Edgemere Commons will bring 2,050 affordable homes, a supermarket and other retail businesses, and open space to Far Rockaway in the Queens borough of New York City.
Aufgang Architects Edgemere Commons will bring 2,050 affordable homes, a supermarket and other retail businesses, and open space to Far Rockaway in the Queens borough of New York City.

Tishman Speyer’s TS Communities has entered an agreement with The Arker Cos. to acquire and develop 10 of the 11 building sites that will make up Edgemere Commons, a fully approved, all-affordable housing development in Far Rockaway, Queens.

Upon completion of all 11 buildings, Edgemere Commons will encompass 2,050 apartments, including 237 that will be set aside for seniors. The 2.2 million-square-foot mixed-use project, which was unanimously approved by the New York City Council in November 2019, will incorporate 38,000 square feet of publicly accessible open space, including a plaza that can host community events and a playground.

Edgemere Commons is the first all-affordable project undertaken through TS Communities, Tishman Speyer’s affordable housing development platform led by managing director Gary Rodney, former president of the New York City Housing Development Corp. Rodney was tapped to launch the affordable housing business last year.

The Arker Cos., in partnership with Slate Property Group, will break ground on the first Edgemere Commons building, which will comprise 194 apartments and a 20,000-square-foot supermarket, early next year.

Tishman Speyer affiliates will develop, own, and manage the remaining 10 buildings, including the retail, community, and public spaces. In addition to building a community center and creating new open spaces, the development team will launch a $2 million Community Benefits and Youth Development Fund, said the company.

The firm has fully agreed to the commitments made on affordability levels and master plan conceived and approved through the collaborative process between The Arker Cos., the city of New York, Queens borough president Donovan Richards Jr., and a coalition of Edgemere residents and community organizations.

“We are proud to join the Edgemere community and look forward to working with residents and local elected officials to advance the three key pillars of Edgemere Commons: affordability, community, and resiliency,” said Rodney. “Real estate is more than buildings. Our team is committed to building community and connection by focusing on what people need to make their lives and their neighborhoods better.”

Edgemere Commons is being developed on the 9.34-acre site of the former Peninsula Hospital, which permanently closed in 2012 amid health, safety, and financial difficulties in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, according to officials.

“We are excited to break ground on the first phase of Edgemere Commons in January and finally start to realize the promise of this revitalizing community project. With a full-scale grocery store, critically needed housing for low-income families, good paying jobs, and spaces for people to enjoy and be proud of their neighborhood, we cannot wait to get started,” said Daniel Moritz, principal at The Arker Cos. “In cooperation with Tishman Speyer, we will ensure that this project lives up to every promise made, as the community has put its faith in us, and we do not take that lightly. From eradicating a food desert to real investment through the community development fund, this is much bigger than the buildings itself. We are here in partnership with this community for generations to come as we proudly watch Edgemere become the thriving neighborhood it deserves.”

The construction and operation of Edgemere Commons is expected to create 350 jobs in construction and related industries annually as well as up to 650 permanent jobs, the bulk of which will be filled by residents from the local community. The project is anticipated to generate $1.5 billion in economic activity.