Beach 116th Firehouse Moves Out, Temporarily But Permanent Plans are Underway


The Beach 116th Street firehouse is closed—temporarily. On Thursday, July 19, both Engine 268 and Ladder 137 of the Beach 116th Street firehouse, were relocated, as the old building will be undergoing asbestos removal in a process which is expected to take about a month. But a more permanent move may be in the firehouse’s future.

On Thursday, Engine 268 was relocated downtown to the firehouse by the 100th Precinct, near Beach 94th Street, and housed with Engine 266. Ladder 137 was relocated uptown to the firehouse by Riis Park, to be housed with Engine 329. This move means that the response time could be affected if an incident were to occur from Rockaway Park to Neponsit. However, this move is reportedly temporary and should only last about a month according to the FDNY, as the Beach 116th Street firehouse is undergoing repairs and abatement.

However, the firehouse will be faced with a more permanent move in the future. In August 2017, the City Planning Commission approved the FDNY’s application to acquire the old HSBC Bank property on the bayside of Beach 116th Street, to be used as the future site of a brand new, resilient firehouse. This approval was done despite Community Board 14 advising against it, and suggesting another location be utilized. Fast forward to almost a year later, it seems as if the plan is full steam ahead, as on July 13, 2018, a court order was filed by the City to condemn the HSBC Bank property, effectively taking it by eminent domain, allowing for the FDNY to build its new firehouse at this location. The owner of the property will be paid for the property in the future. There was further evidence of this plan moving ahead on July 19, as while the Engine and Ladder were moving out of the Beach 116th Street firehouse, representatives from the NYC Department of Design and Construction, were seen at the HSBC property, taking measurements.

The Rockaway Times reached out to one of the firefighters from the Beach 116th firehouse, who expressed concern that the acquisition of the HSBC property, at a time when the old firehouse is “temporarily” relocated, may give the city reason to abandon the repair work and asbestos removal in the old firehouse, and leave Engine 268 and Ladder 137 in their new temporary homes “indefinitely.” However FDNY officials insist this move is temporary.