New Building Helps Revitalization
By Miriam Rosenberg
Malatestsa told The Wave he has received a lot of inquiries about leasing space in the new building.
“I will start renting in August,” said Malatestsa. “There’s a heavy demand.”
Some possible retailers who have shown interest in renting in the new building include a children’s clothing store, Family Dollar, a high quality shoe store and a store specializing in women’s casual wear.
Curtis Archer, the executive director of Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation (RDRC) believes that the new building is a much needed plus for the business district.
“Anytime long held vacant lot property is finally developed it only adds to the overall economic development of the area,” said Archer. “Hopefully it will bring in some much needed and quality retail to the area.
It should also bring some additional jobs to the area.”
Malatestsa has been in Far Rockaway since he became the owner of Smith Brothers Plumbing in 1970.
A fire in the 70s destroyed the stores that were there, leaving the remaining land vacant for some time.
“I bought the land after the city condemned and tore down the stores,” Malatestsa said.
In addition, he owns the land next to the two Pipe Dreams Plumbing Supply stores and the land next to the new building down Beach 20th Street toward Mott Avenue.
Some of the area’s newest stores are housed there. Among them are Far Rockaway’s only book and fabric stores. Also included are a flower shop, nail salon, a photo and art gallery and a high-end bridal boutique.
“When [the new building] is complete, I will have built 19,000 square feet there,” Malatestsa said proudly. “I will be completing what I started.”
Janet Henrique, the director of business and professional services at RDRC, hopes this is just the start of the strip’s revitalization.
“I see it as an overall revitalization of the neighborhood,” explained Henrique. “Once this comes up, I hope others will follow.”