2004-01-02 / Front Page

‘Arverne By The Sea’ Gets Affordable

By Howard Schwach
‘Arverne By The Sea’ Gets Affordable By Howard Schwach

The long-awaited Arverne By The Sea project, slated for 2,400 new homes from Beach 62 Street to Beach 74 Street has now grown to 2,600 homes, according to a City Council source who asked to remain anonymous.

The source told The Wave that the additional 200 homes would be condominiums set aside for those families who earn between $33 thousand and $50 thousand a year.

Local politicians in both the council and the state assembly have been working for some time to put an affordable housing component into Arverne By The Sea.

"We want more Rockaway people to have access to the new housing," the source said. "Presently, many long-time Rockaway residents have been cut out of the plan because of the cost factor."

The majority of homes in the project, being built by a partnership of the Benjamin Development Company and the Beechwood Organization, will cost upwards of $400 thousand.

Phase 1A, along Shore Front Parkway between Beach 73 Street and Beach 74 Street, has already been sold out and construction will be complete sometime in the spring.

When all phases of the complex are completed, there will be a mix of single and two-family homes, town houses, condominiums and low-rise apartment buildings as well as a new school, a community center and commercial space for new stores.

Opposition to the plan has come from environmentalists, who see the plan to demap beachfront streets as a violation of the Coastal Zone Management Act and from minority groups who see the cost of the new homes as exclusionary.

The plan to add the affordable condos may allay some of those fears.

At least one member of Community Board 14, who could be reached during the holiday season, said that the plan that they approved a short time ago did not include affordable housing.

"We were clear that we wanted only market rate housing on the site," the member told The Wave. "The politicians snuck it in the side door while we were enjoying our holiday."

The developers were not available for comment during the holiday season.

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