2009-10-30 / Front Page

Construction Begins On ABTS Supermarket, YMCA

By Howard Schwach

Mayor Michael Bloomberg was in Rockaway on Saturday morning to tell Rockaway residents that construction has begun on the long-promised YMCA and the Super Stop and Shop supermarket.

Trucks and backhoes appear on the YMCA site for the first time in two years. Trucks and backhoes appear on the YMCA site for the first time in two years. Just a week before election day, Bloom - berg was joined at the Arverne by the Sea sales office by State Senator Malcolm Smith and other officials, including Housing Preservation and Development Comm iss - ioner Rafael E. Cestero and United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500 Executive Vice President Anthony Speel - man.

The officials symbolically broke ground for the major new supermarket at the Arverne by the Sea development complex. The groundbreaking took place indoors because of the inclement weather.

The $23 million, 55,000-square-foot Stop & Shop supermarket will be located on Rockaway Beach Boulevard between Beach 73 and Beach 69 Streets.

The mayor said in his remarks that the supermarket will create 200 construction jobs over the 16 months it will take to build, and, once complete, it will employ 100 full-time and part-time workers. As part of the City's 2008 "Going to Market" study, Arverne was found to have a high need for more supermarkets.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other officials hold shovels as they simulate a groundbreaking for a new supermarket to be built in the Arverne by the Sea development. Pictured, from left, State Senator Malcolm Smith, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, developer Alvin Benjamin, Faith Weiner, a spokesperson for Stop and Shop. Behind them are Bruce Both, the president of Local 1500, UFCW and Rafael Cestero, the commissioner of the city's Housing Preservation and Development Agency. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other officials hold shovels as they simulate a groundbreaking for a new supermarket to be built in the Arverne by the Sea development. Pictured, from left, State Senator Malcolm Smith, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, developer Alvin Benjamin, Faith Weiner, a spokesperson for Stop and Shop. Behind them are Bruce Both, the president of Local 1500, UFCW and Rafael Cestero, the commissioner of the city's Housing Preservation and Development Agency. "Arverne has undergone an amazing transformation from a swath of vacant land to a vibrant and growing community," said Mayor Bloomberg. "This will be a great addition to the community and is the latest sign that our comprehensive investment in the Rockaway peninsula - through the creation of affordable housing, infrastructure, recreation and retail space - will pay dividends for years to come."

Pilings that will be used in the foundation of the new YMCA. Pilings that will be used in the foundation of the new YMCA. "As a source of jobs and an anchor business to encourage future economic growth, bringing Stop & Shop to Arverne will breathe new life into the local economy," said State Senate President Pro Tempore Smith. "The Rockaways have undergone a significant renaissance due to sound investment from the business community and a strong commitment from local leaders to create jobs and develop the economy. I applaud Mayor Bloomberg and all those involved today for helping to provide our community with the tools it needs for lasting economic growth and a brighter future."

Last month, New York City Economic Development Corporation authorized $5.5 million in taxexempt bond financing made available through stimulus funds for the new supermarket. It will offer the full range and choice of products, including international, natural, organic, and ethnic and specialty foods, in a safe and convenient one-stop environment that local residents have not had access to before. Other amenities will include a Western Union, Rug Doctor, Coin Star, self check-out registers, and an in-store full-service bank.

The building will incorporate numerous eco-conscious design features. Energy efficiency will be leveraged through systems such as an Energy Star-rated reflective white roof, which will reduce energy consumption by reducing building heat; energy efficient equipment, daylight harvesting from skylights and windows, lighting with occupancy sensors and dimmable controls, and low-flow water fixtures. The site will also include use of bioswale retention systems around the perimeter of the parking field to provide storm water pretreatment.

"We are excited that Stop and Shop is coming to Arverne by the Sea, and thank the Mayor and his team for helping make Arverne by the Sea a flourishing and diverse oceanfront town where milestones like these are possible," said Arverne by the Sea, LLC Project Executive Gerry Romski.

After Bloomberg made the announcement, he was asked about the construction of the YMCA, which is adjacent to the supermarket site, on the west side of Beach 73 Street.

"The piles are on site now," the mayor said. "Driving those piles will begin on Monday, and construction will commence after the piles

are driven."

Local residents were promised both the supermarket and the YMCA more than two years ago.

Construction was held up, the mayor said, by the process of "getting all the paperwork in line."

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