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Far Rockaway's $91M revamp may come with permanent affordable housing

The city may decide to rezone the neighborhood in order to do so

Following the announcement in February this year that Far Rockaway would undergo a $91 million revitalization effort, the city’s Economic Development Corporation is now offering up more details on what that effort might entail, the New York Daily News reports.

The project will particularly focus on improving the downtown Far Rockaway area which includes retail corridors along Central Avenue, Mott Avenue, and Beach 20th Street. The revitalization in large part is a response to the amount of vacant retail spaces in the neighborhood, the lack of solid infrastructure and community facilities.

After launching the process last November and getting community feedback in the months following, the NYCEDC has now released a "Roadmap for Action," and some of the highlights from that include:

  • A potential rezoning of the neighborhood that would create permanently affordable housing, along with the creation of an urban renewal area that would activate underutilized properties.
  • Working with community groups to find programming for public spaces
  • Making improvements to 20 existing storefronts in the retail corridors outlined above
  • Revitalize Mott Avenue as the "main village street" by adding lighting, expanding the sidewalks, and adding more trees.
  • Make improvements district-wide such as installing benches, sidewalk planting, street signs, and new storm sewers.

There are other connected plans that are part of the overall neighborhood revitalization as well including the redevelopment of parts of the Sorrentino Recreational Center, and the construction of a new Far Rockaway library branch to be designed by Snøhetta, the same firm that worked on the recent expansion of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

More details and progress on the existing efforts will be revealed over two meetings scheduled to take place next month.