2006-03-03 / Community

Clothing Distribution Center Slated For Arverne Area

By Miriam Rosenberg Contributing Editor


A representative of New York City’s Economic Development Corporation uses a slide show to go over the particulars of the Federal Jean proposal. A representative of New York City’s Economic Development Corporation uses a slide show to go over the particulars of the Federal Jean proposal. An importer, manufacturer and distributor of denim products has proposed investing $25 million to build a new light manufacturing and distribution center that would bring approximately 80 construction jobs and 100 permanent jobs to the Rockaway community.

Federal Jeans, Inc. made a presentation to Community Board 14’s Land Use Committee on Tuesday night to detail its plans for a 154,000 square foot distribution center in an area bounded by Rockaway Freeway, Hammels Boulevard, Beach 77 Street and Beach 84 Street as part of the Arverne Urban Renewal plan.

“It’s a pickup and drop off point with some light assembly such as tagging [and boxing],” said Marc Viggiano, representing Federal Jeans.

The facility would be built on 276,000 square feet of city-owned land that New York City’s Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) is in the process of helping the company acquire.

Architect Anne Marie Edden, of Vollmer Engineering, explains the proposed layout of the 276,000 square foot distribution center. On the right, is a rendering of what the building will look like if the current plans are approved. Architect Anne Marie Edden, of Vollmer Engineering, explains the proposed layout of the 276,000 square foot distribution center. On the right, is a rendering of what the building will look like if the current plans are approved. Representatives of NYCEDC said the project’s goals are “to return the property to use, create jobs for the community and create tax revenue for the city.”

Viggiano, members of NYCEDC and architect Anne Marie Edden of Vollmer Engineering explained the layout of the new facility.

It would include 16 docks for loading and unloading (eight on each side of the building) for approximately 12 small trucks that would come in each day. The company has also included two rows of trees as part of its landscaping which it will maintain.

In addition to the landscaping, NYCEDC said it would raise the standard for industrial design with a higher standard of architecture on the project.

“It will be more attractive than what you see in a typical warehouse,” said Doug Rice, a vice president for NYCEDC, who added the building would be an attractive addition to the neighborhood.

Edden (right) answers a question from Hammel resident Peggy Thomas.
Edden (right) answers a question from Hammel resident Peggy Thomas. In answer to questions from committee members and area residents, Viggiano said that the community would get first crack at the jobs that will be available at his company.

“Some of our employees will have to come from our East New York facility for training purposes, but we will be starting with the community and branch out from there based on qualified people,” Viggiano said. “That’s why we are working with RDRC.”

RDRC will use its training programs to help Federal Jeans target local qualified employees to work for the company. People who believe they have the experience to work for Federal Jeans do not need to be going through the RDRC program assured Viggiano.

He also told those at the meeting the new facility will not have any effect on the environment or the community’s way of life.

Federal Jeans’ Marc Viggiano answers questions about his company’s plans to build a distribution center in Arverne. Architect Edden looks on.Federal Jeans’ Marc Viggiano answers questions about his company’s plans to build a distribution center in Arverne. Architect Edden looks on. During the time the company has to go through ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure), which can take up to seven months, Federal Jeans plans to be proactive in the community.

“We are going to clean up the garbage [on the site] that has collected over the years before construction,” Viggiano revealed. “If our deal went south, we improved city property at our own risk while the project is being studied by the city.”

Peggy Thomas, who lives at Hammel Houses near where the distribution center will be built, has seen many developers come and promise jobs in the past.

“As far as economics it sounds good,” said Thomas, who feels in the end Rockaway won’t have any jobs.

Federal Jeans was established in 1995 and sells to such stores as Target, Sears, JC Penny and VIM. The announcement of the company’s plans to expand its operations to Far Rockaway and the Bronx was made on March 3, 2004 by the company’s president Yoram Moussaieff, who was joined by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Small Business Commissioner Robert Walsh and the president of the Economic Development Corporation Andrew Alper at a press conference at Federal Jeans’ headquarters in East New York.

The full community board will take up the company’s proposal at CB 14’s monthly meeting on March 8 at 7:45 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Beach 90 Street. Because there was no quorum on Tuesday night, the committee will not make a recommendation on the project.

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