FAR ROCKAWAY — The City Council on Thursday approved the multi-million dollar rezoning of Downtown Far Rockaway, which is expected to inject investment and improvements to the long-blighted commercial strip.
It's the final vote needed before Mayor Bill de Blasio approves the plan, making it the second neighborhood to get a major rezoning during his tenure.
Councilman Donovan Richards, who represents the area and spearheaded the project, said the rezoning will help usher in much-needed change to the neighborhood.
"With the support of this plan the Far Rockaway community has overwhelmingly stated that it is time for change," he said after the vote passed.
The city will invest millions to build a new park, pilot a program to extend the shuttle bus to the Rockaway ferry landing miles away and revamp infrastructure, including sewer and sidewalk improvements.
The plan also includes $91 million to acquire the Far Rockaway Shopping Center, which has been nearly abandoned for decades. Employees at the few businesses there told DNAinfo New York last month they were cautiously optimistic about the changes — and waited to see what came next.
Work on the project is expected to begin over the next few years, officials said.