This fall, four design teams will compete to make a New York City neighborhood more resilient to storms. Last year, a storm surge from Hurricane Sandy flooded the Arverne neighborhood on the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens, damaging historic bungalows and the massive Arverne East development site.
All four plans would combine nature and new development to resist the next wall of water raised by a major storm on the Atlantic Ocean. Officials announced the finalists in the For a Resilient Rockaway (FAR ROC) competition July 18, chosen by New York City Housing Preservation and Development, Enterprise Community Partners, and development partners the Bluestone Organization, L&M Equity Participants, and Triangle Equities.
FAR ROC is the latest set of big plans for Arverne. In November 2006, officials gave Bluestone, L&M, and Triangle a mandate to build nearly 1,600 condos and two-family and three-family homes on the 97-acre Arverne East site for middle-income families. The site would also find room for 500,000 square feet of retail and entertainment space, a 35-acre nature preserve, and a 15-acre dune preserve.
Developers and New York City officials struggled for years to redevelop Averne East, a barbell-shaped development site squeezed between a major subway line and the Atlantic Ocean on the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens. Before Hurricane Sandy, the neighborhood already struggled to balance high-rise public housing, a popular beach, and thousands of crumbling, historic bungalow houses.
Each of the four design firms — Ennead Architects from New York, N.Y.; Lateral Office from Toronto, Canada; Seeding Office from London, U.K.; and White Arkitekter from Stockholm, Sweden — received $30,000 to further develop their proposed design solutions and will participate in a community engagement workshop and a tour of the Averne East site. Their expanded, phase II plans are due Oct. 7, and the winning plan will by announced Oct. 24. The full submissions are available at the FAR ROC website.