L + M venture secures $ 30 million loan to begin work on Rockaway nature reserve

L + M Development Partners, Bluestone Organization and Triangle Equities have closed $ 30.3 million in funding for the first phase of Arverne East, a project that will revitalize a vacant 116-acre beachfront site in the Arverne and Edgemere of the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens. .

Funding for the first phase was provided by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

The first phase of the project, a 35-acre nature reserve between Beach 44th Street and Beach 56th Place, is designed to restore and promote native ecology. It will include a new building that will include a visitor center, park warden’s office, toilet block and community center that will be owned and operated by RISE, a non-profit organization that offers civic engagement and development programs. youth development.

WBE Starr Whitehouse is the Landscape Architect for the Nature Reserve and WXY, also WBE, is the Architect for the Nature Center, which will set the bar for energy efficiency and sustainability for the entire project using the geothermal technology and a large photovoltaic grid that will produce more energy than is used on site.

“As committed members of the Arverne and Edgemere communities for over a decade, we are proud to bring this site to life through a project that will set a new standard for sustainable and resilient development,” said Sara Levenson, Director principal at L + M. Development partners.

“Arverne East will provide a host of long-awaited neighborhood resources and further support the economic revitalization of the central and eastern sections of the Rockaway Peninsula. This project illustrates how much can be accomplished for New Yorkers through thoughtful public-private and community partnerships. We appreciate the unwavering efforts of our partners to help us reach this important milestone for Arverne, Edgemere and the Rockaways. “

The nature reserve is part of Arverne Est’s larger development which will eventually include 1,650 apartments – 80 percent affordable and 20 percent at market rates.

The main retail corridor, connecting the 36th Street A subway station to the beach, will be anchored by a new full-production brewery and restaurant operated by the Rockaway Brewing Company as well as a beachfront hotel. will also include various local shops. MBE Urbane will join the company and serve as a development partner on the project, spearheading the conservation of retail and small business in development to promote the growth of new and existing local small businesses. The project will also include a community center and numerous outdoor public spaces.

“By moving forward with this long-envisioned plan for Arverne Est, we are ushering in a more resilient and inclusive future for the Rockaways community,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll. “More than 1,300 affordable housing units will follow this nature reserve, breathing new life into a site that has not been developed and used for decades. We are proud of the hard work and ingenuity of our development partners and staff who made this possible.

“With the completion of the first phase of this historic Arverne East project, we look forward to the expansion of truly affordable housing and homeownership opportunities for families in Far Rockaway,” said Khaleel M. Anderson , member of the Assembly. “My role as a member of the Assembly is to ensure that developers honor their commitment to our community by prioritizing affordable housing, homeownership, local hiring and environmental sustainability. I look forward to continuing my partnership with my colleagues in government, the Arverne East Community Advisory Board and developers to ensure that the community has a voice in this project.

As the Rockaways continue to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, climate change remains an existential threat to the entire peninsula.

Arverne East is designed to meet the challenge head on – from high topography to buildings that produce more renewable energy than they consume, making Arverne East the city’s first net zero community.

The project plans to achieve net zero status through a number of strategies, including the construction of passive houses, which will create highly insulated and airtight buildings while providing fresh, filtered air through new energy efficient mechanical systems.

At the heart of these mechanical systems will be a campus-wide district geothermal loop that uses the earth’s ambient temperature as a heat transfer source for efficient heating and cooling.

Finally, photovoltaic panels throughout the development will produce enough energy to offset the energy used in new buildings, allowing the project to achieve net zero status.

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