2003-04-19 / Community

RDRC Offers ‘Rockaway Means Business’Awards On May 14

RDRC Offers ‘Rockaway Means Business’Awards On May 14

Several prominent individuals will receive the "Rockaway Means Business Award" at the Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corporation’s Seventeenth Annual Tribute at Russo’s On The Bay, on Wednesday, May 14.

The "Rockaway Means Business Award" will be presented to Jerry Perich and Frank Walker, co-owners of the Irish Circle Tavern; Les Lerner and Michael Dubb of The Beechwood Organization; Alvin Benjamin of the Benjamin Development Co.; and Kenneth Lindahl, Deputy Inspector of the 101 Precinct.

It was nearly nine years ago that Jerry Perich and Frank Walker took over the ownership of the Old Irish Circle and together they began to put their own unique stamp on the business community of Rockaway Beach. The two have taken the old time Rockaway Pub/Restaurant and turned into a highly profiled and successful Irish Circle Tavern, which boasts of being one of the very few Off Track Betting restaurant establishments.

Perich and Walker have rebuilt the Circle into a beautiful, state-of-the-art restaurant and pub, with a gourmet head chef, fine food, and a friendly and experienced staff. The Irish Circle Tavern offers a fabulous menu and great entertainment each week, with special planned nights, trips, and events. The million-dollar renovation of the Irish Circle Tavern has turned the corner of Beach 102 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard into a bucolic scene quite reminiscent of some beautiful New England resort communities.

Perich is committed to involvement in his hometown community. He’s a member of the Knights of Columbus; a staunch supporter of the Queens County St. Patrick’s Day Parade; and a true supporter and sponsor of local Rockaway, Broad Channel, and Howard Beach sports organizations.

Walker is a lifelong resident of Rockaway with no desire to ever leave. He plans on raising his children in Rockaway, and someday he hopes to pass on to them what he feels is a Rockaway landmark; namely, The Irish Circle Tavern.

Les Lerner and Michael Dubb are principals and co-founders of The Beechwood Organization, a residential Real Estate Development Corporation based in Jericho, N.Y. The company specializes in large-scale residential developments throughout the New York Metropolitan area, including Long Island, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens.

Beechwood is the largest developer of for sale housing on Long Island and the largest developer of one- and two-family homes in New York City. In addition to having previously constructed over 4,000 units of market rate and affordable housing, the company is currently planning and/or developing over 5,000 additional homes.

Alvin Benjamin, President and Founder of the Benjamin Organization started his organization on Long Island by building luxury apartment complexes. Since then Benjamin has expanded the company’s development and construction activities throughout New York City Metropolitan area and into the neighboring states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Florida. The firm currently has in the development stages over 4,000 residential units with a projected cost in excess of $600,000,000 in Nassau, Suffolk, New York, and Florida.

Lerner and Dubb’s priorities are understanding and meeting the community’s needs. The guiding force for Benjamin Development, Co., Inc. and the Benjamin Companies, is developing with and for the community, as well as building in harmony with the environment.

Beechwood Organization, together with The Benjamin Development Co., is proud to be developing "Arverne By The Sea." This will consist of a series of new, walkable neighborhoods comprising a community that draws on its coastal setting. The neighborhoods will each be defined by their distinct housing types and interwoven by a network of public spaces and amenities.

Deputy Inspector Kenneth Lindahl of the 101 Precinct was appointed to the New York City Police Department in 1979. He was first assigned to Neighborhood Stabilization Unit #18, which covered several precincts in southeastern Queens.

As a young rookie Lindahl was often assigned to a steady foot post in Far Rockaway, in front of a synagogue on Brookhaven Avenue, which now houses the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah Witnesses.

He clearly recalls the overwhelming hospitality and concern he received by members of the community as he stood in the frigid cold. Far from his mind during this stage of his career did Lindahl imagine that twenty years later he’d be appointed Commanding Officer of this precinct.

Lindahl’s following assignments would take him from the Rockaways, only to return him in 2001 to the 101 Precinct as its Commanding Officer. During his tenure as Commanding Officer, crime has dramatically been reduced in Far Rockaway. The 101 Precinct has led the entire New York City’s seventy-six precincts with a 25.5% drop in crime.

In April of 2002, Captain Lindahl was appointed to the position of Deputy Inspector.

Now Deputy Inspector Lindahl reflects on those days that he spent as a rookie on Brookhaven Avenue, and he realizes that it was that same concern and cooperation he received from the community then, that today has played such a crucial role in the success the 101 Precinct has achieved.

Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation (RDRC) is a not-for-profit local development corporation, which was organized in 1978 by community residents and business leaders to develop a comprehensive community development program for the Rockaways.

This was done in response to serious problems, including deteriorating commercial areas, residential blight and substandard housing, and high rates of poverty, unemployment, and crime. The corporation’s overall mission is to promote the revitalization of the community’s economic base and neighborhoods, and assist its residents in obtaining an improved "quality of life."

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