Far Rockaway will receive $4.5 million in funding as one of the New York City region winners of the first round of NY Forward funding, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday.
The $100 million NY Forward program adopts the same “Plan-then-Act” strategy as the state’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative aimed at downtown recovery for awardee communities.
“I’m proud to announce Far Rockaway will receive $4.5 million from this initiative to support locally led projects that will enhance the downtown’s beauty and help the community thrive,” Hochul said.
As part of NY Forward Round One, two to three awards will be made to communities in each of the state’s ten economic development regions to support development and implementation of a revitalization plan for their downtowns.
Each of the grantee communities is expected to develop a Strategic Investment Plan that includes a slate of readily implementable projects.
The NY Department of State will provide enhanced technical assistance to better support those communities with less internal capacity and fund projects scaled to the size of each community.
The projects are expected to include building renovation and redevelopment, new construction or creation of new or improved public spaces and other projects that elevate “specific cultural, historical qualities that enhance the feeling of small-town charm.”
Far Rockaway’s downtown has historic characteristics also found in smaller villages and hamlets located throughout Long Island and Upstate New York, the governor’s office said.
The community has a diverse merchant community that is heavily dependent on local shoppers and serves as an entry point for immigrant entrepreneurs, Hochul added.
Far Rockaway applied for funding to enhance the facades in its downtown area to create a more cohesive and beautified environment. The project is also intended to improve pedestrian and visitor wayfinding, bicycle infrastructure and streetscape amenities to emphasize proximity of Far Rockaway’s beaches to its downtown commercial core.
In addition, the community seeks to establish itself as a destination for shopping and dining through partnership with the MTA and by creating seasonal, annual and/or periodic events to attract families to shop and enjoy the area.