Breezy Point is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens, located on the western end of the Rockaway peninsula, between Rockaway Inlet and Jamaica Bay on the landward side, and the Atlantic Ocean. The neighborhood is governed by Queens Community Board 14. The community is run by the Breezy Point Cooperative, in which all residents pay the maintenance, security, and community-oriented costs involved with keeping the community private. The cooperative owns the entire 500-acre (2 km2) community; residents own their homes and hold shares in the cooperative.Breezy Point and the Rockaways are less urbanized than most of the rest of New York City.
Breezy Point Tip, to the west of the community, is part of Gateway National Recreation Area, which is run by the National Park Service. This isolated, 200-acre (0.81 km2) area includes an ocean-facing beach, a shoreline on Jamaica Bay, sand dunes, and marshland. It is a breeding spot for the piping plover, least tern, black skimmer, American oystercatcher and common tern.
The community began as summer beach bungalows, in the “early 1900s”, according to the New York Times. Breezy Point was sold to the Atlantic Improvement State Corporation for $17 million in 1960. The residents of the community purchased half of the land for approximately $11 million and formed the Breezy Point Cooperative. Today, it consists of about 3,500 homes.The construction of apartment buildings commenced in the late 1960s and was halted by City ordinance.
Breezy Point is patrolled by its own private security force that restricts access to owners, renters and their guests. It also features three of New York City’s ten remaining volunteer fire departments.
On September 8, 2012, the community was struck by a tornado shortly before 11 a.m. that started as a waterspout over the Atlantic Ocean and came ashore at the Breezy Point Surf Club.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the community’s ZIP code (11697) is 98.2% white and has the nation’s 2nd highest concentration of Irish-Americans, at 60.3% as of the United States Census, 2000 (Squantum, in Quincy, Massachusetts, is #1, at 65%).The community’s demographics are maintained as a result of a Cooperative rule that a person, prior to buying a house, must be recommended by three members of the Cooperative and approved by its Board of Directors. Breezy Point functions mainly as a summer get-away for many residents of New York. Estimates put summer residency at 12,000, while year-round residency was 4337 in the most recent Census.
Due to its history of Irish-American population, Breezy Point has been called the “Irish Riviera.” Since the mid 90’s, Italians and Jews have also moved into Breezy Point, making the concentration of Irish-Americans drop.