Sept. 24, 2015 By Christian Murray
Work has begun on the second and final phase of Hunters Point South Park.
The waterfront park, which will be more than 10 acres when it is finished, is expected to be completed toward the end of 2018.
The NYC Economic Development Corporation, an arm of the City that is overseeing the project, said that a contractor started clearing the site this month—a task that will continue until the first quarter of 2016. The contractor is throwing out trash, moving dirt and demolishing old structures.
Phase I of Hunters Point Park South was completed in 2013 and is a little over 5 acres running from 50th to 54th Avenue. Phase II will expand the park all the way over to the Newtown Creek.
“We are on schedule and everything is going as planned,” said Philip Strum, a representative for EDC, at last week’s Community Board 2 Land Use meeting.
In early 2016, an infrastructure contractor will be brought on to start building the roadways and infrastructure, while a marine contractor will begin work on the shoreline.
In spring, a park contractor will be added and all three contractors will be working together until the park is completed.
Thomas Balsley, a co-designer of the park, told the Community Board 2 earlier this year, that the second phase of the park will be very different from the first.
Balsley’s firm Thomas Balsley Associates is designing Phase II along with Weiss/Manfredi and ARUP. They designed phase I.
Balsley said that Phase I was designed for active use, with playgrounds, basketball courts, a dog run and an oval.
The second phase will be a much quieter and passive area, Balsley said, where people can take a stroll, relax and enjoy nature.
The design features a pathway that goes around the peninsula (see document) that overlooks the East River. This area will be an “urban escape,” Balsley said, where people will have a view of the East River and the skyline with very little distraction.
Meanwhile, the park will include an overlook that stretches 35 feet over the East River, which will be 40 feet wide.
There will be other features that include a kayak launch, an area for adult fitness equipment, and a lawn for picnics.
The greater park is part of the 30-acre Hunters Point South development, which is comprised of seven residential buildings with a total of 5,000 units (60% permanently affordable).