2005-12-23 / Community

Residents,Developers Meet To Discuss Arverne East

By Miriam Rosenberg Contributing Editor

Councilman James Sanders, Jr.

Councilman James Sanders, Jr. (right) hopes Arverne East will bring credible jobs to people of the area. Councilman James Sanders, Jr. (right) hopes Arverne East will bring credible jobs to people of the area. hosted a December 11 town hall meeting at which the developers hoping to win the contract for Arverne East

answered questions from community

leaders and residents about the project.

The meeting at JHS 198 was also an opportunity for the developers to

hear what is most important to those

who live here. As Alex Adams of The Dermot Company

told those at the meeting, the

get-together was to get public input.

“We need to hear what you want,”

said Adams. “At this point we’re listening.” The Arverne East project calls for a 44 acre Nature and Dune Preserve,

1500 housing units (including some

affordable housing) between Beach 32 and Beach 44 Streets. There is to be

600,000 square feet of commercial

space. Also, to be built is a hotel and, if

necessary, a new school. While the commercial buildings will

provide much needed jobs in the area,

Sanders and others are concerned

Some of the community leaders who attended the meeting and asked questions of the developers were Curtis Archer, the executive director of RDRC; Ed Williams, of the local NAACP; Queen Makkuela; Steve Cooper and Delores Orr, representatives of Community Board 14. Some of the community leaders who attended the meeting and asked questions of the developers were Curtis Archer, the executive director of RDRC; Ed Williams, of the local NAACP; Queen Makkuela; Steve Cooper and Delores Orr, representatives of Community Board 14. about jobs going to locals during the

building of the development. “We are going to have affirmative

action down here,” said Sanders. “All

of us have something to bring to the table.” Developers echoed the importance

about using local people in the development

process. “United Homes has approached

RDRC to bring local people into the

development process,” said Judith

Engle of Engel and Partners, who was

representing United Homes of New York. Jerry Romski, of Benjamin-Beechwood

(the developer for Arverne-By

The Sea) said his company already

looks to employ locals. “Arverne-By-The-Sea employs a local painter who is doing all the inside painting,” Romski said. “The electrician is like that also.”

During the community question and answer session, a minister from the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church wanted to know why local union workers such as carpenters, electricians, plumbers and laborers have been told there was no hiring when they apply for work at local construction sites, yet non-union and outsiders are hired.

Two residents make out applications for RDRC who was beginning a labor pool for future employment for the development. Two residents make out applications for RDRC who was beginning a labor pool for future employment for the development. The representative for Briarwood answered it was “not cost effective” to hire local union people.

Other companies vying for the right to build Arverne East are The Hudson Companies Incorporated, Mattone Group Ltd., and Diversified Inch By Inch, Inc. (whose CEO said he was prepared to build a large, yet affordable, supermarket in the area).

After the meeting, residents were able to meet with the developers as well as submit job applications to RDRC to, as Sanders said, “start locking in a labor pool now.”

A minister from the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church asks the developers why local workers could not get jobs at area construction sites. A minister from the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church asks the developers why local workers could not get jobs at area construction sites. Representatives for seven developers, who hope to win the contract for developing Arverne East, listen to residents’ concerns. Representatives for seven developers, who hope to win the contract for developing Arverne East, listen to residents’ concerns.

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