2002-09-07 / Letters

When Will Arverne Be Built?

When Will Arverne Be Built?

I had been looking forward to meeting you at the Briarwood Model home in Arverne when breaking news prevented the meeting from taking place. I love Rockaway, and have spent most of the last 30 years on its beaches and in it’s bungalows and lived year round for a few years a while back.

And I have been trying to move back but it’s not easy, as you would think. I bought one of the two family brick houses from Briarwood that was announced by the Borough President at press conference to great fanfare. I really believed in it. It was on NY1, in Newsday, and in the New York Times. I entered the HPD lottery last summer (2001), and got notified last fall that I got the house. All of us gave in our down payment and the project was supposed to be built last December, then March, then June 2002, then Spring 2003, and now I am hearing they may push the date back again!

Water’s Edge II got unfairly folded into larger Environmental Study that was required for the large Arverne by the Sea project. Most of the Briarwood’s homes are filling in vacant lots on existing blocks. If there hadn’t been so much interest in Water’s Edge there would be NO Arverne by the Sea. Somehow they got permission to build, they don’t have to wait even though they were announced much later.

There is finally great interest in Arverne, mortgage rates are at an all time low, interest in Rockaway is at all time high. The time to build is now. I would appreciate finding out when the project can go forward. The builder, Briarwood Organization, wants to build. The bank, HSBC, wants to lend the money and all the families want to move in.

It’s hard to get answers, the Commissioner, Jerilyn Perine (212-863-8482), is hard to get in touch with, and there has been a lot of turnover at HPD. Jim Lima was in charge of Arverne Development, and then was replaced by Chris Cirello, who is also no longer involved. Who is in charge of the EIS? I would like them to build as soon as possible and come up with a firm date for the developer, the bank and the families. The EIS that was expanded for Arverne by the Sea should be over or almost finished by now.

Anything you can find out about the delay would be greatly appreciated. All the families I met at the model house and on the beach are all looking forward to living in Rockaway, but we are starting to wonder if it’s ever going to happen.

JIM BURKE


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