From the Daily News:
A LONG-DELAYED YMCA center at the Arverne by the Sea complex in the Rockaways is close to getting a green light from the city to begin construction.
The Mayor's Office is about to approve the project, which had been in limbo because of a local law that required it be LEED certified because it got more than $10million in city funding.
Ryan Whalen, chief of staff for Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson, said at the inaugural public gathering of the Rockaway Task Force on Tuesday that the city "expects the construction to begin very shortly."
The announcement was greeted with applause by the 60 or so people in attendance.
The city would waive its requirement for LEED certification - which ensures that a building adheres to strict environmental standards.
To receive this waiver, officials with the developer, Benjamin-Beechwood, have been meeting with officials from the Mayor's Office since July to discuss how they could alter their designs, said Gerry Romski, the Arverne by the Sea project executive and counsel.
The designers have made enough alterations to the YMCA - such as using low-flow toilets and more environmentally friendly paint - to significantly improve its LEED ranking, Romski said.
Local Law 86, which took effect in 2007, requires that construction projects that get $10 million or more in city funding be LEED certified.
If the waiver is granted, construction on the $25 million center can begin "ASAP" and can be completed in 1-1/2 years, said Romski.