The city has unveiled a $91 million plan to revitalize Far Rockaway. NY1's Clodagh McGowan has details.
"Let's get to work, I'm ready to get to work,” said City Councilman Donovan Richards.
Richards certainly has his work cut out for him, but he says he's determined.
Friday, Richards and members of the city's Economic Development Corporation announced a plan to invest in infrastructure, mixed-income housing, and the business district in Downtown Far Rockaway.
The "Road Map for Action" ties in with Mayor Bill de Blasio's $91 million pledge to revitalize the area.
"We have to do more than just build housing. We have to build a community; I think we need more community facility space. We need more schools," said Richards. "The more people come, the more need for other amenities."
He says part of the plan is to rezone the area to make room for more commercial opportunities.
It also focuses on improving transportation and public spaces, as well as strengthening the commercial corridors and small businesses to help boost the local economy and create jobs.
"To really see a transformation and a revitalization of this area, given what has been decades of disinvestment and neglect," said Maria Torres-Springer, the president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation.
Multiple city agencies are working together on the project. The city transportation department plans to transform a municipal lot into a mixed-use space.
"It's really creating a gateway to the downtown area, and the plaza will serve as kind of like a village square," said Nicole Garcia, the Queens borough commissioner for the department.
Residents say they're hoping that's what happens.
"Finally, the worm has turned. And finally, this area will come back," said Jonathan Gaska, the district manager for Community Board 14.
The first public meeting and information session is scheduled to take place 7 p.m. at Middle School 53 on Sept.14.
"We want people to be engaged with us and stay involved in the process," Torres-Springer said.
For more information about the project, head to nycedc.com/project/downtown-far-rockaway