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Redevelopment Gives New Life To Rockaway's Ocean Village

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One month after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the East Coast, L+M Development Partners closed on Ocean Village, a low-income housing complex on the Rockaway peninsula. The already ailing beachfront buildings took on several feet of water during the storm and had all mechanicals completely wiped out. When they purchased the 13-acre complex, L+M embarked on a massive redevelopment to overhaul and upgrade all of the 1,093 apartments and common spaces. OCV Architects is working on the buildings, while Robin Key Landscape Architecture is making over the open space. AN Blog reports that much work, like the installation of new roofing and insulated siding, is already complete, and RKLA is beginning to demolish the concrete outside spaces to create a more natural landscape.

At the time of the storm, about 350 units were vacant, and those were the first to be renovated by L+M. Renters who were displaced by the storm were given preference, and in March, the Times spent some time with a family who moved into one of the units. The occupied units are being renovated over the next two years. All of the building's electrical systems, which were previously placed on the lowest level and took on 51 inches of water during Sandy, have been elevated, and problems caused by decades of mismanagement?mold, rodent infestations, leaks?have been righted.

Outside, RKLA is making the site more storm resistant by creating more porous surfaces that will be planted with salt-tolerant native species and 300 new trees. New pedestrian paths are planned, and the central walkway will become a tree-lined path that leads to the beachfront boardwalk. Basketball courts will be renovated, and L+M said they are considering installing solar panel arrays.

L+M financed the $60 million redevelopment through a $150 million fund they created with Citi Community Capital for buying and repairing distressed properties. The developer will pay lower taxes, and they will keep rents regulated, with studios starting at $700/month and 4BRs renting for $1,300/month.
· A New Ocean View [AN Blog]
· Affordable Housing of the Future [Curbed]
· New Life Takes Hold After Hurricane and Blight [NYT]
· Ocean Village [RKLA]