Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Gentrifying the Rockaways

The Rockaways were ruined decades ago when housing projects were dumped upon them. Now the city is allowing luxury housing to be built along the sandy shores in an obvious attempt to push the low-income families out.

Arverne By the Sea is the name of this "great" development, and according to reports on the developer's website, there is a gigantic waiting list for the units, which have asking prices of around $550,000.

"Arverne-by-the-Sea will be 2,300 homes when its finished," said developer Les Lerner.

City Councilman James Sanders Jr. was quoted by a newspaper expressing fear that this new development may mean low-income families will be "priced out of the community." (Oh yes, there is a plan to build 1,600 units of "affordable housing" in the Rockaways, just not here.)

Benjamin-Beechwood, LLC, paid the City $8.3 million for the 127-acres of land, and they are planning to sell some units for more than a million dollars. Sounds like a real sweetheart deal for the developer.

Wait until the buyers realize that it will take them more than an hour to get to work on the A train and that they can't stroll the boardwalk at night without wearing a bulletproof vest. According to a recent article in the NY Times, "The promotional material makes no mention of the surrounding low-income area of meager houses, shabby bungalows and public housing projects, but rather urges potential buyers to 'imagine the serenity of living in an oceanfront community.' That serenity has been interrupted in recent weeks by gunshots from the nearby projects, a spate of violence that has left three young men from the projects dead."

The same article quotes Sanders: “We’re going to be stuck with a tale of two cities. They’re creating the conditions for a perfect storm of racial discontent and possibly more violence.” Wow.

And oh, yes, the design of these buildings is still Fedders crap.


Anonymous said...

The greed of these people breaks new boundries. I cannot believe that someone will plunk down good money to live in a prison in the middle of nowhere.

Oh I get it. Once the Cat 3 hurricane levels these buildings they can get our tax dollars and sympathy to boot.

Well I tell you what, Mr. Developer, here is the front of my boot to the back of your ***.

Anonymous said...

"Arverne Up Our A---S" is what this should be named! This brand of in-your-face (and up your you-know-what) project is an afront to our community! At least the older style low income projects included more "green space". But trees do impinge upon the size of a building's footprint and offer no income to a greedy builder!

Anonymous said...

At least the development are not high rises. Also, correct me if I am wrong but of the 97 acres, 35 will be a "nature preserve" and 14 acres will be dunes. When I think of other waterfront communities like Miami FL, that have been destroyed by high rises right up to the beach -- the the point that they effect windflow, I think the Arverne project with its low people density is not high impact. I do think they gave that property away too chea. And I do wish there was a real solution for Rockaway, the step child of NYC.

Anonymous said...

Very sadly, Rockaway was deliberately left to rot by the city. Now that a "low rise" development has been proposed, don't be overly joyful just because it's not going to be a "high rise" complex and accept it without question that it's not so bad! I'm sorry but the community has been kept a prisoner all these years by the spectre of decay that anything on the horizon to save the area might appear to be well planned. I think that we're all possibly being mislead.

Anonymous said...

I think that the reason that 35 acres will be a "nature preserve" and the 14 acres of dunes will remain is required by law (Federal or State? or both?). Check it out. I don't think that this is a bonus from the developer. I do know this, there is going to be more "impact" now than there was originally. Only an independent marine biologist or other consultants (not the ones provided by the builder or local government body) can determine if the Arverne project is truly "low impact" or not. Always be suspicious of a developer's intent and you can't go wrong in protecting the community that you live in!

Anonymous said...

I don't even live in NY, and the developers and what they are doing in all of your communities make me mad! Is it time to take out the voodoo dolls? Please please?

Anonymous said...

First of all if the councilman says he is afraid luxury housing will push out the poor ,so be it ,those low life scum that everyone stays far away from destroyed the beautiful rockaway area,lets hope these new upscale homes can bring in the sophisticated urbanites looking for a beautiful residence on the shore with easy acces to manhattan by nyc subway.Let them build artsy Cafes,A starbucks ,barnes & noble to get rid of that lower class element nearby ,& hopefully it will conect with the more cultured eastern Far Rockaway & Five Towns & people driving to Brooklyn from the South Shore of Long Island would not have to shut their car door out of fear of some human animal attacking them in broad daylight.Everyone knows what im saying is true ,but I have the balls to say it.

Queens Crapper said...

Yes, you just don't have the balls to sign your name to it.

Joe Cool said...

"Yes, you just don't have the balls to sign your name to it."

Well, Anonymous is saying something that is very factual.