2004-05-28 / Editorial/Opinion

A Banner Day For Rockaway

A Banner Day For Rockaway

There were many in the community that said that nothing would ever be built in the Arverne Urban Renewal Area, which has lain fallow for more than forty years. There were others who raised their voices to say that nobody in their right mind would ever buy any homes in Arverne even if somebody were silly enough to build them. Those residents who have denigrated Rockaway’s chance for revitalization over the past 40 years sat back, smug and certain of what they said. Now, however, it has finally been proven that the naysayers, the people that Spiro T. Agnew once called the "nattering nabobs of negativity," are wrong. A partnership was formed between the city, the community and private developers that did build homes in Arverne and those homes sold out immediately. The first 27 of those homes in Arverne By The Sea officially opened on Tuesday. People will be moving into those homes this summer. Construction on the next group of homes, to be built north of Rockaway Beach Boulevard, started on Wednesday. Eventually, by 2009, there will be 2,300 new homes between Beach 73 Street and Beach 35 Street. Add to that will be a new recreation center, a new school and new commercial space for stores and supermarkets, restaurants and other community-based amenities. These 27 homes will not turn Rockaway’s fortunes, so long ignored by the city, around all by themselves. They are the beginning, the first step, however in a long journey that could bring the peninsula back to its former place as a shining star in a city of shining stars.

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