Pricey property hits Rockaway real estate market

Image courtesy Eastern Development Site
Image courtesy Eastern Development Site
By Steve Mosco

Any potential land buyers hoping to snatch up beach front property in Far Rockaway better have deep pockets — a lot of deep pockets.

According to real estate investment firm Eastern Consolidated, a 72,997-square-foot vacant property is hitting the market at a staggering $5.9 million. The firm is seeking possible investors for the two waterfront land parcels bounded by beach to the east and Seagirt Avenue to the west.

Specifically, the 1.68-acre offering is comprised of 126, 128, 130, 134, 136 and 140 Beach St.; 146-160 Beach 5th St.; 151-163 Beach 5th St.; 150-162 Beach 6th St; and 509-511 Seagirt Ave.

“The demand for beach front property is high, we are already experiencing huge investor interest,” said David Schechtman, Eastern Consolidated’s executive managing director. “The seller is seeking to attract a potential buyer to underwrite the completion of the project, which consists of four attached housing clusters and 60 residences.”

City Department of Finance records indicate Beach Front Estates LLC as the seller of the property. According to records from the city Department of Buildings, there is currently a stop-work order on this property pending the submission of tidal wetlands maps and a permit to build from the city Department of Environmental Conservation, which any applicant must provide to the DOB.

The DOB began requiring such documents to build on coastal areas in July 2009.

The peninsula’s nearly $6 million property should come as no surprise to real estate watchers, as a May report by real estate search engine and research site propertyshark.com recently named a nearby site as the priciest stretch of land in Queens.

According to the report, the most expensive block in the borough was located in Belle Harbor-Neponsit in the Rockaways, where the median sale price on the beach front block, between 145th and Beach 146th streets, was $2.5 million.

Marketing analyst Laura Gatea, from propertyshark.com, said expensive real estate in Queens is usually located in the northern part of the borough, but the beach front attraction of the Rockaways drives the price up.

“The immediate area surrounding the most expensive parts of the Rockaways is largely beautiful beach front,” she said. “It is also a very well taken care of area.”

Lipa Lieberman, senior director of Eastern Consolidated, said the property’s close proximity to the water is the biggest draw for a buyer looking to build numerous waterfront houses.

“The waterfront currently features a public beach front with an inlet leading to the Atlantic Ocean, less than half a mile away,” said Lieberman, adding the surrounding neighborhood is comprised of a mix of single-family and multi-family houses with high-rise residential buildings on nearby beach front parcels.

But not everyone believes this location is the safest bet for someone intent on building several pricey pads or one super-luxurious, multimillion-dollar house.

Brian Vogel, a Rockaway resident, said anyone building on the peninsula had better be sure they have flood insurance.

“I know, and everyone else who lives close to the water knows, that if a big storm hits, we’ll be swimming out of there,” he said. “We’ve had some bad storms here, but we haven’t had a real monster hurricane yet. If we do, that’ll be one expensive disaster area.”

Reach reporter Steve Mosco by e-mail at smosco@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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