2012-10-12 / Community

RDRC Leads Way For Downtown Revitalization

By Miriam Rosenberg


The Far Rockaway Long Island Rail Road once crossed Nameoke Street through the Far Rockaway Shopping Center to the Mott Avenue subway. Is it possible to recreate that in some way? Pictured are CB 14 chair Delores Orr, WE Design’s Trish Martin and Bayswater resident Norman Silverman. Photos by Miriam Rosenberg The Far Rockaway Long Island Rail Road once crossed Nameoke Street through the Far Rockaway Shopping Center to the Mott Avenue subway. Is it possible to recreate that in some way? Pictured are CB 14 chair Delores Orr, WE Design’s Trish Martin and Bayswater resident Norman Silverman. Photos by Miriam Rosenberg If everything goes according to plan, there are big changes in store for the downtown Far Rockaway business district over the next few years.

Those plans began to take shape late last month as the Rockaway Revitalization and Development Corporation and Tricia Martin, from its development partner, WE Design/We Build, led a tour of the area on September 29 to explain their vision and get feedback from local leaders and business people.

“Our goal as the local development corporation is to create a master design plan that incorporates projects such as the Mott Avenue subway station, the Queens Public Library Far Rockaway Branch with a shared community vision for the downtown Far Rockaway district,” said Kevin Alexander, the chief executive officer of RDRC. “[Some of] that includes making the public spaces and open areas throughout the district more appealing – greening of sidewalks, renovating the Beach 20 Street Plaza, improving/upgrading pedestrian lighting, and creating a town plaza at the intersection of Mott and Central Avenues.”


The vacant lot that now sits across from the LIRR station. Community Board 14 chair Delores Orr promised that CB 14 would find out to whom the many vacant lots in the area belong. The vacant lot that now sits across from the LIRR station. Community Board 14 chair Delores Orr promised that CB 14 would find out to whom the many vacant lots in the area belong. According to Alexander, RDRC is one of 16 citywide not-for-profit organizations selected by desigNYC to receive pro-bono design services.

“We applied for a technical assistance grant in December 2011 and were selected as one of the 2012 recipients in January 2012,” Alexander told The Wave. He added that their proposal focuses “on a redesign plan for the downtown Far Rockaway commercialretail district.”


On the corner of Beach 20 and Mott Avenue, Martin and locals, including members of the Rockaway Youth Task Force, ponder the question of what can be done with the triangle area on Mott and Cornaga Avenues. On the corner of Beach 20 and Mott Avenue, Martin and locals, including members of the Rockaway Youth Task Force, ponder the question of what can be done with the triangle area on Mott and Cornaga Avenues. Since RDRC and WE Design began working together, members of the design firm have surveyed the Far Rockaway area to get an idea of what improvements could be done.

Several Rockaway politicians have already promised funding for the improvements once the plans are drawn and approved.

Alexander said, “Councilman James Sanders, Jr. committed approximately $800,000 to restore the Public Plaza space that connects Beach 20 and Beach 21 Streets. Queens Borough President Helen Marshall committed $250,000 for streetscape improvements on Beach 20 Street; Congressman Gregory Meeks committed $1,900,000 for streetscape improvements along Mott Avenue and Beach 21 Street; and the New York City Department of Transportation, as a match requirement to Congressman Meeks’ commitment, committed approximately $500,000.”


The bus stop for the Q22 and N33 buses on Beach 21 Street could be turned into a bus depot. With the new Far Rockaway Library set to be built soon, the Q113 bus stop there may have to be moved. Is this the spot? The bus stop for the Q22 and N33 buses on Beach 21 Street could be turned into a bus depot. With the new Far Rockaway Library set to be built soon, the Q113 bus stop there may have to be moved. Is this the spot? A workshop also took place to get ideas and discover how locals use the area. Another presentation is promised for those who couldn’t make it to this presentation.



The plaza between Beach 20 and Beach 21 Street is ripe for some sort of park. The plaza between Beach 20 and Beach 21 Street is ripe for some sort of park.

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