2005-03-11 / Community

REMA, Sanders: New Park For Far Rockaway Business District

By Miriam Rosenberg


Councilman James Sanders, Jr. discusses the future of the Rockaway business district as members of REMA look on.Councilman James Sanders, Jr. discusses the future of the Rockaway business district as members of REMA look on. Contributing Editor

The Rockaway East Merchants Association (REMA) is experiencing something of a rebirth after being missing in action for almost a year.

Alan Postman of REMA admitted at an organization meeting last week, “REMA members had dropped the ball... We floundered the last few months.”

The day before the February 23 meeting, Curtis Archer, the executive director of RDRC (Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation), told The Wave that La’Vida Jervis owner of Bridal Creations by La’Vida “is the one pushing” to get the organization going again.

La’Vida Jervis, owner of Bridal Creations by La’Vida, poses with a rendering of the proposed park for the Beach 20 Street common area.La’Vida Jervis, owner of Bridal Creations by La’Vida, poses with a rendering of the proposed park for the Beach 20 Street common area. “They did a lot with Tony Berkel [before he left RDRC],” said Archer. “We don’t want RDRC to be the driving force. We want them to have their own force, their own identity.”

Sanitation, parking for shoppers and street lighting are all issues that – as a community organization – REMA could help address.

The first project, proposed by Jervis, is the construction of a gated park in the common walk thru area on Beach 20 Street. Jervis commissioned a rendering of the proposed park and took it to Councilman James Sanders, Jr. Sanders, who attended the meeting, promised $50,000 toward the building of the park.

“I can see some benches... why not a table or two, a barbecue grill... a place we can lock up in the evening... a nice gate... a grand opening,” Sanders told REMA members. “I can see how we can use this to jumpstart the community.”

Sanders also said he wants to put the empty buildings in the area back on the commercial market. With parking being the most important problem in the district, Sanders said, “the municipal parking lot needs to be put back in shape fast. The EDC did a disservice by selling the lot.”

He also suggested that a meeting about the issue should take place soon and promised that he, or a representative, would attend.

REMA’s mission is to be a merchant’s association, as well as work to improve the community.

RDRC’s Archer and the Rockaway Chamber of Commerce’s Joanie Omeste pledged to be available to help support REMA.

“We’re resources for you,” Omeste told REMA members. “We can help you formulate direction and what you want to accomplish.”

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