Sanders Tours Commercial District
By Gary G. Toms
Council member James Sanders, Jr. hosted a walking tour of Far Rockaway’s commercial district on February 5, 2002 to assess the area’s development needs. As Chair of the Economic Development Committee in the City Council, Sanders is committed to viewing, first-hand, as many commercial districts as possible, with the goal of focusing on the development needs of the 31st Councilmanic District.
During the tour, the Councilman and his District Manager, Alla Nesmith, were met by Curtis Archer, executive director of Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation (RDRC), Jule Grant and Ivor Quashie.
Merchants from the area welcomed the Councilman and expressed their concerns and needs. Many spoke of feeling neglected by the City for years. Sissy’s and West Indian and American Restaurant, which has been serving local residents for 14 years, told the group that this was the first time an elected official had visited their business. Storeowners in the Far Rockaway Shopping Center are united in their desire to see the center transformed into a vibrant base of economic activity, and the merchants along Cornaga Avenue called for an expansion of that commercial strip.
"The potential for development in the area is tremendous. I intend to do whatever I can to bring economic development opportunities to the Far Rockaway commercial district," said the Councilman.