"THAT THOSE WHO PERISHED SHALL NOT HAVE DIED IN VAIN"
So read the plaque that was formerly mounted on this monument, a war memorial erected by the local Jewish War Veterans post. I have no idea what happened to the plaque, but I do know that it was still in place less than three years ago. It's clearly visible in this Street View image from August 2012, and I'm fairly certain I can spot it from a distance in the center of this January 2013 image.
Towering over the neighboring Far Rockaway Beach Bungalow Historic District, this vacant 15-story, 126-unit beachfront apartment building — the Metroplex on the Atlantic — has led a troubled life.
2006: Construction was halted for months when the developers were sued by Richard George, the litigious head of the Beachside Bungalow Preservation Association, for building on top of an easement that ran down the middle of the block and provided residents of the block's interior bungalows with their own passageway toward the beach. Gary Rosen, a lawyer for the developers, told the NY Times that the delays were costing his client $3,000 per day and were threatening to bankrupt the project — "He's already cost my client more money than those bungalows are worth." Mr. Rosen said he was countersuing Mr. George and would "take all the bungalows if I win . . . Most of them are garbage anyway. They're shacks."
2007: State inspectors determined that the Metroplex was, in violation of a previous order, being erected within 100 feet of a coastal erosion hazard area. While dismantling a third-floor balcony that had been illegally constructed, a worker not wearing a safety harness fell 25 feet to the ground and "sustained internal injuries".
2010: The developers defaulted on their mortgage payments and the lender began foreclosure proceedings.
2014: The state attorney general sued the developers for "persistent fraudulent and illegal practices" — including a rent-to-buy scheme that concealed the building's perilous finances from the would-be homeowners.
UPDATE (Nov. 3, 2016): Now known as Ocean Blue, the former Metroplex has reopened under new owners as a rental building. It's so depressing reading these real estate articles; they're full of soulless quotes from people promoting their buildings with meaningless claims ("truly offers a lifestyle unlike any other building") and false information. According to Ocean Blue's "exclusive agent", quoted in the article linked above:
My favorite thing about Rockaway would have to be its centralized location. One of the reasons Ocean Blue has gotten so full so quickly is because it's so close to just about anything you want. You're close to Long Island and Manhattan, the Five Towns, JFK airport, St. Johns Hospital."Its centralized location"? This building is about as un-central as it gets in NYC. It's located in the southeastern corner of Queens, farther from Manhattan than anywhere else in the city outside of southern Staten Island.
Ocean Blue (is) eight blocks from the Atlantic Beach Bridge, and so close to Manhattan you have a perfect view of the skyline from your terrace.
Part of the Far Rockaway Beach Bungalow Historic District
Of the more than 7,000 beach bungalows built on the Rockaway Peninsula in the early decades of the 20th century, fewer than 700 are still standing (photos). One of the largest remaining clusters is the Far Rockaway Beach Bungalow Historic District, which comprises about a hundred surviving bungalows on Beach 24th through Beach 26th Streets.
Pathetic. I can learn how to make $4,000 a week with this far superior DVD.
Thanks to this license plate, I just learned the name of a rock group from New Zealand whose "straight-arrow, energetic, power-pop anthems" made the band "household favourites across the nation".