Residents,Developers Meet To Discuss Arverne East
Councilman James Sanders, Jr.
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
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.
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.”