Tag Archives: NYC Economic Development Corporation

City cuts ribbon on $6.65M Queensbridge Park project, seawall reconstruction

| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

The Long Island City waterfront has just received a much needed facelift.

Officials cut the ribbon on Tuesday on the $6.65 million project in Queensbridge Park which included the restoration and improvement of the seawall, and the creation of a six-foot-wide waterfront promenade with benches and plants as well as a small pier at the north end.

“The completion of the Queensbridge Park Seawall restores access to the waterfront, access that has been denied for far too long,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said. “No longer do Queensbridge residents need to look at the seawall as it crumbles into the East River. Instead, residents will be able to enjoy a park and waterfront just as lovely as any in New York City.”

The seawall protects the park from high tides and covers some of the mechanisms and underwater cables that keep a number of subway lines in order. It was previously blocked off by a chain-link fence due to decades of deterioration.

This project, managed by the NYC Economic Development Corporation, included the reconstruction of the seawall using rip-rap revetment. Rip-rap, made up of large rocks, was used to protect the shoreline by absorbing and deflecting waves and also decreasing the effects of erosion.

“New York City’s 520 miles of shoreline is one of its greatest assets, and we are proud to continue reconnecting New Yorkers to their waterfront,” said Dmitri Konon, NYCEDC executive vice president for capital programs.



Queensbridge Park Seawall restoration breaks ground

| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the NYC Parks Department

Local officials, community groups and residents gathered to break ground on the restoration and improvement of the Queensbridge Park Seawall last week.

Along with reconstructing the seawall, the $6.65 million project will include a six-foot wide waterfront promenade with benches and plants as well as a small pier at the north end.

“The much-anticipated repair of the Queensbridge Park Seawall will provide additional storm protection for the Long Island City community, while also improving their access to the waterfront,” Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White said during the Friday, May 10 event.

The seawall protected Queensbridge Park in Long Island City from high tides and covered some of the mechanisms and underwater cables that keep a number of subway lines in order. It is currently blocked off by a chain-linked fence due to deterioration.

“For too long, the only view of this waterfront has been through a chain-linked fence,” said Congressmember Carolyn Maloney. “Queensbridge Park will now be a gateway to the waterfront instead of a dead end.”

Restoring the seawall will serve recreational purposes for residents. It is also designed to guard against natural disasters such as Sandy.

The project, managed by the NYC Economic Development Corporation, will reconstruct the seawall using large rocks. They will protect the shoreline by absorbing and deflecting waves while lessening the effect of erosion, the Parks Department said.

The restoration and improvement is funded through allocations from Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Borough President Helen Marshall, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the MTA.

“The project will make this area safer, greener and more attractive while providing more protection from storm damage in the event of another hard-hitting superstorm like Sandy,” Marshall said during the event.

“Today we celebrate the beginning of the project as we look forward to its completion.”



Officials: No plans for Willets Point casino

| tcullen@queenscourier.com

File photo

A proposed casino for Willets Point, rejected by the city months ago, will not be an option moving forward, officials said.

The casino, along with a hotel and entertainment center, would have gone over what is currently a parking lot, according to plans provided by NYC Park Advocates.

Instead, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced last June that the area would become a 1.4 million-square-foot shopping and entertainment center called Willets West.

But Related and Sterling Equities, the two entities developing Willets Point, offered to buy the 61.4 acres needed in the original project for $100 million when a casino was attached. Involved in the proposal were also Triple M, Gateway Casino Resorts, LLC and The Shinnecock Indian Nation. These three companies are not involved in the current development.

To have a Native American casino in an unzoned area would require federal approval, according to the proposal.
“There is no casino being built at Willets Point, period,” said Nicholas Kelly, spokesperson for NYC Economic Development Corporation (EDC). “A proposal in 2011 that included a gaming use was rejected.”

But NYC Park Advocates president Geoffrey Croft is troubled that the idea was entertained without public disclosure. Croft, who opposes any commercial development in or around the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, was curious why the city had not come out and said it had rejected the plan, as opposed to keeping it under lock and key. Instead, he requested the information under the Freedom of Information Act.