NEW YORK—A rusty, abandoned industrial zone in Long Island City, Queens, has been transformed into a waterfront recreation area with lush grass, a promenade, and a playground. The city’s $66 million redevelopment is called Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park.
“This new park is just another one of the great examples of our work reclaiming abandoned or neglected parts of our waterfront and turning them into innovative open spaces,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said after a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday morning.
The 5.5-acre park is just phase one of what will become a 30-acre mixed-use neighborhood. The plan has been in the making since 2007.
“This park represents the foundation for an ambitious plan in this area to create a vibrant and affordable new waterfront community in this formerly abandoned and underutilized area—really reuniting the city with its waterfront,” said Kyle Kimball, President of the NYC Economic Development Corporation.
When the construction of housing is completed, there will be about 5,000 waterfront residential units. Under the mayor’s Housing Marketplace Plan, at least 3,000 of them will be allocated as “affordable housing” for middle class families earning $30,000 to $190,000 per year. It will be the largest new middle class housing community built in New York City since the 1970s.
“The progress we’re making on it underscores our commitment to keeping New York City a city where people of all incomes can make their homes,” Mayor Bloomberg said.
The construction of a neighborhood middle school and a high school is already complete; those schools will open in September.
“Our plan was intended to be a catalyst for development that would benefit New Yorkers for decades to come,” Bloomberg said. “And that is certainly true of this beautiful waterfront park and the community being built around it.”
The park is near 2nd St and 51st Ave in Queens. It’s accessible via the East River Ferry and the 7 train (Vernon Blvd – Jackson Ave stop).