This is our final installment of a three part series on Arverne View, a housing complex in the Far Rockaways. When Hurricane Sandy hit, L+M Development Partners was in contract to purchase the complex. They closed when the development, then called Ocean Village, had no power whatsoever. In the year since, the company undertook a massive renovation project that addressed the building problems before Sandy, as well as the many concerns of building resiliency after Sandy hit. In Part One, we detailed the extent of the renovation. In Part Two, we toured just about every corner of the complex, which is still under construction. For Part Three, we talk with three residents who live here now. Belinda Cook, a Rockaways resident for years, came to Arverne View after being displaced from her home by Sandy. That’s the same story for Mirian Herrera, who spent six months in a hotel after being displaced by the storm. Finally, we talked to Lola Vaughn, who has lived in the same apartment at the complex since 1987. Read their stories, after the jump.


This is our second installation in a three-part series on the renovation of Ocean Village (now Arverne View), a housing complex in the Far Rockaways. L+M Development Partners was in contract to purchase Ocean Village when Sandy hit. For background on this ambitious renovation project, and how the storm changed it, you can read Part One.

The other day we hopped on the A train to visit Arverne View, a 1,093-unit housing development in the Far Rockaways now under renovation by L+M Development Partners. The scope of L+M’s work is truly impressive — not only has the company made the complex more resilient for future storms, it renovated all the apartments, upgraded the buildings, redid the facade, replaced the roofs, and is completely landscaping the grounds. Currently, L+M completed 70 percent of the project (they began work soon after Sandy hit, installing emergency generators to bring power back to the development); they expect to completely finish by March of next year. After the jump, tons of pictures from our tour with L+M’s Rick Gropper, who showed us the entire complex and explained the details of this large-scale rehab.

In our third and final installment, we’ll head back to Arverne View to speak with residents living at the complex.

A Post Sandy Renovation in the Rockaways, One Year Later [Q’Stoner]


This is the first of a three-part installment on the renovation of Ocean Village, a housing complex in the Far Rockaways. Today, we look at what happens to building renovation plans after a major storm hits…

One year after Hurricane Sandy, we check in with L+M Development Partners, a real estate development company based in New York specializing in affordable housing. When Sandy hit, L+M was in contract to purchase Ocean Village, a 1,093-unit housing development in the Far Rockaways. “L&M specializes in affordable housing, as well as the preservation of existing buildings,” Rick Gropper, of L+M, told us. “Ocean Village is a large complex. It was our first purchase in the neighborhood, and we saw this as our anchor property in the Rockaways.” L+M planned to undergo a large-scale rehab here to the tune of $60,000,000. At the time, Ocean Village had 350 vacancies, a deteriorating roof and persistent leaks. From an economic standpoint, the building was losing roughly $500,000 a year. L+M already started holding tenant meetings about the upcoming purchase before Hurricane Sandy. Once it hit, with the property still under contract, “Nobody wanted to take responsibility,” Gropper said. “So the city asked us to step in.”

Ocean Village, like many of the large complexes in the Far Rockaways, was under five feet of water after the hurricane. The storm fried the transformer and also completely flooded 20 apartment units that were partly below grade. The building went two weeks without power, until L+M could secure emergency generators from Ohio. Until then, the elevators, water pumps, and lighting were all out of working order. “We closed [the sale] when this building had no power,” said Gropper. “The storm was traumatic for everyone, including us, but we weren’t living there.” Some of the elderly residents who didn’t leave for the storm were stuck in upper-level apartments while the elevator was out of service. L+M set up a food and supply distribution center in the building’s common room and hosted Doctors Without Borders at the site. L+M also held four “Sandy Refugee” open-houses following the hurricane, coordinating with various city agencies. They were able to move around 12-15 Sandy refugees into vacant apartments after the open houses, and all but two are still living in the complex. And of course, L+M had to rethink their entire renovation plans in the wake of the storm.

After the jump, Rick Gropper tells us about the company’s greatest development challenge post Sandy, the new course for building restoration, and the state of the complex today…