2002-07-20 / Columnists

On The Beach… With Beverly Baxter

Groundbreaking A Huge Success

On The Beach....With Beverly Baxter
The Dawn of A New Tomorrow
Groundbreaking Ceremony For
Arverne-By-The-Sea
A Huge Success!

"Today marks the first day of a new beginning...where everyday can be a day at the beach!" stated an exuberant Les Lerner, President of the Beechwood Organization who, along with Benjamin Development, held their Groundbreaking Ceremony on June 11 for New York City's new hometown oceanfront community: Arverne-By-The-Sea. It could not have been a more perfectly appropriate summer's day. Amidst the sparkling blue Atlantic Ocean and its warm sea breezes, the sounds of the seagulls and lullaby of the ocean gave the throng of nearly 700 who attended a glimpse into a way of life called Arverne By-The-Sea.  

"This day has been coming for a long time...and there have been a lot of pieces to this puzzle", explained Mr. Lerner as he cited the compilation of talent, innovation, and community-driven needs that have gone into the birth of this elaborate plan. He praised the community for their input and the elected officials who represent them. Among those in attendance were Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, State Senator Malcolm Smith, Councilmen James Sanders and Joseph Addabbo, Democratic District Leaders Dr. Geraldine Chapey and Lew Simon, District Manager Jonathan Gaska, former and current Community Board 14 Presidents Rosemary Murray and Dolores Orr, and Reverends Charles Norris and Floyd Flake who gave the opening remarks and Benedictions.

"Our city owes its very existence to the water around us", stated H.P.D. Commissioner Jerilyn Perrine. "We have the most beautiful beaches in the world. Reaching that waters edge should not be impossible." She spoke so eloquently about the joy of living with the sound of the ocean in one's ears and how this plan affords the middle class, who have often been forgotten when it comes to market-rate housing, the opportunity to live a quality seaside lifestyle, a "Hamptons West" as the Borough President described, within the parameters of New York City. "You kept your memories of Rockaway alive and helped design a plan for the future", she stated to an eager and enthusiastic audience.

Of course there are many components that will ensure the success of the development plan. Councilman Joseph Addabbo vowed to bring viable Ferry Transportation, an important factor in meeting the expanding demand of our rising population.

There is an old Rockaway saying that once you live here and get sand in your shoes, you can never really get that sand out of your shoes! Or the wonderful memories of living by the ocean out of your heart. Arverne By-The-Sea will provide so many with the opportunity and give new meaning to the phrase: Life's a beach!


Beverly Baxter speaks with Benjamin Development President Al Benjamin at the recent Groundbreaking Ceremony for Arverne By-The-Sea.


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