$560M Redevelopment of Storm-Damaged Community Wraps Up in NYC

A joint venture of MDG Design + Construction and Wavecrest Management completed the rehabilitation of a 1,395-unit public housing community in Far Rockaway, Queens. The project is the country’s largest single-site conversion under HUD’s RAD program.
Ocean Bay Apartments. Image courtesy of RDC Development

RDC Development, a joint venture of MDG Design + Construction and Wavecrest Management, has announced the completion of a $560 million redevelopment of a public housing community in Queens, N.Y. Ocean Bay Apartments, a 24-building, 1,395-unit community that is part of the New York City Housing Authority, underwent a comprehensive rehabilitation through HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration Program.

Making history

The project marked NYCHA’s first and the country’s largest single-site conversion under the RAD program, which allows public housing agencies to leverage public and private debt and equity in order to reinvest in the public housing stock. The program moves the units to a Section 8 platform with a long-term contract in place that will preserve the units as permanently affordable to low-income households.

The redevelopment of the Hurricane Sandy-damaged property entailed fully renovated kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms for the nearly 4,000 residents of the Far Rockaway community. All tenants were able to stay in their homes during the process, through a phased renovation program. Also included in the rehabilitation was roof replacements, upgrades to elevator machinery and equipment, improved public corridors, new boilers and heating systems, updated security cameras, improved interior and exterior lighting and a new key fob entry system. Additionally, social services for the tenants were implemented at the community.

Located on the barrier island of the Rockaways, Ocean Bay Apartments received the third-largest solar panel installation at an affordable housing development in New York, a secure flood wall around the 33-acre site, water retention swales, stand-alone electric service buildings built above the flood zone and an updated boiler steam system that converted one central boiler to 24 individual hydronic boilers on the roof of each building.