Throwback Thursday: Destination Technodome


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Since the destruction of the bungalow colony the 1960s, Arverne has been a prime development target for architects, engineers and urban planners alike. This Throwback Thursday takes a look at one ambitious plan to erect a two million square foot recreation facility on this long-prized beachfront district.

Destination: Technodome was the brainchild of the Reichmann real estate dynasty of Toronto. Their company, Olympia & York, was responsible for developing massive office projects such as the World Financial Center in New York (now Brookfield Place). They ultimately collapsed in bankruptcy in 1992 when financing ran out for the Canary Wharf project in London. However, the Reichmanns quickly reorganized and emerged to propose building Technodome in New York.

Setting their sights on Arverne in 1997, the family dispatched Abraham Reichmann to attend a Community Board 14 meeting. According to published reports at the time, Reichmann boasted that the project, sprawling across more than 50 acres, would “create 28,000 full time jobs, and attract two million visitors.” The massive oceanfront facility would house activities such as bungee jumping, roller coasters, rafting, mountain climbing and a movie theater with 30 screens.

The project was contingent upon the city contributing to transportation upgrades to the area, which never materialized. With only lukewarm community support, the proposal limped along for two years. By late 2000, however, financing still had not materialized. The city ended negotiations with the Reichmanns and moved ahead with other housing plans for the area.

Looking back, residents should be grateful this plan never came to fruition. The area is now home to a thriving residential community with stores and a community YMCA. And who would come to this beautiful beach community just to go to an indoor water park?