R’wood popup beach plan pulled: developer 1

La Playa NYC, the popup beach and beer garden proposed for 176 Woodward Avenue, will not be opening, according to site developer Slate Property Group. Community concerns and delays in getting a liquor license and a certificate of occupancy doomed the effort.

La Playa NYC has been shut down before it could even open.

According to the developer of 176 Woodward Ave. in Ridgewood, there will be no popup beach and beer garden operated by the Rockaway Brewing Co. at the site as planned.

“We pulled the plug on the plan,” said David Schwartz, a principal at Slate Property Group, in a Tuesday phone interview. “It just became too much.”

Schwartz said the hope was to have the venue open by early June, but securing a certificate of occupancy and a liquor license — all while a number of area residents voiced their opposition to the plan — meant La Playa NYC could not open until August at the earliest.

“I don’t think we had the time to address the people’s concerns, there wasn’t enough time to handle anything,” he said. “It wasn’t enough time to make it worthwhile. You can’t just be open for August.”

Schwartz added that everyone involved is disappointed the popup beach plan didn’t work out, but that the developer is still hoping to involve Rockaway Brewing in the proposed 125-unit residential complex planned for the site in some way.

“We’ll figure out a different way to incorporate these guys because they’re great operators with a great product,” he said. “We think it would be a nice thing for the neighborhood.”

Rockaway Brewing had faced an uphill battle ever since announcing plans in the spring to place one of its five allowed remote locations at the site.

Earlier this month, a number of residents voiced their opposition to the plan to Community Board 5, while the State Liquor Authority said last Tuesday it would not vote on a liquor license for the popup beach until the owners could attain a new certificate of occupancy.

Rockaway Brewing co-owner Marcus Burnett told the SLA he hoped to acquire one within the next three or four weeks.

Burnett told the Chronicle on Monday that plans for La Playa NYC were still moving forward, but Schwartz said on Tuesday that Rockaway Brewing had most likely not been informed of the decision until after the brewery co-owner spoke with the newspaper.

CB 5 District Manager Gary Giordano told the Chronicle on Tuesday he expects Slate’s decision to be a major “relief” for area residents.

“When you don’t have four walls and a roof around you, you don’t have a way to keep the sound enclosed,” Giordano said. “I don’t think people want to see folks lounging around on that popup beach in their neighborhood anyway.”

In August 2014, after a year-long debate among CB 5 members, the site was officially rezoned from manufacturing to residential with a commercial overlay — to allow for something like the popup beach to open — making way for construction of a housing complex.

While no specific start date has been announced, Schwartz said work is expected to begin on the residential building in the early fall.

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