2005-04-29 / Editorial/Opinion

ABTS Amenities Are Critical To Growth

The first residents of the new Arverne By The Sea complex, the vanguard for 2.300 others, are safely snuggled into their new homes clustered between Beach 73 and Beach 74 Streets. Dozens of other new homes are going up, as is the first of the condominium units nearby PS 183. The 35-year-long dream of doing something valuable with the Arverne Urban Renewal Area is finally coming to fruition, despite those who said that it would never br built there and those who added that nobody would come even if they did build. The mandate for the developers of ABTS is that some of the amenities such as the community center, the new school and the commercial development, must be started prior to the beginning of the second phase of the housing development. Now is the time to begin those much-needed amenities. They are critical not only for ABTS to continue to sell units, they are critical for the growth and revitalization of Rockaway itself. We understand that the land that now houses such old-time Rockaway institutions as the Claddagh INN, Loeb and Mayer Meats and Lowitt Labs has been condemned by the city and that eviction procedures have begun to take that land and ready it for ABTS, which should happen sometime in early summer. The site now used by the Claddagh INN, which is really a shadow of what it once was, will one day house the new community center, which will be run by the Cross Island Y. We look forward to having a new, state-of-the-art community center in Rockaway and we look forward to new stores, shops and restaurants as well. For Rockaway, those amenities are critical and should be developed as quickly as the land is cleared.

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