CM Ulrich and DEP Announce Plan to Develop Abandoned Rockaway Construction Site
Storage Facility Will Replace Stalled Condo Project
Council Member Eric A. Ulrich (R-Queens) joined city Department of Environmental Protection officials and Community Board 14 District Manager Jonathan Gaska on Friday to announce plans to build a storage facility on property at Beach 106th Street and Beach Channel Drive that is currently the site of an abandoned construction project.
Under the $2 million plan, the city will demolish the partially-built structures before leveling the land for construction of two storage buildings. The new facility will used by the DEP to store spare parts and equipment for the adjacent Rockaway Wastewater Treatment Plant and will have minimal impact on the surrounding community. Demolition work is expected to be finished by the end of the summer, and the new storage buildings should be ready by the end of the year.
Ulrich said, “I’m pleased to stand here in Rockaway alongside the DEP and CB 14 to announce this project. This property has long been a source of complaints and frustration for my constituents. It is unsafe, unsightly and a community eyesore that is an impediment to the overall revitalization of the Rockaway Peninsula.”
DEP Commissioner Cas Holloway said, “Today’s announcement is another example of DEP’s efforts to be a good neighbor to the Rockaway community. This half-finished condominium complex has become a blemish on the community and its removal is finally at hand. After the project was halted a few years back, the city stepped in to ensure that the eyesore sitting right next to the Rockaway Wastewater Treatment Plant would not remain forever.”
Gaska said, “We’re very pleased this project is coming to its conclusion. It had become an attractive nuisance and we were afraid someone was going to get hurt, or worse. This new site will be 180 degree turnaround from its current condition. It shows that government can get together and do good things for the community.”
Vincent Sapienza, Deputy Commissioner for Bureau of Wastewater Treatment, said, “We’re excited to finally have this project move forward, as the property has been an eyesore for the community for years now. Since it is adjacent to the treatment plant, the DEP saw it as a good opportunity to use it for a beneficial purpose. It took a little while to get going, but it is now moving forward thanks to the leadership of the Community Board and Council Member Ulrich. Without their prodding, we wouldn’t have gotten funding for this project. As soon as Commissioner Holloway visited the site, this project became a priority for the department.”
The city took ownership of the property through condemnation proceedings in 2008 and immediately began to improve the perimeter sidewalk and fencing to make it safer. At the request of Council Member Ulrich, the project will include wider sidewalks and plantings. Demolition work was delayed one month in order to not interfere with nearby Scholars’ Academy High School.
Added Ulrich: “I can’t tell you how grateful I am that this project is beginning. This eyesore brings down property values in the community, it’s not safe, and something had to be done about it. In this instance our voices are being heard and we are able to resolve this issue for the Rockaway community.”
Attached Photos: Matthew Mahoney, Associate Commissioner for the Bureau of Communications and Intergovernmental Affairs, Vincent Sapienza, Deputy Commissioner for the Bureau of Wastewater Treatment, Council Member Eric Ulrich and CB 14 District Manger Jonathan Gaska unveil plans for the new storage facility at Friday’s press conference. Also included are photos of the property in its current state and renderings of the planned facility.