Wednesday, June 11, 2008

How New York City destroyed the Rockaways

Great article here by City Limits' Matt Schwarzfeld:

HPD’s units have sold before construction has even started, at prices unheard of in the area, bringing new life and money to the peninsula. But most of the privately developed units, built in nearby neighborhoods with permissive zoning regulations that allowed large units to be built on small lots, have not sold nearly as well. The developers overbuilt in neighborhoods with fragile or nonexistent markets that have since crumbled.

Because they consider their investment already lost, many speculative developers have struck deals with the city to house the formerly homeless in order to recoup at least some money. Some of these developers-turned-landlords have neglected basic maintenance responsibilities. Concentrations of absentee landlords plus high-needs people with minimal access to basic services and amenities means entire neighborhoods have been left neglected. “They said the Rockaways would be the new Hamptons,” said Anthony Green, a lifelong Far Rockaway resident in his mid-40s. “This isn’t the new Hamptons. More like the new ghetto.”


IN FAR ROCKAWAY, PRETTY BEACH MEETS HOUSING BUST



Compounding this problem, a lot of this new construction is low quality. Glaring problems are visible everywhere. Doorframes are falling off, vents have been kicked in, and windows are boarded up. One conspicuous example is a 14-story building on the beach. According to a construction worker who has been on the site from the start, early in the project a foreman made an error in reading the blueprints, so the balconies face inland rather than toward the ocean. Such incompetence is common.

Because these small developers built without lining up a buyer prior to construction, they found themselves sitting on expensive investments they couldn’t sell. Short of shuttering the properties or letting the bank take them, developers only really had one option: turn to government-subsidized clients referred from homeless shelters. Though renting compromises their future ability to sell the property, many owners opted to recoup some of their expenses rather than suffer a complete loss on their investment.


“For the longest time, everyone thought Rockaway wasn’t an attractive place to invest,” says former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman, who served from 1986 through the end of 2001. “But it is an attractive place to invest. It could be every bit as beautiful as the Hamptons.”

Claire obviously hasn't been over the Cross Bay Bridge lately...

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Queens, this is your future.

This is what the area will look like when the clubhouse has collected all the campaign donations from developers and turned the communities over to them.

Anonymous said...

You can be sure the Manhattan folks will be happy.

Pushing 'those people' off the island and out of their face and backyard, but just a subway ride away to watch junior, wash the dishes, and take care of that roof top garden.

Kind of explains their lack of desire for starting real public education programs in community preservation for the OuterBs.

Anonymous said...

LIC and Dutch Kills in about 30 years.

Anonymous said...

This is so sad.

Is it any wonder so many people want to move to Long Island?

Anonymous said...

How very sad. Raped by developers. But it doesn't make me want to move to Long Island! Eeek.

Anonymous said...

MOVE TO LONG ISLAND????????

#4 get your frigging head out of your ass

who in their right mind would move to long island these days?

it is dying a slow death with nothing but aging baby boomers trying to unload their overpriced house- good luck with that

gas approaching $5 and you want to move to the suburbs? and those taxes too sheesh!

yes queens is very diverse do not like it then leave now!

long island lol

Anonymous said...

"#4 get your frigging head out of your ass

who in their right mind would move to long island these days?"

I took my head out of my ass a long time ago. And to answer your question - people with money.

Anonymous said...

"vents have been kicked in, and windows are boarded up."

This isn't the developers fault....it is the trash that lives and has lived in Far Rockaway for quite some time now, Before the developers started going nuts building there.

Anonymous said...

No, it's called "failure to maintain" and it is the owner's fault.

Anonymous said...

No, it's called "failure to maintain" and it is the owner's fault.

---------
A polite question:

WHY IN THE HELL DOES EVERYONE, FROM THE POLITICIANS TO THE PRESERVATIONISTS, IGNORE PROPOSALS TO ENCOURAGE OWNER OCCUPIED HOUSING AND DISCOURAGE ABENTEE LANDLORDS?

Just a little question, thats all...

-Joe said...

The Clubhouse and its vast flaiming illegel use of Parliamentary procedure is going to make everybody in Queens renters in slums unless they are multi millionares !!!!

This is the future of Queens !!!

Why doesnt Roberts Rule of Order apply to "The clubhouse" Because THATS EXACTLY WHAT THEY HAVE GOING ON !!

Parliamentary CLUBHOUSE VS a For The People By The People Goverment !!

Joe said...

"""PROPOSALS TO ENCOURAGE OWNER OWNER OCCUPIED HOUSING"""
-------------
What some asshat from Europe or Isreal ??

They are buying up everything in sight with those Euros since our bankers turned our dollar to shit.

They just want to make $$$ not live or care whats going on here.
----use a third and forth party building managment company as a buffer to be slumlords.

BTW:
Arabs from just baught the Chrysler building from the Germans (who baught it 5 months ago) with our oil $$$ today !!!
Trylons and all
http://www.nypost.com/seven/06112008/business/chrysler_bldg__on_the_block_115016.htm

Anonymous said...

PEOPLE WITH MONEY MOVE TO LI?

YES SURE THEY DO

Anonymous said...

Yep, you're right only poor people live in LI. I forgot. Oops.







Idiot.

Anonymous said...

i say stick all the sec 8 animals in far rockaway then demo all the bridges .

NYC will be a safer and much happier place

Anonymous said...

Oh, that is sooo wrong.

And yet so right.

Anonymous said...

Once upon a time, the Rockaways were magnificent. In the 70s, Mayor John Lindsay turned the Rockaways into a dumping ground for Section 8 (welfare) housing. Decent people fled, and the Rockaways have been in steady decline ever since.

Look up Far Rockaway (rappers) on Youtube; it's appalling what they've done to our hometown!

The Rockaways could and should rival the Hamptons. Kick the freeloaders out and the Rockaways could be Paradise once again.

So sad!