Supported by the New York City Department of Small Business Services, Hester Street (HST) worked with community partners in Downtown Far Rockaway, Queens to identify and prioritize local commercial district projects to develop into a larger economic revitalization program for this historic and dynamic neighborhood. We reviewed existing commercial district data and studies, analyzed place-based opportunities, and provided technical assistance to identify and select priority commercial corridor projects. This process also involved the creation of an evaluation tool to prioritize opportunities for the selection of a pilot project. 

HST’s report, released in April 2018, offers tools that both the City and Rockaway community groups can leverage to strengthen local small businesses and make Downtown Far Rockaway a vibrant commercial corridor that serves local needs. The report provides recommendations for harnessing the area’s many assets, such as dedicated small business owners and active community institutions. These are the backbone of Downtown Far Rockaway: they make equitable commercial revitalization possible and position the community to make the most of a recent rezoning that paves the way for high density development and public investments in affordable housing, public space and neighborhood services. 

For the full study and to download our report, please click here.