The Rockaways was one of the areas hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy. Damage from flooding and fires was widespread, and many homes and businesses were lost or suffered extensive damage. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the merchants of Beach 116th Street came together. With the help of the NYC Department of Small Business Services and a grant from MasterCard, we formed the Beach 116th Street Partnership to help coordinate recovery projects and ensure that Beach 116th Street comes back stronger than ever. We are working to bring new businesses to the corridor, worked with SBS to hire a Clean Streets Team, and successfully advocated for an increased police presence.
Beach 116th Street has experienced a renaissance since Hurricane Sandy. Shortly after the storm, the City launched a Supporting Small Businesses ad campaign that featured several of our merchants. Thanks to funding from Citi Community Development and the Mayors Fund to Advance New York City, storefronts across the corridor are receiving much-needed improvements and repairs. In June of 2013, we brought the American Institute of Architects (AIA) to the Rockaways to study our community and develop a vision for redevelopment and an action plan for our new merchants association. Over the course of 4 days, the team, which consisted of experts in various disciplines recruited from across the country, took a tour of the peninsula, met with key community stakeholders, and held a public community workshop attended by over 100 people. On their final day, the AIA gave a presentation to the public on their findings and produced a comprehensive report.