Arverne By The Point?
The future of Breezy Point, which through fire and storm lost some 300 homes in the Sandy devastation, might have found some footing.
The developer, Arverne By The Sea LLC, has been named an official builder for Breezy Point by the City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery. The developer was chosen after the City issued a Request For Qualification (RFQ) in May to build 1-4 family homes to replace those that were destroyed or sustained irreparable damage.
Funding for the rebuilds will come via the CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) which was part of the $1.77 billion dollars awarded the City in a disaster relief package. City officials say that reconstruction or rebuild money “will be prioritized for those with the most severe damage and the highest level of financial need.”
Arverne By The Sea (ABTS) is not just the name of the bid-winning company, it’s the name of a relatively new oceanfront neighborhood stretching from approximately Beach 74rd Street to Beach 62nd Street, from the ocean to Rockaway Beach Boulevard. The neighborhood fared better than many other areas during the storm and has since gained a reputation as an example of smart and sustainable housing.
It is expected that the challenges of building in Breezy Point will be different than what Arverne By The Sea faced when it first broke ground. ABTS was a start-from-scratch development built to attract new buyers. Much of the development was anchored by two family attached or semi-attached housing stock. Breezy Point is a long-established community which has consisted of free standing one family homes. It is expected that new construction will be “replacement in kind” – essentially the same as before though building codes will require first floor living areas be considerably higher than pre-Sandy.
The City and the developer have begun hosting information sessions. Housing Recovery Director Brad Gair said, “Rebuilding a home is a daunting task, especially when your life has been turned upside down by a devastating storm like Hurricane Sandy. The goal is to make that task as easy as possible, by managing all aspects of construction from planning and permitting to completion. That starts with developers working with the eligible families to assess and meet their individual housing needs, and engaging the community to create home designs that fit the character of the neighborhoods.”
In addition to Breezy Point, the Arverne developer has also been named the City’s builder in Roxbury, Far Rockaway, Belle Harbor and Broad Channel. Homeowners who are rebuilding do not have to choose the Arverne developer and are free to pursue other options. The Office of Housing Recovery has been encouraging all homeowners impacted by Sandy to register with its NYC Build It Back program.