Fear Over Transient Hotel
The homeowners within the Edgemere Urban Renewal area of Rockaway between Beach 35th Street and Beach 48th Street were in shock when a large plywood fence was erected on Beach 44th Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard showing building permits advertising the promise of a large six story transient hotel. This structure will be built across the street from the new Urban Renewal homes where many working families live and is in an area of R4 low density homes.
Fear spread throughout the area.
People made calls to Lew Simon, CB #14 and the Frank Avenue Civic Association. No elected officials or CB #14 members had heard about any plans for the six story transient hotel in a Rockaway Urban Renewal area adjacent to a closed beach and a closed nearby hospital, an area where there are no restaurants or no amenities except an elevated subway line and station. The majority of people within the neighborhood agreed that the occupants of this hotel would undermine the quality of life for the community and the surrounding areas of Rockaway including Bayswater and Arverne by the Sea. Elected officials said they would be supportive of the residents of the community and a pro bono lawyer was offered by Congressman Meeks to protect the residents in the area. The residents requested a summer meeting of the Frank Avenue Civic Association. About 75 people attended as well as representatives of our elected officials. People agreed action had to be taken. Donovan Richards suggested that a demonstration at the construction site be organized. Lew Simon offered a bus to go to the owner’s/builder’s neighborhood.
There is now a plan for a gathering of people opposed to the transient hotel and a photo opportunity with elected officials to bring support to protect the quality of life for the families in the Urban Renewal Area and the surrounding areas. The Frank Avenue Civic Association requests other residents of Rockaway to join in solidarity on Monday, August 20, 2012, 6:45 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the construction site on Beach 44th Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard. We must stop Rockaway from once again being a place for the city to find a solution for its problems. If it occurs in one part of our peninsula, there is no doubt such a structure will come to other areas of Rockaway.
FRANK AVENUE CIVIC ASSOC.