Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Rockaway rebirth interrupted

From the NY Times:

It wasn’t long ago that the residents and business owners of Beach 116th Street in Queens believed their neighborhood could be the Queens equivalent to Brooklyn’s Williamsburg or Long Island’s Long Beach — a place where Manhattanites would spend big salaries on new condominiums decorated with trinkets from local boutiques. It was not that far-fetched: new zoning rules, planned condo projects and attention from city officials made it seem possible.

Instead, a stretch of Beach 116th Street in Rockaway Park was identified in a recent report as having the highest proportion of abandoned retail storefronts of any shopping district in Queens. The report, by Representative Anthony D. Weiner’s office, found that 17 of 40 surveyed stores were empty.


Anonymous said...

Re-discover the Riviera, the Irish Riviera.

The prices in the local stores and restaurants are excellent and they are much more convenient than at the State run facilities in Jones Beach or Robert Moses where the vendors charge a king's ransom.

Lino remember The Atlas Hotel and Curley's baths. said...

I love Rock Park 116th and have gone there since I was a -very- little kid in 1959.

There have always been plans for this area..and they have always run a-gound when faced with reality:

1) This area is a -very- narrow stretch of land and will not accommodate the number of cars that mass housing would entail.

The only practical car routes to/from the city are via the marginally adequate Marine Parkway and Cross bay bridges. Both involve a lengthy trip through Queens to Manhattan.

Mass transit: One Subway line that splits at (usually) Broad Channel and requires one set of eastern resident to change to a shuttle there and three Queens bus lines..none of which go directly to Manhattan.

Even by subway and if you are lucky enough to get an "A" express the trip is approx 70-80 minutes each way.

Add to that a phalanx of rough neighborhoods and Public Housing toward the west and several SRO hotels at 116th itself, and there is alot to overcome in "gentrifying" this area.

You might as well add the fact that during winter months, this area is brutally cold and prone to storms.

Some of these same claims could me made for Coney Island, but the mass transit picture there is much better.