By Victoria Merlino
Downtown Far Rockaway is set to receive a municipal cash fusion, as the Department of Small Business Services prepares to award local nonprofits $1.5 million to revitalize the area.
“Creating strong neighborhoods strengthens the City and this investment will help establish economic prosperity for Downtown Far Rockaway,” said SBS Commissioner Gregg Bishop in a statement. “These community partners are the lifeblood of their neighborhoods and supporting them means their district can help get its needs met.”
The funds, known as Neighborhood 360°, will be used to pump up key commercial corridors and fulfill other issues identified in the area’s commercial needs assessment, which was released last August.
The assessment identified a lack of public open space in the area, the lack of retail diversity and sit-down restaurants and informal car shares parking illegally and blocking storefronts as some of the reasons why stores in the area are struggling.
The money will be split between the Rockaway Development Revitalization Corporation and the Rockaway East Merchants Association.
“This investment will breathe life into our business community and help us strengthen the vibrant small businesses we have,” said Councilmember Donovan Richards, who represents the area. “Small businesses are the backbone of any thriving community and I am happy to be a part of strengthening their foundations.”
Another element of the revitalization is the area’s brand new library, which is slated to open in 2021.