Downtown Far Rockaway Redevelopment Project - 16DME010Q

The City of New York, acting through the New York City (NYC) Economic Development Corporation (EDC), the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), and the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS), is proposing a series of land use actions, including zoning map amendments, zoning text amendments, disposition and acquisition of property, and the designation and approval of an Urban Renewal Area and Plan (“the Proposed Actions”) to implement recommendations of a comprehensive plan to redevelop and revitalize an approximately 23-block area of the Downtown Far Rockaway neighborhood of Queens, Community District 14 (“the Project Area”). The affected area is generally bounded by Cornaga Avenue to the south; Beach 22nd Street, Beach Channel Drive and Redfern Avenue to the west and northwest; Gateway Boulevard to the southeast; and Central Avenue and Nameoke Avenue to the east and northeast.

Within the Project Area, the Proposed Actions are anticipated to facilitate construction of new residential, commercial, community facility, and public plaza space. The reasonable worst case development scenario (RWCDS) for the Proposed Actions is comprised of new floor area in the proposed Urban Renewal Area, two Disposition Sites, and 19 Projected Development Sites, which are all expected to be developed by the analysis year of 2032 (future With Action condition). The development of these sites is expected to result in an incremental increase (comparing the future No Action with the future With Action condition) of approximately 3,123 dwelling units (DUs), 164,595 gross square feet (gsf) of retail space, 80,947 gsf of community facility space, and 30,000 sf of new publicly accessible plaza space (the “Proposed Project”). The RWCDS also identifies nine Potential Development Sites which are considered possible but less likely to be developed by the analysis year of 2032.

The proposed project would be facilitated by the following discretionary actions:

  • Zoning map amendments to change existing R5, R5/C1-2, R5/C2-2, C4-2, C8-1 and M1-1 districts to R5, R5/C2-4, R6, R6/C2-4, and R7-1/C2-4 districts within the Rezoning Area. Existing C1-2 and C2-2 commercial overlays within the Rezoning Area would be removed or replaced with C2-4 commercial overlays.

  • Zoning text amendments to the New York City (NYC) Zoning Resolution (ZR) would

    • Establish the Special Downtown Far Rockaway District within the Rezoning Area to modify underlying zoning to require active ground floors where commercial uses are allowed, adjust maximum permitted base and building heights to reflect Downtown Far Rockaway’s existing built scale, and to adjust accessory off-street parking requirements to reflect the area’s higher auto ownership rates; and

    • Establish the Special District as a Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Area (MIHA) in Appendix F of the NYC ZR.

  • Disposition of two city-owned properties (Block 15534, Lot 70 and Block 15705, Lots 59 and 69), which requires approval through the City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) pursuant to New York City Charter Section 197 (c) and approval pursuant to New York City Charter Section 384(b)(4). The proposed disposition of the Lot 69, Block 15705, would require the approval from the MTA Board of Directors authorizing the surrender of the MTA’s leasehold interest in the property so that it can be developed pursuant to the proposed zoning; and
  • Designation and Adoption of the Downtown Far Rockaway Urban Renewal Area (DFRURA) and Plan (DFURP): To facilitate implementation of the Proposed Actions, the City may acquire property through a negotiated purchase or through eminent domain. Properties proposed for potential acquisition are located within the Proposed DFRURA. There has been no determination at this time to acquire property by means of eminent domain. Any property acquired through eminent domain would be done in compliance with the provisions of the New York State Eminent Domain Procedure Law and the NYC Administrative Code. Properties acquired would be disposed of for development in accordance with the DFRURP.

Finally, a number of Projected and Potential Development Sites within the Rezoning Area and portions of the DFURA along Redfern Avenue are built within mapped street widening lines. Future development on these sites assumes that property owners would follow a series of administrative actions to comply with General City Law Section (GCL) 35 provisions, whereby the owners would submit an application for a GCL 35 waiver at the New York City Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA). Following this submission, the BSA would submit the application to DOT for review and approval.

On August 19, 2016, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development, as lead agency for the CEQR environmental review, issued an Environmental Assessment Statement (EAS) and a Positive Declaration for the project indicating that there was the potential for significant adverse environmental impacts and directed that a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) be prepared. At the same time, a Draft Scope of Work for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was issued for public comment. To receive public comments, a public Scoping Meeting was held on September 20, 2016. Written comments on the Draft Scope of Work were accepted until October 3, 2016.

The Final Scope of Work, DEIS, and Notice of Completion for the DEIS were issued on January 27, 2017, which marked the beginning of the DEIS public comment period. A Technical Memorandum (Technical Memorandum 001) was issued on April 26, 2017, to evaluate potential impacts of the A-Application (amended ULURP application, comprised of a series of modifications to the Proposed Actions, including zoning text amendments and zoning map amendments, that were crafted in response to feedback on the application, to allow for additional development projects that meet the purpose and need for the Proposed Actions, and to ensure successful site planning on a complex and irregular site). A joint DEIS/ULURP Hearing to collect comments on the DEIS and Technical Memorandum 001 was held on May 24, 2017. Written comments on the DEIS and Technical Memorandum 001 were accepted until June 5, 2017.

The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and Notice of Completion for the FEIS were issued on June 29, 2017, which marked the completion of this environmental review.

Environmental Review Materials

The environmental review documents can be downloaded from CEQR Access.