In March, Councilman Richards office announced plans to transform the nearly abandoned Thriftway Mall in Downtown Far Rockaway. After decades of neglect, this underutilized property will be transformed into an active village center, bringing new mixed-income housing, modern retail and commercial space, and public space to the centermost part of the neighborhood.
Called Far Rockaway Village, the project will anchor the revitalization of the neighborhood, delivering nearly 700 units of mixed-income and affordable housing and over 90,000 square feet of modern retail and commercial space to the center of the neighborhood’s new rezoning area.
Further activation of the property could bring additional mixed-income rental homes, along with new commercial and ground floor retail, and open public space to the heart of the neighborhood. Construction of a first phase of the project is expected to be complete by late 2021.
It’s been a long wait for economic progress in Downtown Far Rockaway. We’ve laid the groundwork for success and now we must continue to work to ensure this project moves forward rapidly while serving the community’s needs for affordability, quality retail, and good jobs, per Richards Newsletter.
Continuing in the newsletter.
An answer to countless calls from the community, this is a major sign of progress for the revitalization of the neighborhood. The project following City Council’s approval of the de Blasio Administration’s plan to rezone Downtown Far Rockaway, which helped to bring $288 million of City investment to the area and will unlock new mixed-income housing, commercial space, open space, community facilities, and better connections to transportation.
The City’s comprehensive plan for Downtown Far Rockaway includes efforts from a range of City agencies, and investments in infrastructure, parks, community facilities, housing resources, and small business support. Highlights of the City’s Far Rockaway investments include:
● Building a brand new $10 million park on the site of a vacant, City-owned lot.
● New state-of-the-art $40 million Downtown Far Rockaway Library.
● More than $100 million to upgrade sewer infrastructure, expand sidewalks, and create new public plazas.
● Building about 1,600 units of 100% affordable housing on public land committing to finance homes affordable to families making between approximately $30,000 and $78,000.
● Providing free legal services for Rockaway residents facing unlawful evictions and tenant harassment.
● Supporting existing businesses through free legal services and increasing access to other small business resources in addition to securing a study for the formation of a business improvement district.
● Investing $10 million in upgrades to existing schools’ playgrounds, libraries, auditoriums, and science labs, and reserving a site within the Urban Renewal Area for the School Construction Authority to accommodate a new elementary school if needed as the neighborhood grows.
● Grants for cultural organizations and increased arts programming.
● An additional $250,000 for Rock Safe Streets to expand their anti-gun violence efforts to Redfern.
● Installing real-time bus arrival displays at key bus stops.