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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

New York City Neighborhoods
The Rockaways

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The Rockaways are a string of diverse communities along an 11 mile-long peninsula, bounded by Jamaica Bay on the north, the Atlantic Ocean on the south and Nassau County on the east. These communities primarily comprise Queens Community District 14.


In the early 1900s, the Rockaways were first settled as a summer retreat for Manhattanites. Grand hotels, homes, and amusement parks lined the beach and boardwalk. By the 1930s, the hotels and large homes catering to summer visitors were replaced by smaller bungalows and cottages occupied year-round. Changing tastes and new vacation opportunities after World War II diminished the Rockaways' role as a resort destination and hastened the area's transformation into a more permanent community of year-round residents. The arrival of subway service in the 1950s brought an economically and racially diverse mix of residents to the peninsula.


The Rockaways are made up of several different neighborhoods, each with its own character and composition. A well-maintained beach and a six-mile boardwalk draw summer visitors, as do Jacob Riis Park and the other parks of the Gateway National Recreation Area. The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge-at Cross Bay Boulevard, a mile north of Broad Channel-is operated by the U.S. Department of the Interior. This bird sanctuary, dotted with fresh and saltwater ponds, is worth visiting year-round.

The Rockaways are served by the A subway line, the Long Island Rail Road and several bus lines.
Housing Stock:

The neighborhoods that make up the Rockaways offer a wide array of housing options. The western communities of Belle Harbor and Neponsit provide large lots and a suburban environment, while further east the communities of Rockaway Park and Rockaway Beach have smaller lots and a more urban feel. Far Rockaway houses are a mix of early 1900s mansions, colonials, Tudors and ranches. New two-family houses are under construction throughout the peninsula.

Arverne Arverne is a 308 acre neighborhood on the Atlantic Ocean in Southeast Queens. The neighborhood is bounded by Beach 32nd St., Beach 84th St., Rockaway Freeway, and the Rockaway Boardwalk. HPD is overseeing a comprehensive neighborhood development plan for the area that will bring new housing, jobs, and recreational opportunities for area residents and visitors from throughout the region.
Where do I find my new home?

In addition to the real estate classifieds in the big New York newspapers, check out The Wave, the newspaper of the Rockaways, for listings. You can find Real Estate magazine and Better Homes magazine in local banks and supermarkets, and also look for Times News Weekly and Queens Chronicle newspapers. Another potential source of information are the privately-run real estate websites, such as Real Estate Español, Realty Times, or HomeStore.

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