the predominant building materials in the three- to four-story buildings along Ocean Way will be brick and stucco.

Residential housing types include three-story duplexes that define the neighborhood’s edges along major streets and around parks. Single-family detached homes are planned on the ocean frontage and along the pocket parks that terminate the two diagonal streets extending from the subway station. The balance of the neighborhood will be made up of more modest two story attached homes lining the interior neighborhood streets. Arverne-bythe-Sea will have 2,300 dwellings at build-out, as well as a renovated synagogue, day care center, and an 800-student charter school.

The attached homes will have both front and rear yards, front porches, and in some cases open rooftop rooms offering Views of the beach. Garages are typically front loaded. The first demonstration blocks are scheduled to be built in the spring of 2002. Qualified buyers for the middle income homes will be selected through a lottery process administered by HPD. The developer is Bejamin-Beechwood LLC. The project is welcome news for the Rockaways community, which not only lost many residents in the September 11 attack, but also was the site of a November plane crash.