Arverne-by-the-Sea to serve as model city neighborhood.
The redevelopment of Arverne has been distinguished by a number of superlatives--the largest vacant urban renewal tract in New York City and the largest active urban renewal project in the country; the largest piece of undeveloped waterfront property in New York; and the largest project to go through the City's rigorous Uniform Land Use Review Process.
Led by a public-private partnership between the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and Benjamin-Beechwood LLC, Arverne gained land use and environmental approvals for the rezoning and remapping of the 308-acre city-owned property in late 2003.
The master plan for Arverne by the Sea by Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn envisions 2,300 residential units in a mix of two-family homes and mid-rise multi-family residential buildings, as well as up to 270,000 s/ f of commercial/retail space, an approximately 30,000 s/f community recreation center and a charter school for up to 800 K-8 students. The highest density buildings are clustered along a new main street corridor, connecting the Beach 67th Street subway station and the beach.
EE&K developed five prototypes, for the two-family houses, as well as design guidelines to ensure a consistent level of quality throughout the development. Taking-up a challenge by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the prototypes set a new standard for a two-family home that city officials hope will be emulated elsewhere.
The two-family house's ability to provide homeowners with a rental income to defray their carrying costs has made it an enduring outerborough housing type. But as a staple of New York City's lower density neighborhoods, the two-family house has never evolved into a type capable of creating a satisfactory urban neighborhood, like the venerable New York City brownstone.
Among the type's perceived shortcomings are the dominating presence of the car and its potential for repetitive and monotonous streetscapes.
At Arverne-by-the-Sea, EE&K employed several innovative concepts to address these issues, including rear alleys, an intimate and urbane "mews" and shared parking courts.
To reinforce the sense of beachfront community, EE&K's design features an informal roof massing scheme with roof decks in key places to capture the ocean views, a color palette devised to evoke typical beach elements of the environment and natural beach plantings.
The first phase of the 64 units opened in the spring of 2004.
The next phase, Palmers Landing, a neighborhood comprised of 240 homes, three mid-rise apartment buildings and a YMCA, is scheduled to open in 2006. Design for the Tides Neighborhood, a mixed-use neighborhood comprised of approximately
900 residential units and street-oriented retail, is underway and scheduled for completion in 2007.