Construction starts at $100 million affordable housing project in Far Rockaway, Queens

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Aerial view of Edgemere Commons - Aufgang Architects
Aerial view of Edgemere Commons in this rendering from Aufgang Architects

Construction has started a $100 million affordable and supportive housing development in Far Rockaway, Queens. The 17-story building with 194 homes is the first phase of an 11-phase master redevelopment at the former Peninsula Hospital Center site, New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York Governor Kathy Hochul said in a May 26 statement.

Known as Edgemere Commons, the mixed-use community will eventually offer over 2,000 affordable homes, retail, community space, medical facilities, and outdoor public space.

The Arker Companies and Slate Property Group are developing the site, which officials say will deliver 194 affordable homes, including 59 With Supportive Services, and 23,000 sq. ft. of ground floor retail space.

Aufgang Architects designed the project.

Earlier, New York YIMBY reported that Tishman Speyer has purchased the vast majority of the 11-building site development for $90 million.

“This project represents a much-needed investment and a critical new resource for a community that deserves it,” Adams said. “With not only affordable homes but also public and retail space, we are making the best of this land and bringing safety, prosperity, and good health to hundreds of New Yorkers.”

“Edgemere Commons is the type of transformative development that will improve the lives of residents and strengthen the entire Far Rockaway community for decades to come,” said Hochul. “By investing in this mixed-use development, we can add the types of high-quality housing, medical services, commercial activity and public space that reenergize neighborhoods and create a more inclusive, safe, and vibrant place to live.”

The 11-building master development is the result of a large-scale rezoning at the former Peninsula Hospital Center. Once complete, Edgemere Commons will include 2,050 affordable and middle-income apartments, publicly accessible open space, new medical facilities, ground-floor retail shops, and parking.

The new development works in concert with the goals of New York City’s Resilient Edgemere Community Plan, which lays the framework for continued investment by the city in the Edgemere community for years to come. Developed through community input, the plan pairs the City’s recovery efforts from Hurricane Sandy with a long-term vision for a higher quality of life for Edgemere residents.

The first building will feature 194 affordable apartments, 23,000 sq. ft. of ground floor retail space and 24,000 sq. ft. of parking for residents. The retail space is expected to include a supermarket, which was identified as an urgent need by community members during the public input period of the planning process.

The development will reserve 29 apartments for adults with developmental disabilities who will have access to on-site housing support services provided by the Block Institute.

An additional 30 apartments will be set aside for adults experiencing homelessness. These residents will have access to rental subsidies and supportive services through an Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative award administered by the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH). The service provider is WellLife Network.

Residential amenities will include a community room, a recreation room, bicycle storage, laundry facilities, a roof terrace and outdoor activity space.

The building is designed to meet high standards for energy-efficiency and will pursue LEED Gold certification. Energy-efficient features include solar panels, Energy Star lighting, and Energy Star appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, bathroom fans and laundry machines. The Edgemere Commons master development will also incorporate resiliency measures to protect Far Rockaway against future storm events.

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