Good news. I hope they're not all vinyl though.
December 7, 2003
In Rockaways, a Tide Is Coming In
By DENNIS HEVESI
The initial 32 two-family homes have been built at Arverne by the Sea on part of the long-dormant 308-acre Arverne Urban Renewal Area.
YOU can't buy a kewpie doll or a Tuckee Cup on the boardwalk in the Rockaways any more. The arcades are long gone.
But Michael and Donna Mark bought a two-family house behind a white picket fence three blocks from the ocean on Beach 60th Street for $246,000 two years ago. And in September, the house, in the Arverne section, was reappraised at $310,000 a 26 percent increase in value.
"We thought the price was good because we saw a lot of potential in the area," said Mr. Mark, 38, an investigator for the New York State Insurance Department. "Now, it's exciting to see all the development around us. And the newest homes are going for $400,000."
Things are looking up along the 11-mile sand spit on the south shore of Queens that used to be known as "the poor man's Riviera" particularly at its midriff, where vast swaths of land once crammed with summer bungalows have lain desolate for decades, orphans of urban nonrenewal.
Howard Schwach has watched the tides turn.
A native son, Mr. Schwach, 64, is managing editor of the peninsula's 110-year-old weekly newspaper, The Wave. He waxes nostalgic about his adolescent adventures along the boardwalk. "We joke that you're an old-time Rockaway resident if you remember the Tuckee Cup," Mr. Schwach said, explaining that it was chow mein in a cup made of pressed noodles that cost $1.25 back in the 50's. "So you would eat the stuff out of it with a wooden fork they gave you, and then when you were finished you would eat the cup."
Back then, Mr. Schwach continued: "The boardwalk was lined with stores and penny arcades, two movie theaters. Sometimes in the summer you slept on the beach; there was no air-conditioning. And it was great to be a teenage boy because thousands of teenage girls would flock to the Rockaways; summer romances were the thing."
Then, in the early 60's some say particularly because of the coming of the jet age and fast flights to tropical climes the Rockaway economy took a turn toward the terrible. The city, in what one local official termed one of its "urban renewal binges," tore down thousands of bungalows, leaving wide tracts vacant or dotting them with low-income housing projects.
"For 35 years we've been sitting here waiting for something to happen," Mr. Schwach said, "and now it is."
Using the two-family home as a sort of standard model (with one unit potentially providing rental income), builders have speckled the peninsula with hundreds of new houses over the last five years three or four scattered among tattered though tenacious bungalows on this street or that; five square blocks lined with three-story town houses; acres blanketed by a hundred semiattached homes here, two dozen detached there, nearer to the surf.
To be sure, there are those concerned that the seaside way of summer life is facing extinction, and that there is insufficient infrastructure roads, sewers and schools to support all the new development on the peninsula. Lots of new houses have certainly been built.
And they've sold.
In 1999, the Briarwood Organization took a chance by building 40 two-family homes between Beach 59th and 61st Streets for a project called Waters Edge a sliver from the long-dormant, rubble-strewn, 308-acre Arverne Urban Renewal Area that dominates the Rockaways' central corridor.
Despite buying the city-owned land through the Department of Housing Preservation and Development at only $1,000 for each promised housing unit, and agreeing to pass along the land-cost savings to new homeowners, said Briarwood's president, Vincent Riso, "It took us awhile to convince people to purchase."
"We were the first new construction in Arverne in 30 years," Mr. Riso said. "But once we started our sales program, we found a number of lovely families who bought and are now our best salespeople. Our sales staff tells buyers, `Don't feel shy, just go down the street and ring doorbells.' "
All of the original 40 homes, except the demonstration model, are now occupied; sold at an average price of $228,000. And in the second phase of the project, 65 more two-family houses are to be built starting in February.
"We found Arverne to have a slow kindling point," Mr. Riso said. "But now that we've been there awhile, we have no concern that we won't sell out these 65 new homes quickly" at about $400,000, with no subsidy.
The First Spark
Cookie-Cutter Homes at $170,000 Each
If Waters Edge was the kindling point for real renewal in Arverne on the ocean side of the Rockaways, then the spark for the entire peninsula may have been lit a decade ago in Sommerville a stub of land poking toward the tiny islands and sand hassocks, splayed with straw-gold stretches of marsh grass, that dot Jamaica Bay to the north. That, at least, is the contention of Vincent Castellano, the housing chairman for Community Board 14.
"There are three blocks around 63rd Street that, to me, started the building boom in the Rockaways about 10 years ago," Mr. Castellano said. A fledgling developer, Malcolm Smith, built 60 homes on that long-vacant land.
"Everybody thought he was crazy," Mr. Castellano said. "The price at the time was $170,000 for these cookie-cutter homes. But they sold."
And while there was criticism of the project's look-alike architecture back then, just as the Levittown box soon blossomed with add-ons and build-ups, much of Sommerville has been customized over the years. "That was the beginning, the first time a private developer put his money on the barrel," Mr. Castellano said. "And that gave confidence to other developers." In 2000, Mr. Smith, the developer, was elected to the State Senate.
For nearly a century, Rockaways' Playland with its water slide, Olympic-sized swimming pool and amusement-studded midway drew thousands of fun seekers to its site between Beach 97th and 98th Streets, from Rockaway Beach Boulevard to the boardwalk. In 1938, a 300-foot-long, 70-foot-high wooden roller coaster later dubbed the Atom Smasher first plunged riders toward that faint line between thrill and terror.
By the late 80's, the Atom Smasher, along with the rest of Playland, squeezed by dwindling attendance and skyrocketing insurance costs, had been reduced to rubble little but its foundation to lie forlorn for nearly a decade.
Now, beside and to the south of the elevated A-line train stop that still bears a Playland station sign, 110 two-family homes have been built and sold by Rockaway Shore L.L.C. And 30 more are under construction.
"Our first homes were priced around $250,000," said Jonathan Miller, a partner in the company, pointing out that several parcels outside of the Playland site have been incorporated into the development. "Today, three years later, they sell for around $450,000," without any subsidy.
"It's still affordable," Mr. Miller continued, "because these are two-families. So when the buyer takes into consideration today's interest rates and the rental income, the house becomes affordable."
The company is also building 92 two- and three-bedroom apartments in three-story buildings off the southeast corner of Cross Bay Parkway and Rockaway Beach Boulevard. Rents there will range from $1,300 to $1,500 a month, with tenants required to have incomes between $44,600 and $157,000.
Other developers and city officials had high-rise designs for the Playland property and the vast Arverne site during the fallow years. "They made a lot of promises to the residents of the Rockaways," Mr. Miller said, "but none were fulfilled."
These days, to a greater degree, commitments are being kept.
Improvements are tangible at the six public housing projects with 4,000 apartments that dot the eastern stretch of the peninsula. For years, local residents and officials have complained that the Rockaways have borne an unfair share of the city's homeless and low-income burden.
"The housing projects have become less of a sore point," said Jonathan Gaska, the district manager of Community Board 14. "Over the last five years, the housing authority and the police, in partnership with the tenants, have really changed things for the better as far as crime. They are doing more security in the buildings and on the grounds."
At the Arverne and Edgemere Houses, particularly, Mr. Gaska said, "The housing authority has spent a significant amount of money renovating all the apartments, thousands of units."
And in the Edgemere Urban Renewal Area, on the bay side of the A-train line from Beach 32nd to 54th Streets, 400 two-family houses are being built, part of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development's commitment to promote homeownership in less affluent neighborhoods. "This is in cooperation with the New York City Housing Partnership program for families with incomes as low as $35,000, and up to $75,000," Mr. Gaska said. "They're done with the first phase, 60 houses, in the $300,000 range."
The Rockaways may even become a bit artsy, one artist hopes.
For two and a half years, Richard Kostelanetz, 63, a media artist and writer who currently lives in Manhattan's SoHo district, has been building what he calls, with mordant humor, his "terminal residence" at Kohlrider Square in the Rockaways, a two-block-long park on the bay side of the elevated line at 67th Street.
"I'm building a 4,000-square-foot home and studio; pretty eccentric looking," he said, "cinder block, a few windows high up, skylights, tall ceilings."
Mr. Kostelanetz is the author of "SoHo: The Rise and Fall of an Artists' Colony" (2003, Routledge), an account of the effects of gentrification in that downtown Manhattan neighborhood. He is currently writing "The Fall and Rise of the Rockaways" (no publisher signed yet).
"I'm a New Yorker, so I can't leave New York," he said. "I'm also a beach boy; I wanted to be near the ocean." A lesser, but added, pleasure is the last long leg of the A line "over Jamaica Bay, the most beautiful subway ride in the city."
In the short time that Mr. Kostelanetz has been working on his Rockaway home, he said: "All the empty lots and there were many of them in my neighborhood were snapped up. There's six two-family buildings on my block that have gone up in the last two years."
An Array of Projects
From Mansions to Town Houses
From the east to the west ends of the peninsula, lots of lots have been snapped up. In Far Rockaway, near the Nassau County border, four-story, Spanish revival-style mansions have risen where suburban ranches once stood. "They've started to call it West Lawrence," said Mr. Castellano, the housing chairman for the community board a covetous reference to one of Nassau's affluent Five Towns, just across the city line.
Nearby, in Bayswater and Edgemere, the Leewood Real Estate Group and the Housing Partnership are building Ocean Pointe, a development of 100 town houses for families with incomes ranging from $52,000 to $79,000. The homes will sell for between $275,000 and $289,000. But 79 are eligible for approximately $55,000 in land-cost and cash subsidies through H.P.D. and the New York State Affordable Housing Corporation, a subsidiary of the state Housing Finance Agency.
In Neponsit, one of the westernmost communities on the peninsula within a harrier hawk's take-off flight path from the dunes at Gateway National Recreation Area opulent new homes with bay windows and balconies yawning toward the ocean have nestled among their long-established neighbors.
Few, if any, Rockaway residents have a better feel for the place than Mr. Castellano, who lives in a house he built to replace the bungalow in Breezy Point, at the western end, that his aunt bought for $4,000 in the mid-50's. It is only 10 feet from an unconverted bungalow, in a row of similarly spaced residences on a narrow path to the beach.
"If you have a fight with your wife, the next morning all the neighbors vote," he said.
"When you look at it lengthwise," Mr. Castellano said of the entire peninsula, "there's a different neighborhood every 10 blocks. And it's only a slight exaggeration to say that they each have their own name, their own political club, civic association, agenda, income category and ethnic mix. And they are all very jealous of their little fiefdoms."
"If you want to make enemies quickly," he said, "go into one neighborhood and refer to it by the name of the next neighborhood. You can't go to Neponsit and refer to it as Belle Harbor and no, there's no `u' in harbor, not yet anyway."
The community board, Mr. Castellano said, has "seen situations where, if one neighborhood is getting some kind of municipal improvement, the adjoining neighborhood will object unless they get something, too."
Yet, if there is anything that, perhaps, most Rockaway residents might agree upon though there are some involved in long legal struggles to insure that not all the bungalows fall it is that something hopeful is happening in the 308-acre Arverne wasteland.
For nearly four decades, grand plans were offered for the 52-block stretch from Beach 32nd to 84th Streets, between Rockaway Beach Boulevard and the boardwalk. They fell through.
In the late 80's, Forest City Ratner proposed construction of a phalanx of mid- and high-rise condominium and rental apartment buildings on the site. But, with the collapse of the real estate market in the early 90's, that plan went by the boards.
Then, in the late 90's, a division of the Reichmann family real estate conglomerate in Canada planned to build for more than $1 billion an enclosed amusement area on the Arverne site, to be called Destination Technodome, with rides, movie theaters, an indoor ski slope and a hotel.
But as Mr. Gaska, Community Board 14's district manager, pointed out, the developer and the community "needed a commitment from the city and the state for infrastructure work, anywhere from $250 million to almost $1 billion for sewers, roadways, another exit off the Belt Parkway." That commitment never came.
Arverne by the Sea
Two-Family Homes in the Wasteland
Now, far more than a commitment has been made for Arverne by the Sea a multifaceted development already rising on the western 117 acres of the urban renewal area. Most of the initial 32 two-family homes models for what is to come have been built on a three-acre site between Beach 73rd and 74th Streets. Those homes, in clusters of up to six in a row, will range in price from $395,000 to $495,000.
On Nov. 19, the City Council gave final approval to the land-use plan for the rest of Arverne by the Sea. "We'll be building an additional 650 two-family homes and another 1,000 units in midrise buildings, five to 11 stories," said Peter Florey, executive vice president of the Benjamin Development Company, which, in partnership with the Beechwood Organization, is the city-designated developer for the site.
Most of the midrise buildings will be located along a residential/retail corridor running from the Beach 68th Street train station to the boardwalk. "It will be known as Ocean Way, one of the new streets," Mr. Florey said. "The buildings will be a combination of market-rate rentals and condos."
Beechwood-Benjamin bought the land from the city for $8.6 million. "We are paying for all infrastructure costs," Mr. Florey said, "including all roads, storm and sanitary sewers. And we are building a 30,000-square-foot community center and an 800-seat elementary school on about three acres at Beach 67th Street." He estimated the infrastructure costs at $80 million.
The Department of Housing Preservation and Development projects that by 2009, there will be 2,300 housing units at Arverne by the Sea, and a total of 4,000 for the entire urban renewal site; an Arverne Central Park (planned as a nature park and dune preserve) and up to 500,000 square feet of commercial and retail space on the eastern portion of the site.
Seeming resolutely proud of it all, Mr. Gaska, of the community board, said: "There are those who doubted this day would ever come. They said nothing would ever get built. We've proved them wrong."
Ocean Avenue, a part of Breezy Point where no cars are allowed.
Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company
Good news. I hope they're not all vinyl though.
February 13, 2005
On the Beach, a Brand New Life
By JEFF VANDAM
Angel and Marisol Guivas, with their son, Gabriel, are thrilled to be among the newest residents of Arverne-by-the-Sea.
ARISOL GUIVAS met her husband-to-be one day in 1998 through an instant message. She lived in the Bronx, he in Brooklyn, and she asked his name. It was Angel, he said, and like his future wife, he had a keen interest in the heavenly figures that were his namesake. One of their first dates was to see the Internet love story "You've Got Mail." They seemed destined for each other.
Marisol and Angel were married in 2000. They lived in the $32,000 one-bedroom co-op that Angel had bought as a bachelor in Sheepshead Bay. He had grown up there, the only Puerto Rican kid in a neighborhood of Italians, and now he and Marisol were starting their family there. Their son, Gabriel, was born in June 2002, and as he grew out of his crib and into his big-boy bed, the co-op began to feel too small.
They looked north, to new construction under way in Harlem, and east, to homes in Long Island. Then an item in the newspaper caught Marisol's eye. It mentioned a lottery for brand new seaside homes in a complex to be named Arverne-by-the-Sea, in Queens. It was a 20-block stretch in the distant Rockaways, the string-bean-shaped peninsula that juts into the ocean south of Kennedy Airport and Jamaica Bay. It was only 10 minutes from Angel's job at the post office in Howard Beach, and would become a vast development of homes, with stores, restaurants, a Y.M.C.A., a marina and a school. They signed up.
Last February, they got a call that they were in line for the very last house in the very first phase of Arverne-by-the-Sea, 32 homes labeled the Sands at Harbour Pointe. They went to the sales office and poked around the neighborhood, if it could have been called that. There were no food stores, save for a bodega. The subway station was a treacherous 15-minute trek away on the sidewalk-less Rockaway Freeway. Still, when two buyers in front of them bailed out, Marisol and Angel scraped together a 10 percent down payment on the $395,000 price. Their new address was on Arverne Mews, a street that did not yet exist.
The land where the Guivases were about to put down new roots had been nothing but sand, weeds and trash for 40 years. It was as though a real estate curse had befallen it. More wild dogs than people on the streets. More trash than shells on the beach. The end of New York, literally and figuratively. It had been fallow, empty, abandoned, its beachside bungalows razed in the 1960's to make way for decades of schemes that never materialized. It was part of the 308-acre Arverne Urban Renewal Area, left over long after the idea of flattening a dense patch of residential land was rejected as an urban planning concept. The biggest vacant lot in the city.
But Arverne-by-the-Sea was to change all that. The free sand buckets and shovels from the sales office depicted people on the beach waving in front of a brilliant sunset. The ambitious master plan was to build 117 acres of residential subdivisions with names like Ocean Breeze, the Tides and the Dunes. The grand total of market-rate homes to be built by 2007 was 2,300. Marisol and Angel were taking a grand gamble on a place where no previous project had come to fruition in nearly half a century.
Land of 1,000 Schemes
To stroll on the shores of Arverne these days is to experience loneliness. Among the bare parcels that were once filled with houses and people, there is very nearly nothing. The only buildings are a closed bait-and-tackle outlet and a health clinic. A small "Comfort Station" sits on the boardwalk just off Beach 73rd Street; a weathered sign above the boarded-up restrooms says they are "temporarily closed."
The emptiness invites routine illegal dumping, and in 2001, two joggers, including a 74-year-old man, were attacked on the boardwalk by wild dogs. The skyline is composed of the elevated tracks of the A train and the towers of nearby housing projects. Manhattan, occasionally visible in the distance from Beach Channel Drive, seems impossibly far away, sunken into the sea.
Arverne was not always devastated. In the early 20th century, it was a well-to-do resort community containing one of the nation's largest hotels, the Arverne. Aristocrats gamboled in the sea spray.
"It was a vacation area with bungalows and houses and concessions along the boardwalk," said Jonathan Gaska, district manager for Community Board 14. "It really mirrored what the old Coney Island was."
By the 1940's, Arverne had become a bustling neighborhood. Yet the prosperity that bolstered other parts of the country in the 50's did not seep into that part of the Rockaways. Stores, theaters and restaurants fled, and Arverne declined to the point where the city razed its crumbling homes and labeled it an "urban renewal area" in 1964. But nothing was ever renewed.
This is not to say people haven't tried. In the years before Angel and Marisol Guivas set foot in Arverne, developers and community leaders brought forth a cavalcade of ideas, some more preposterous than others. Few of them took into account the wishes of the surrounding community.
In the late 1980's, the developer Bruce Ratner proposed 10,000 units of residential housing in Arverne. Opponents knocked the number of units to 7,500. But then the New York real estate market imploded and Mr. Ratner's company pulled out.
A few years later, the Reichmanns, a Canadian family that built the Canary Wharf development in London, submitted a proposal to build upon the sands of Arverne a futuristic pleasure palace, Destination Technodome. It was to be staggering in scale and include an indoor ski slope. There would also be theaters, an Olympic-size pool, skating rinks, a hotel and new jobs projected in the thousands. But the costs the family asked the city and state to assume, as much as $1 billion, proved too much, and the project collapsed.
Highly frustrated, the community asked a team of consultants to sketch out a plan that would actually work. A proposal was submitted to the Giuliani administration in 2000 that included the community's desires: attractive housing, a school, a recreation center and a large amount of retail, specifically a major supermarket, chain stores and restaurants.
Along with several other builders, two Long Island developers, the Beechwood Organization and the Benjamin Companies, assembled a bid for the project. Shortly after a devastating plane crash in the Belle Harbor section of the Rockaways in November 2001 that killed 265 people, the Giuliani administration designated Benjamin-Beechwood as the winning team.
"Within a week or two of that plane crash, we got the call," said Les Lerner, a principal of the Beechwood Organization. "Perhaps they needed to show something positive happening in the Rockaways."
A Grand Gamble
It was perhaps a cruel twist that Angel and Marisol Guivas had redone their kitchen in Sheepshead Bay before getting the call about the house in Arverne. They had put in new cabinets and appliances and bought a big new refrigerator, but in just a few weeks, they would have to shuffle their belongings across the Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge and onto the Rockaway peninsula.
It was a pleasant evening in November 2004, and furniture, clothing, empty juice boxes, catalogs and Gabriel's toys were scattered about in a pre-move jumble. An enormous sense of expectation permeated the household. "I'm psyched! You know what I'm saying?" said Angel, 35, his strong voice booming and his cropped black hair not moving an inch. Enthusiastic as ever, he clapped his hands together, loud. "I want to get to work, guys!"
Marisol, a petite, dark-haired 33-year-old with warmth and energy to spare, laughed. "It's very 'beach house,' " she said about their new home, her face glowing. She was pregnant with another baby, due in March. If the Guivases had not won their lottery spot in Phase 1A of Arverne, they probably would have had to begin raising the baby in a place that was not even big enough for the three of them.
To give Gabriel his own space in their Sheepshead Bay home, they had put his bed in a narrow room just off the main entrance that resembled a walk-in closet. Angel painted the ceiling sky blue and added white cloud puffs. But they knew their 2-year-old needed more space to run around.
Angel and Marisol, who can't seem to stop talking effusively about their new home, have never had serious doubts about choosing Arverne. But their final confirmation came from an entrepreneur with slightly more experience. They attended a real estate expo at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center last fall, and one of the events was a question-and-answer session with Donald Trump.
"What happened was a girl told him, 'I'm about to go under contract with Arverne-by-the-Sea,' " Marisol said. "And Trump was like, 'Arverne? Can I have your contract?' "
"We high-fived," Angel said. "It was great! We were so happy. Another person said, 'I have $20,000 in equity, what can I do with that money?' And Trump said, 'Arverne.' That's exactly how we took Arverne, as an opportunity."
Less than a year after Angel and Marisol bought the house on Arverne Mews for $395,000, similar units in the newer phases of the development are selling at prices starting at close to $500,000. In the next section to be completed, 80 percent of the 121 houses have already been sold. In the section after that, the waiting list is 500 families long. People like the Guivases, who bought one of the first houses in the first development, sowed the seed.
"Pioneers is a good word," said Mr. Lerner of the Beechwood Organization. "At the time they committed to buy these houses, all that was going on in Arverne was these 32 houses. Now they really see that the dream they gambled on has come to fruition."
Yet in the surrounding community, there is still very little in terms of amenities. The only store for more than 10 blocks is a bodega on Rockaway Beach Boulevard, which shares space in a tiny strip mall with the Dragon Garden Chinese takeout and an empty storefront that was formerly home to "Forbidden Tattoos."
Transportation is another issue. The nearest subway station is the Beach 67th Street stop on the A train, and getting there requires traipsing through wide puddles along the Rockaway Freeway, an unlighted street with fast-moving traffic. The ride into Manhattan, which takes commuters across Queens and Brooklyn, usually exceeds an hour.
"It's really an hour and ten or an hour and twenty," said Mr. Gaska of Community Board 14. But when more people move to Arverne, he said, the community will lobby the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for express trains to Manhattan. "They don't have to build new tracks; they don't have to do anything," he said.
As for groceries, Mr. Lerner said he and his partners were on the cusp of announcing a deal with a "major brand-name supermarket" to install a store in Arverne-by-the-Sea. But for the time being, residents like the Guivases shuttle over to Brooklyn or out to Long Island for their basic needs.
Bright House, Big Future
Upon his first entry to the house on Arverne Mews, the Guivases' son announced that it was "Gabriel's house."
"Ooooh, beautiful," he told his parents. They were not aware he knew what that word meant, but they accepted his assessment. He now rides his Li'l Rascal tricycle around in the empty living room, his Lion King sneakers lighting up the carpet.
The new house is two stories of gleaming white and gray siding with a white picket fence. There is a backyard with enough room to barbecue and listen to the waves. There is a one-bedroom rental unit on the second floor that already has a tenant.
In the living room of their part of the house, Angel is painting the walls in shades of green like "Celery Ice" that get progressively darker as they approach the back window, which lets in glowing bright ocean light. There is no direct view of the water, but the beach is right around the corner.
"It's like a Florida in New York," Marisol said from the kitchen, where another new fridge waited to be installed.
"No, no," Angel corrected her, "it's California in New York. That's the way I see it. You see guys in wetsuits out there," he said, pointing to the ocean, which attracts its own legion of surfers.
Until all the furniture arrives, Angel, Marisol and Gabriel are staying in the first-floor bedroom, where they have installed an enormous inflatable mattress. The garage is full of boxes and shopping bags from Ikea, and the kitchen counter is scattered with papers and brochures advertising the model for their unit, "The Brittania."
Neighbors have already stopped by. Back in Sheepshead Bay, Angel said, "half the people, they don't really want to talk to you." But in Arverne-by-the-Sea, he said, "People are like, 'Heyyyy! How you doin'?' "
"We all got here almost in the same week," Marisol added of her neighbors. "We're building relationships together."
To Angel and Marisol, there is no end to what Arverne-by-the-Sea will bring. They have talked about investing in other properties in the area, or maybe even opening a franchise like Starbucks. ("Iced coffee at the beach!" Marisol said.) Outside, Angel pointed at the wide expanse of dirt that will become his new community, the expanse where so many others have seen defeat.
"You see that lot right there?" he asked. "That's prime real estate. That's untouched. That's empty. This is what I see that a lot of people don't see. You just have to have the courage to jump in. It's unbelievable. It's gonna be great!"
Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company
Is most of this lower-income housing? It would be excellent if the Rockaways we're to become a middle-class haven for people. Heck, it could even rival Long Island!
The Reef Condominium II
New 7 story condomium at Arverne.
Also check out new pictures of the Arverne development.
Last edited by Derek2k3; May 9th, 2005 at 10:21 AM.
Is anyone else reminded of Seaside, in Florida? This whole development is very New Urbanism.
Why are theey building all this for lower income? It should be mixed.
Didn't you read the articles?
If you consider all of Rockaway, it is very mixed income. Move west toward Neponsit, and the homes become very expensive.
Anyone else find it ironic that the closer you get to Brooklyn, the nicer the neighborhoods become, and the closer to Long Island, the crappier? In most urban cities in the US, it's the exact opposite...
Your right, I apologize. Next time I will read the articles in full (Instead of skimming) before posting.Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp
Do residents of outter borough neighborhood with generally 1 or 2 subway lines have cars? In Manhattan not owning a car is easy with the multitude of subway acess. But, In say the Rockaways there is just one. This isnt just about the Rockaways, neigborhoods like Canarsie, Flushing, Bay Ridge etc.
I was referring to the Rockaways.Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp
Rockaway is a penninsula connected to the mainland at the eastern end. Western Rockaway (and Breezy Point) were completely isolated from Brooklyn before the Marine Parkway Bridge was built. The A train serves the eastern part of Rockaway. The western end had an army base and a naval air station that became Riis Park. The land on the western side is also "newer." Until the jetty was built to stop sand migration, Rockaway added real estate every year. 100 years ago, the point was where the bridge is today.
So no, it's not ironic. Development moved westward.
I live in Bay Ridge, there is no car in my household (though we do have a garage), one subway line serves fine. Every subway line goes into Manhattan, subways aren't meant for cross-borough travel. Going from Queens to Brooklyn on the subway must be aggravating. I use the bus more than anything, the express bus to Manhattan, buses to Staten Island, Coney Island, Brighton/Manhattan Beach, Kings Plaza, etc. We're well served by mass transit.Originally Posted by NewYorkYankee
I would estimate 1/2 of the population here has cars. Most of the houses have garages, but there are many apartment buildings that do not have parking spaces. In far-out areas like SI, Throgs Neck/Little Neck/Rosedale where this is no subway and limited bus service, I think mose residents have cars.