Far Rockaway, NY hopes revitalization will remove downtown from the “third world”

New York state has seen a number of its once-bustling cities, towns, and communities economically devastated in recent years.

Downtown revitalization” has become a popular term in both New York City and at the state level. As part of his Downtown Revitalization Initiative, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his administration recently allocated a series of grants based to local communities selected by the state’s Regional Economic Development Councils.

Through downtown revitalization projects, whether city or state, public tax dollars are allocated toward improving infrastructure, creating amenities like park space, and constructing new mixed-use buildings to make an area more attractive for incoming residents and businesses.

Unsurprisingly, most residents welcome changes that would bring more jobs, improved transportation, and more facilities for families and youth. However, when the plan involves building new housing units, residents often become concerned with issues of affordability, high density, and the aesthetics of new, tall buildings.

Far Rockaway is a neighborhood on the Rockaway Peninsula in the New York City borough of Queens. It is the easternmost section of the Rockaways.

Right now, when you get off the A train, it feels like you’re in a third-world country” said Council Member Donovan Richards, referencing the barren nature of the downtown area so desperately in need of new life.

In his February State of the City address, Mayor Bill de Blasio promised $91 million to revitalize Downtown Far Rockaway in Queens.

Photo by Daniel Schwen via Wikipedia.

See full Gotham Gazette article by Devin Gannon.

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