By Patrick Donachie
The New York City Economic Development Corporation and the city’s Department of Small Business Services are touting the January completion of the latter’s Storefront Improvement Program, which renovated 18 storefronts on business corridors in Downtown Far Rockaway.
The EDC released a video showing the fruits of the completion of the renovations, which included new signage and awnings, as well as exterior lighting and paint jobs, door replacements and the preservation of original architectural facets. City Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Arverne), who represents the area in the Council, said it was revelatory to see what new storefronts could do to the business corridor.
“It’s a new day in the Rockaways and these changes have already been a huge improvement,” he said. “This may be one of the first changes the Downtown Far Rockaway community can see, but it has made a huge difference so far to lift up the appeal on Mott and Central avenues.”
The completion of the storefronts and release of the video were also done in tandem with the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and the Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporations. The SBS offered a 75 percent match of funds, with a total program investment of $185,000 into the downtown area, with a $300,000 in private improvements made.
The program is part of the city’s Downtown Far Rockaway Roadmap for Action, a rezoning plan. It is the second rezoning project from the de Blasio administration to enter the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, and it will go before Community Board 14 for a vote March 29.
Reach reporter Patrick Donachie by e-mail at pdona