Construction Of West End Medical Facility Stirs Questions
Rockaway Park residents voiced their concerns this week when construction began on the basement and driveway of 124-16 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, a small three-story apartment house with 13 units right across the street from the now-shuttered Washington Hotel.
Rumors quickly spread that the facility was to be used as a methadone clinic or for a drug rehabilitation facility.
The owner of the building, Yehuda Cohen, whose corporation is located in Jamaica, told The Wave that the new facility would simply house a doctor’s office similar to the existing offices throughout the community. Jonathon Gaska, the District Manager for Community Board 14, said that the building was zoned R-3, which allows such facilities, but he questioned whether such a facility would be allowed in a basement area.
The city’s Department of Buildings issued a permit on April 29 for the construction of “New treatment health facility in cellar.” It was the posting of that permit on the front door of the building that sparked the community’s fears. Daniel Ruscillo, one of the community members who voiced his concern about the new health facility pointed to the lack of parking spaces in the area and asked where the patients would park.
“Particularly in the summer and on weekends, there is not enough parking in the area for residents,” he said. “That should have been taken into consideration before the city approved a new facility that would impact parking even more.”
Cohen declined to comment on when the new facility would be ready or if a doctor had already been chosen for the $28,000 project.