Renderings from THINK Architecture & Design and Brisa Builders were recently presented to the Department of City Planning in lengthy proposals to rezone a large assemblage in the Arverne section of Far Rockaway, Queens. The project comprises six neighboring parcels along Beach 67th Street between Thursby Avenue and Beach Channel Drive.
The proposed residential building and neighboring charter school will top-out at nine and 11 stories respectively next to an existing Christian church. When complete the residential building will contain 83 units of affordable housing for seniors. The school is designed to accommodate up to 950 students.
If the zoning amendments are approved, it is stated that “Development Site 2,” a through-block lot on Beach 68th Street, which is currently occupied by a nursing home, could be redeveloped for residential use.
The scope of work outlined by THINK Architecture, Brisa Builders and God’s Battalion of Prayer Church are separate from the anticipated Development Site 2 and do not immediately pertain to this adjacent property.
An Environmental Assessment Study was submitted to the Department of City Planning to document potential adverse impacts on the area in relation to hazardous materials, air quality, and noise. In response, the agency is requiring the developers to relocate HVAC components to the highest levels of the buildings, maintain “closed-window conditions” at the charter school, and in turn, provide an alternative means of ventilation for occupant comfort. The developers will also need to complete extensive soil testing to determine if hazardous materials are present in site soil, and also submit a health and safety plan to protect the workers and community from dust-up effects during excavation.
The agency is also requiring changes to the original site plan that will necessitate consultation with the Department of Transportation. Modifications include the creation of new 11-foot-wide traffic lanes on Beach 62nd and Beach 63rd Streets, the installation of stop signs on both sides of Beach Channel Drive between both streets, adjusted bike lanes, and relocated traffic signals to match the new street geometry.
Upon completion, the property owner will need to finance and deploy NYPD crossing guards and school safety officers at critical intersections during school commencement and dismissal.
If all guidelines and requirements are followed, the developer will be exempt from conducting an Environmental Impact Study, which could delay project commencement for years. In the best-case scenario, construction would be completed in a single phase for 16 to 20 months. The development could be completed as early as 2022.