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QUEENS, NY-The Rockaway Waterfront Alliance has been selected by the Bloomberg administration to acquire and redevelop a 7,200-square-foot former firehouse at 58-03 Rockaway Beach Blvd. in Queens. Built in 1931, the firehouse will become the Rockaway Institute for Sustainable Environment at an estimated cost of $2 million, the New York City Economic Development Corp. announced on Wednesday.

Along with providing a permanent home for RWA, the redevelopment project will enable the nonprofit to add more staff and increase its client from the current 3,000 local residents to about 10,000, says a release from NYCEDC. The redevelopment of the firehouse will allow RWA to expand its existing programs and add new initiatives such as programming for seniors, green-collar job training, outdoor film screenings and a Saturday farmer’s market.

RWA’s proposal for the 78-year-old structure calls for a “great hall” for projects and events, catering facilities, an organic café, classrooms for after-school programs and job training, a roof garden and basement aquaculture center, along with rental space for other community events. The proposed project will seek to preserve the character and appearance of the former firehouse, and RWA is aiming for LEED certification.

The selection of RWA is the latest result of the Bloomberg administration’s 2007 initiative to reuse and redevelop decommissioned firehouse sites. In January, NYCEDC announced that the Brooklyn Philharmonic had been selected to redevelop a former firehouse at 299 Degraw St. in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill section.

According to a release, the four-year-old RWA was selected for the Rockaway project because its proposal most closely adhered to the criteria of the RFP, which was issued last October. Other factors included “the organization’s extensive work with the Rockaway community and its track record for successful programming,” the release states. The alliance’s proposal for a Rockaway Waterfront Park in ’07 led to the Bloomberg administration dedicating $40 million to establish the park as part of the PlaNYC 2030 initiative.

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