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Thread: In Rockaways, a Tide Is Coming In

  1. #16



    1. Shore Front Parkway and Beach 73rd St
    2. Mews
    3. More development on Rockaway Beach Blvd
    4. 1/2 mile tract to the east ready for development
    5. One wrinkle - JFK glide path, but planes are still up high.
    6. It's by the sea.
    7. Apt buildings to the west.
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  2. #17


    The design is tacky and uninspired, like a golf course community in North Carolina or Florida. Still, it's a decent, humanist alternative to the grim tower-blocks otherwise marring a decent beachfront.

  3. #18


    I agree with the "golf course community" but it's better than a vast empty lot that stood vacant for 40+ years, and it's better than those grim high-rises. So I'll take it, it's good for the neighborhood, I don't think they look bad. Just not urban, thats all.

  4. #19
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Garden City, LI


    Quote Originally Posted by alex ballard
    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...

    Depends what you mean by nice. The areas in NE Queens are quite nice, though more suburban. There are some VERY nice areas and the whole section is quite pricey these days.

    You must mean SE Queens, perhaps?

  5. #20
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    in Limbo




    LET IT TIDE: Ocean Grande still has two-bedrooms for sale.


    June 22, 2006 -- SURFERS hanging ten, a banging skateboard park with half pipes, tankers lining the horizon, 6 miles of boardwalk, bikinis and wild-eyed sun-bleached characters. Welcome to Rockaway Park, Queens. This water world is just an hour from Midtown on the A train. And if you want to live here, well, it seems like almost everything's for sale.

    Wherever you look in Rockaway Park, you'll see "For Sale" signs. There are quaint beach bungalows for $150,000 and three-bedroom Victorians with wraparound porches for half a million dollars. There are also thousands of new condos attracting buyers looking for affordable property (and great tax breaks) on the beach.

    With a slew of luxury beachfront condo projects ready for move-in within three months - including the latest phase of a 2,300-unit development on 117 acres - Rockaway Park is definitely riding the real-estate wave.

    "The past three years were undoubtedly the best years I've experienced in this business," says area real-estate broker D. Brian Heffernan.

    And, residents say, the beaches are clearly the area's best perk.

    "I watch the sun come up over the ocean every morning," says Elizabeth Gardner, a Department of Transportation worker who owns a four-bedroom, two-family duplex with her boyfriend, Connie Cronin, on Beach 97th Street and Shorefront Parkway. "It's so quiet at night, you can hear the water - and the beaches are so big it's like you have them to yourself."

    Rich in history, Rockaway Park, with water on all four sides, is located between the Atlantic Ocean and Jamaica Bay. A popular beach resort in the late 1800s, the area hit severe lows in the 1960s to 1980s. It was considered a dangerous slum with dingy public housing and even worse public services.

    Although nearby mental-health facilities remain, and petty crimes like vandalism are still common police-blotter mentions, things are turning around. Violent crime is down 76 percent in the last 15 years. The beaches are cleaned every morning by city maintenance crews. There's a designated surfing section, the boardwalk, children's playgrounds, basketball courts and the National Gateway Recreation Area, a pristine national park known for bird-watching.

    Another selling point of Rockaway Park is the low taxes. Thanks to 421a tax abatements given by the city to new-construction projects, residents often pay just $100 a year in taxes for eight to 15 years.

    Michael Kerris, whose Frameworks Group built Belle Shores - a 78-unit, three-story luxury condo with beach views on 101st Street and Shorefront Parkway - sold 20 percent of his new development's 78 units in just two weeks. The two- and three-bedroom condos run from $439,000 to $989,900 for 972 square feet to 1,700 square feet.

    Frameworks also has gobbled up more property on Shorefront Parkway along the beach at 94th Street, and plans to build a seven-story "Manhattan-style" condo development named the Landmark.

    Three-bedroom penthouses will hit the million-dollar mark.

    "These will be the most luxurious homes yet in the Rockaways," Kerris says.

    The developers and residents at the new Ocean Grande condominiums at the top of Rockaway Park's main shopping drag on Beach 116th Street and the boardwalk might disagree with that "most luxurious" claim. The eight-story, 92-unit Ocean Grande development comes with an oceanfront club room, business center, gym and roof deck with views up and down the coastline.

    "It was very emotional when we walked in here and saw our unit almost finished," says television and film producer Josh Kane, who, with his wife, Jane, bought into Ocean Grande when it was just a construction site. The couple purchased a sixth-floor two-bedroom with a terrace and ocean views.

    "I don't want to sound corny, but I can't wait to fall asleep with the windows open and those ocean breezes coming in," Kane says.
    Ocean Grande is 80 percent sold. Two-bedrooms with ocean views are available for $535,000.

    The biggest development in the area is Arverne by the Sea, a 2,300-unit urban-renewal development being built in phases on what was previously an abandoned 321 acres of beachfront located next to a public housing project. Sales of the three-bedroom, two-family duplexes (owners can rent out one of the units), between $400,000 and $600,000 have not been hurt by the lack of stores and services in the immediate area. All 121 units of Palmer's Landing and the Sands are sold out. Units at the Breakers, a waterfront phase of 131 units, are now being sold.

    "A major part of the plan is to bring in new schools, a recreational center," says Arverne by the Sea project executive Gerry Romski. "And we're close to signing a major retailer and beginning to build a major shopping center."

    Derek Lindell, his wife, two teenage daughters and 22-year-old son downsized from their Sea Cliff, L.I., home with a pool to live near the beach at Arverne by the Sea.

    "The price for a two-family home, the taxes, the fact I don't have to do the lawn all were big factors," Lindell says.

    Adds his wife, Janet: "It's a new community where everyone is excited and friendly."

    AREA: Rockaway Park, Queens

    NEW BUILDINGS: Developments include Belle Shores, Ocean Grande and Arverne by the Sea

    Copyright 2006 NYP Holdings, Inc.

  6. #21


    Quote Originally Posted by antinimby


    Although nearby mental-health facilities remain, and petty crimes like vandalism are still common police-blotter mentions, things are turning around. Violent crime is down 76 percent in the last 15 years.
    lol, thats a joke.

    Violent crime is down all over the city, and Far Rockaway has one of the highest crime rates of all, its a vile area with broken down public housing projects. And no, there are no good schools. These developments are selling at the slowest pace of any in all of NYC for these reasons. Flip the projects into coops and MAYBE 5 years later down the road you will have the START of a nice area.

  7. #22
    Banned Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY


    I think you are wrong - completely wrong. The developments look quite nice and the developers seem to have a good masterplan. The phasing is working nicely and the development of these tracts assures further redevelopment of existing areas. This is being rebuilt into a proper urban beachfront community. Pricing is very competitive and I think this is going to appeal to folks who enjoy heading to Long Island or the Jersey Shore on weekends, but who do so because they are beach lovers not wannabe hipsters.

  8. #23


    Quote Originally Posted by submachine
    lol, thats a joke.

    Violent crime is down all over the city, and Far Rockaway has one of the highest crime rates of all, its a vile area with broken down public housing projects. And no, there are no good schools. These developments are selling at the slowest pace of any in all of NYC for these reasons. Flip the projects into coops and MAYBE 5 years later down the road you will have the START of a nice area.
    Rockaway Park and Arverne are compeltely different neighborhoods than Far Rockaway. I think you are confusing neighborhoods.

    As for Far Rockaway, I wonder if most bashers have even been to the nabe. Half the neighborhood isn't very nice but the other half is beautiful and very expensive. The fancy half is a leafy Orthodox Jewish neighborhood.

  9. #24
    Banned Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY


    I may be wrong, but I semse that some of the attitudes toward the Rockaways being posted are akin to those strange perceptions we get from midwest folks who still think it is 1977 in Manhattan.

    Rockaway is changing and it is prime beachfront realty with relatively good transportation. The area had a decline, but the decline was complete - down to the ground. So we are talking about the development of vast tracts of land from Rockaway Park to Far Rockaway. There is no downside to this development. It has a wonderful design, ideally suited for beachfrontr living. It has an urban density. It is bright and green and seems to be good construction. I been through the area fairly regularly and it is transformative. Now, they need to address the crumbling subway el.

  10. #25


    July 9, 2006
    Luxe Invades Rockaway Park

    Oceanfront views and granite countertops can be yours, appropriately priced.

    ON the site of what was once a beachfront hotel called Curly's and then, for decades, a vacant lot in the neighborhood of Rockaway Park, there is now the Ocean Grande, an eight-story luxury condominium building set to open to residents in a few weeks.

    The building, at the corner of Beach 117th Street and the Rockaway Boardwalk, is an eye-opener, in both pricing and appearance. It has $1 million units, and it dwarfs Rockaway's typical real estate — the relatively small two- and three-family houses that first sprouted here, cheek by jowl, in the early 1900's, so working-class immigrant families could take advantage of the oceanfront.

    "Ten years ago, we were very desperate to get development," said Jonathan Gaska, district manager of the Rockaways' Community Board 14. The neighborhood still has a few S.R.O. hotels, according to Mr. Gaska. But the ambience clearly doesn't matter to developers all that much when there is waterfront living space to be created.

    "No one was interested here," he said. "Now everyone is."

    One of those interested parties is Steven Krieger, a principal at the Engel Burman Group, which is developing Ocean Grande with the Cedar Summit Property Group. "The reason we ended up doing this development is that we found a property on the Atlantic Ocean," Mr. Krieger said. "The ocean is magnificent."

    Inside the Ocean Grande's apartments, which range from studios to three-bedroom penthouses, the developers have installed appliances and amenities that might seem at home in a new condo tower in Manhattan or Dumbo, Brooklyn: Bosch washers and dryers, General Electric Profile stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. Many apartments have balcony views of Manhattan, Jamaica Bay, the ocean or in some cases all three.

    After a year of sales, more than 80 percent of the units have been sold; the first buyers will move in next month.

    "The way they are selling here is that oceanfront new construction at these prices is very hard to find," said Grant Held, director of sales at the building. Prices for remaining units range from $420,000, for a two-bedroom facing Jamaica Bay and Manhattan, to $1.035 million, for a two-bedroom penthouse.

    On the main floor, there is a large fitness center with a flat-panel television on each exercise bike and treadmill; across the hall, a bistro and a library with plush couches and a fireplace offer beach and ocean views. A business center is outfitted with computers and printers, and residents will have locker rooms and a private entrance to the boardwalk, which abuts the building's property. Indoor parking spots are available for purchase for $30,000.

    Thus far, Mr. Held said, people buying units in the building have ranged from twentysomethings to seventysomethings, coming from both New York City and Long Island.

    The area nearby, including Rockaway Park's commercial strip on Beach 116th Street, is still developing, with a subway shuttle to the A train and a long ride to Manhattan a few blocks from the building. Yet sales continue to be brisk, he said, with new buyers entranced most of all by the thought of the ocean directly in their backyards.

    Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

  11. #26
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    A Man’s Beach Bungalow Is His Castle,
    Under Siege by Developers

    Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times
    Richard George of the Beachside Bungalow Preservation Association of Far Rockaway
    at his home on Beach 24th Street.

    “If money was my motivation, I’d want the project built because it would increase my property value . . . I’m not antidevelopment; only when it discriminates against everyone else living around it.”
    Queens Journal
    August 11, 2006

    Richard George lives in a charming little beach bungalow just off the ocean on the eastern end of the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens.

    Like the homes of his neighbors, his small, three-bedroom shack is cooled by the salty breeze and surrounded by wildflowers and the sandy walkways leading to other lovely old wooden homes that form a beach colony, parts of which look more like Fire Island than New York City.

    Mr. George’s home on Beach 24th Street has cotton bedspreads, quaint tablecloths and kitschy artwork. But don’t be fooled by the surroundings: it’s really a war bunker from which he defends his ever-shrinking seaside neighborhood.

    At the table in his galley-size kitchen, he assembles legal briefs used to sue developers and city agencies to ward off efforts to demolish the bungalows for newer, bigger housing.

    Back when the Rockaways was still a popular ocean resort for New Yorkers, these bungalows were abundant, with many built in the 1920’s. Groucho Marx is said to have invested in 24 of them. Now the largest remaining patch of the historic shacks are the roughly 120 that line three city blocks leading to the dunes in Far Rockaway.

    With each passing year, more of the bungalows along Beach 24th, 25th and 26th Streets between Seagirt Boulevard and the boardwalk are demolished by developers building new housing. So far, Mr. George has not been able to get the city to declare the bungalows, many of which are abandoned, landmarks.

    So he fights local development by filing lawsuits claiming that the projects violate federal coastal regulations by illegally diminishing public access to the waterfront.

    He is in court against a 130-unit condominium project being built between Beach 25th and Beach 26th Streets. Mr. George is arguing in State Supreme Court in Queens that the bigger project blocks an easement to the beach written into the bungalows’ deeds and titles.

    State conservation officials ordered work stopped at that project, citing a lack of proper permits. Now the site, which has been idle for several months, looks as if the crew just went on a coffee break, with tools and brick piles strewn about and the iron framework gathering rust.

    “These developers knew when they bought the property that their project was in violation,” said Mr. George, who bought his bungalow in 1982. He now owns a handful of other bungalows, which he rents out, and heads the Beachside Bungalow Preservation Association of Far Rockaway.

    Gary Rosen, a lawyer for the project, Metroplex on the Atlantic, said the legal easements to the ocean expired in 1930. He said that he was certain he would defeat Mr. George in court but that the delays alone might ruin the project.

    “My client has a $14 million loan out on this, and it is costing him $3,000 each day the project is delayed,” Mr. Rosen said. “This could bankrupt the project. He’s already cost my client more money than those bungalows are worth.”

    Even when ultimately unsuccessful, Mr. George’s lawsuits have often managed to frustrate and delay developers until costly delays and legal fees have forced them to abandon their projects.

    The most powerful weapon in his arsenal is an obscure regulation known as the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, enacted by Congress to help local governments preserve access to waterways. Mr. George claims that the city and state mainly ignore the regulations despite receiving federal funds to enforce them.

    “The right to have waterway access maintained is protected by the U.S. Constitution and goes back to ancient Rome,” he said recently, sitting in his bungalow and surrounded by piles of documents that he says support his case. “It costs taxpayers millions of dollars a year to enforce this program, which benefits all city residents, and no one enforces it. They’re handing the waterfront over to developers and it’s breaking federal law, basically because nobody knows or seems to care about this law.”

    He is suing the city in federal court, claiming it violated federal access laws in approving the huge Arverne by the Sea project, which will create thousands of units over 117 acres. Mr. George says the project will eliminate 46 streets that lead to the ocean.

    The suit is one of at least seven Mr. George currently has against the city, said Gabriel Taussig, a city lawyer. Although judges may issue temporary stop-work orders against developers, Mr. Taussig said that in the end, the judges consistently reject Mr. George’s claims.

    Federal and state officials say the federal coastal act offers a general guideline for projects, which are evaluated case by case. City Planning Department officials say waterfront development projects are stringently reviewed to ensure that access is preserved.

    Mr. George sat in his kitchen showing old wills and deeds from landowners in the 1800’s stipulating that an easement to the ocean must be maintained. He thumbed through a heavily annotated, underlined, highlighted and Post-it adorned copy of the federal act, with his own bookmarks and footnotes. He flipped to Section 306, Part 1455, which encourages “public participation in the permitting process,” in order to “ensure compliance by government.”

    Mr. Rosen accused Mr. George of protecting the bungalows simply to preserve his income as a landlord.

    “He buys these bungalows for dirt cheap, and he’s lining his pockets by running the biggest scam,” he said. “Here you have developers bringing millions of dollars into the neighborhood, and he’s killing their projects and making them want to walk away.”

    He said he was suing Mr. George for “malicious prosecution of my client.”
    “I’ll take all the bungalows if I win,” he said. “Most of them are garbage anyway. They’re shacks.”

    Mr. George dismissed Mr. Rosen’s claims.

    “If money was my motivation, I’d want the project built because it would increase my property value,” he said. “I’m not antidevelopment; only when it discriminates against everyone else living around it.”

    Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

  12. #27
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    Beachside Bungalow Preservation Association of Far Rockaway, Inc.


    Stucco Bungalow with plants
    Beach 24th Street

    Brick facade bungalow built 1921 -
    Beach 25th Street

    Renovated bungalow with porch lathing
    Beach 25th Street

  13. #28
    Banned Member
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    Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY


    It really should be deemed an Historic District.

  14. #29


    November 10, 2006
    Queens: Development in the Rockaways

    Moving to revitalize a long-neglected swath of the Rockaways, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg broke ground yesterday on a 30,000-square-foot Y.M.C.A. center at Arverne by the Sea, part of a sprawling mixed-use community under construction in Arverne. The development project, in a 308-acre urban renewal area designated in 1964, is slated for completion over the next decade and is expected to bring thousands of middle-income residents, a Super Stop & Shop, a new elementary school and other amenities to the area. Mr. Bloomberg also designated the Bluestone Organization, L & M Equity and Triangle Equities as the development team for the Arverne East part of the project.

    Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

  15. #30


    Quote Originally Posted by BrooklynRider View Post
    I think you are wrong - completely wrong..
    Six months since my last post here, and all evidence (before and) since then proves I am right - completely right.

    Dead-slow sales in Arverne + crime rate (esp. murders) skyrocketing in NYPD Precincts 100 and 101.

    And unless all the housing projects are flipped into co-ops, nothing will ever change.

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