Arverne East developers secure $44.7 million for critical infrastructure upgrades in Rockaways

The developers of the Arverne East megaproject in the Rockaways have secured more than $44 million in financing for critical infrastructure work. (Courtesy Bernheimer Architecture)

The Arverne East project is moving forward now that the developers have closed on more than $44 million in financing for critical infrastructure improvement at the 116-acre oceanfront site now under development in the Edgemere and Arverne neighborhoods in the Rockaways.

The financing secured by L+M Development Partners, Bluestone Organization and Triangle Equities provides for the streetscape reconstruction along Edgemere Avenue from Beach 32nd and Beach 38th Street and additional infrastructure to support 1,650 units of housing, retail and a new 35-acre public nature preserve on the Atlantic Ocean.

Arverne East presents an unprecedented opportunity to transform this underutilized site into a sustainable and resilient community for families on the Rockaway peninsula,” said Sara Levenson, Senior Director at L+M Development Partners. “The financing of this phase is a pivotal step forward in our collective resiliency goals, while also helping us get another step closer to fully realizing the vibrant, transit-oriented, economically diverse neighborhood comprising 1,650 units of housing in Arverne and Edgemere along with a nature preserve and commercial and community spaces designed to directly serve community needs and complement the neighborhood.”

This phase of the project is being funded by Housing Infrastructure Funds provided by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

“This infrastructure project is another critical step in moving forward with the City’s long-envisioned plan for Arverne East. First, we financed a nature preserve on the site to advance resiliency and open space,” HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrión said. “Now, we begin the reconstruction of Edgemere Ave which will make way for our ultimate goal to bring 1,650 homes, more than 1,300 of which will be affordable, to the Rockaways.”

The roadwork will improve streetscape conditions and replace outdated infrastructure in the area which has been underutilized for decades and is insufficient to support future development. The new infrastructure will include storm and sanitary sewers, water mains, electric and gas utilities as well as sidewalks, curbs, paving, painting, hydrants, street tree planting, street lighting, and the installation of a network of custom green infrastructure elements including rain gardens and stormwater swales. These features are critical resilient infrastructure and provide an attractive streetscape for the adjacent communities and future development.

“This historic investment will provide critical street design enhancements and infrastructure improvements while supporting the creation of affordable housing and encouraging climate resiliency in this underserved Rockaway neighborhood,” DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez said. “Widening and reconstructing the sidewalks along Edgemere Avenue will make much-needed improvements that put pedestrian safety front and center.”

The scope of the reconstruction project is designed to minimize flood risks, combat future climate change impacts, and improve the quality of life for residents of the Rockaways, who are the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and environmental injustice.

“Queens is the future of New York City, and thanks to truly transformative projects like Arverne East, it’s becoming clearer with each day that Rockaway is the future of Queens. That is why investments in infrastructure to support this kind of growth like the $44 million being announced are absolutely critical to the success of this work,” Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said. “Rockaway families deserve vibrant streets that don’t flood every time it rains. Rockaway families deserve a nature preserve that not only provides a place of peace but also protects the peninsula from coastal flooding.”

Once complete, 80% of the Arverne East development’s housing will be affordable serving a range of households from formerly homeless, to low-income, to middle-income individuals and families and 20% will be market rate. The project will also provide homeownership opportunities both affordable and market rate.

“The Rockaways are in desperate need of investment in resilient infrastructure,” Councilwoman Selvena N. Brooks-Powers said. “This revitalization of Edgemere Avenue’s streetscape will help protect the area from storms and the impacts of climate change, beautify the street and serve as a necessary foundation for future development. I applaud L+M and their partners for advancing this project and look forward to its completion.”

Additionally, the project will include a main retail corridor connecting the 36th Street A train subway station to the beach, anchored by a full-production brewery and restaurant operated by the Rockaway Brewing Company and a beachfront hotel.