2004-05-14 / Editorial/Opinion

Turn Rockaway’s MGP Site Into A Multiplex

Turn Rockaway’s MGP Site Into A Multiplex

There is still some time before the old LILCO Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) on Beach Channel Drive and Beach 108 Street is finally cleaned of all of the toxic material left behind by the gasification process. It may well be two or three years before the site can be turned back to the community for commercial development. At a recent meeting, officials of KeySpan Energy reinforced the fact that turning the site back for development was a key goal of the company’s plan for the site. What kind of commercial development would be best for an old, albeit clean, toxic waste site? We believe that a multiplex theater would be a perfect fit for the site. Think about it. Would you want to put homes on the site, even one recently cleaned of toxic waste? Would you want a restaurant on that type of site? How about a store selling prepared food? Your answer to all three of those commercial establishments would probably be a resounding No! A movie theater needs no basement. It can be built on a slab that would seal in anything that is left behind in the cleaning process. It would give Rockaway a much-needed entertainment focus and would bring people from Brooklyn and other parts of Queens. It would revitalize the stores and restaurants on Rockaway Beach Boulevard and on Beach 116 Street. There will be those who say that a multiplex would bring too much traffic to the area, but we think that would be a minor inconvenience in return for lots of economic and recreational benefits to the community.

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