2002-02-02 / Community

Smith Says Community Input Is Top Priority

Smith Says Community Input Is Top Priority

Saying "the developers of the Arverne by the Sea Project and the community must work together to ensure a better future for the Rockaways," State Senator Malcolm A. Smith (D- Queens) has written the Beechwood Organization, the project’s developers, asking the company to adopt the five-point program to benefit both the company and the community.

Beechwood has earned the right to develop a substantial portion of City-owned land in the Arverne Urban Renewal Area, with one- and two-family homes, low- to mid-rise apartment buildings, a community recreation center, commercial/retail space and a charter school.

"The program I offered during Beechwood’s presentation at Queens Borough Hall will help to eliminate the many distractions and disagreements that often come with a project of this size. The short- and long-term partnerships that would be created under my plan would be beneficial to both sides," Senator Smith said.

The Queens lawmaker said the five points of his plan include community involvement in: Co-Developer-Project Management; Professional Services, including Legal, Architectural, Title Insurance, Real Estate Broker, etc.; Equity Participation-Community Investment; Construction (Carpentry, Mechanical, Project Labor Agreements); Post-Construction (Maintenance, etc.).

The Queens lawmaker also called for the creation of a Community Participation Advisement Council.

"Ensuring community involvement in these areas would also help the developers stay on schedule. Owning to the economic benefit that will be realized by the City, the State and the developers, community participation is essential. I’d like to congratulate the Beechwood Organization on its being selected for a project that the Rockaway community has long awaited," Senator Smith said.

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