The massive Arverne East project in the Rockaways is moving forward after L+M Development Partners, the Bluestone Organization and Triangle Equities closed on $30.3 million in financing for the first phase of the megadevelopment on a vacant 116-acre oceanfront site.
The Arverne East development will include 1,650 units of housing — 80% affordable and 20% market-rate — serving low-income to middle-income individuals and families, on city-owned land that has been vacant and dilapidated for more than 40 years.
“As committed members of the Arverne and Edgemere communities for over a decade, we are proud to bring this site to life through a project that will set a new standard for sustainable and resilient development,” L+M Development Partners Senior Director Sara Levenson said. “Arverne East will provide a host of long-awaited neighborhood resources and further support the economic revitalization of the central and eastern sections of the Rockaway Peninsula.”
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards grew up across the street in the Ocean Villages apartments staring at the blighted oceanfront parcel of land. He supported the Arverne East project saying it would bring “an economic justice” solution to the Rockaways, which have seen far more development in the western portion of the peninsula in recent years.
“Arverne East is a true community-first and environmentally friendly project that will bring much-needed housing, stores, community space and other amenities to a long-neglected neighborhood,” Richards said. “The fact that Arverne East will include an innovative nature preserve and be the city’s first net-zero community makes this development truly transformational in every sense of the word. I am very pleased to see that this ambitious project is moving forward quickly, and I look forward to seeing the residents of the Rockaways enjoy all of its benefits.”
The project’s first phase includes a 35-acre nature preserve between Beach 44th Street and Beach 56th Place. The project’s main retail corridor will connect the 36th Street A train subway station to the beach, and it will be anchored by a new full production brewery and restaurant to be operated by the Rockaway Brewing Company as well as a beachfront hotel.
“This project is extremely important to the development of Arverne by getting rid of the vacant properties which have been a blight to the community,” state Senator Joseph Addabbo said. “It creates jobs through the construction of the project and with the new retail space that will be coming. As we head into 2022, I will continue to work with my colleagues in government to ensure that this project progresses and is completed on time.”
Assemblyman Khaleel Anderson said he is looking forward to the expansion of “truly affordable housing” and homeownership opportunities for families on Far Rockaway.
“My role as an Assembly member is to ensure that the developers honor their commitments to our community in prioritizing affordable housing, homeownership, local hiring and environmental sustainability,” Anderson said. “I look forward to continued partnership with my colleagues in government, the Arverne East Community Advisory Board, and the developers to ensure the community has a voice in this project.”
Funding for the first phase was provided by the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
“In moving forward with this long-envisioned plan for Arverne East, we are ushering in a more resilient and inclusive future for the Rockaway community,” HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll said. “More than 1,300 affordable homes will follow the nature preserve, breathing new life into a site that has gone undeveloped and unused for decades. We’re proud of the hard work and ingenuity from our development partners and staff that went into making this possible.”