NYC plans to revitalize Downtown Far Rockaway

In an almost unanimous vote on July 10, the City Planning Commission approved the rezoning and revitalization plan for downtown Far Rockaway in Queens, as reported by CityLand.

The plan is aimed at restoring downtown Far Rockaway as a shopping and transportation hub on the peninsula through a new zoning that promotes mixed-use development, new public spaces, improved pedestrian paths and improved access Community services. It is also one of the many rezonings of the neighborhood in the thrust of Mayor Bill de Blasio to build more affordable housing.

The downtown area of ​​Far Rockaway is the historic shopping center of the Peninsula, located near Rockaway Beach and Jamaica's Bay and is served by stops on train A and LIRR. The area has not been rezoned since the 1961 Zoning Resolution which has prevented residential developments in commercial and manufacturing areas that largely characterize the area. Downtown Far Rockaway also has few local employment opportunities, little open space and poor pedestrian access.

Rezoning, which is the backbone of the plan, favors new residential and mixed-use developments, particularly in the main streets of the region. Part of Far Rockaway would also be designated as an urban renewal zone, which would allow the City to purchase and transfer properties to developers.

The "roadmap for action" plan also aims to integrate the existing community by improving existing commercial spaces and local businesses, as well as accessibility to vocational training, education and community services. According to CityLand, the city is already investing $ 100 million in the region, with improvements such as "street reconstruction, sewer upgrades, park improvements, store upgrades and library upgrades" .

The plan was adopted with conditions that included community-projected labor, a new school and a park, and boundaries to zoning. In addition, an area of ​​22 blocks (delineated by Caffrey Avenue, Redfern Avenue, Nameoke Avenue, 22nd Street and Gateway Boulevard) would be designated for mandatory compulsory housing.

The final vote will be taken by Major de Blasio, who has already indicated his support for local rezoning and neighborhood revitalization plans.