80 empty oceanfront acres waiting for development – what could be hard about that?
In the case of Arverne East, a large vacant parcel of land in Rockaway, it’s been 40 years of challenges. In modern times, the 2008 recession deflated the last real effort at development. Paradoxically, Hurricane Sandy, which inundated the area, spurred the site developers to restart their efforts. Their efforts have meshed with Mayor Bloomberg’s renewed determination to encourage waterfront development, producing significant progress. As we reported in May, the Bloomberg administration organized a design competition seeking proposals incorporating the best ideas for resilient waterfront development. This past week, a winning design was selected and announced at an onsite ceremony. (The winning design is here.)
In this report, we look at the winning design with the lead designer, discuss major challenges and timing with the City commissioner in charge of the process and consider financing needs and timing with the lead developer.