Jan 21, 2014 By Christian Murray
A resident group is forming that will have influence over the running of Hunters Point South Park.
The group will have the primary role of organizing entertainment and other events as well as beautifying the park. It will initially receive funding from ‘LIC Landing by Coffeed’, which is opening a concession at the park in March—at the site adjacent to the ferry.
Frank Raffaele, the owner of LIC Landing by Coffeed, plans to hold a meeting for people who are interested in being part of the group at his flagship Coffeed café—located at 37-18 Northern Blvd–on Feb. 7 at 6:30 pm.
Raffaele said he wants the group to organize movies, theater, music, fitness instruction—at the park. “We have this jewel of park and we should make the most of it,” Raffaele said.
Raffaele envisages a group similar to one that manages the events at Bryant Park in Manhattan.
LIC Landing by Coffeed has a 2,000 sqf. space within the park where it is able to hold its own events. However, “We have this beautiful oval that could be used for larger movies—and this is where the new group comes in, since the group could apply to the city to host them.”
Raffaele is working with the organizers of the Friends of Gantry Neighborhood Parks, a group which has been in operation for about 15 years, which has taken it upon itself to maintain and enhance the plant life within Gantry Plaza State Park. He is calling on the group for its expertise for guidance in forming the Hunters Point South Park group.
The new group will have to decide whether to become part of the Friends of Gantry organization or become a separate entity. The logic is that the two parks are contiguous and the only real different is that Gantry is a state park, while Hunters Point South Park is operated by the city.
Raffaele said that 3% of the revenue from LIC Landing by Coffeed will be donated to the new group. He said he was not required to do so to win the concession offered by the city—but that it makes sense for the park to be utilized.
He envisages other corporate entities providing funding for the new group in time. However, ultimately, it will be the residents who make the decisions.
The new group already has the support of the Long Island City Partnership.
“There is so much potential to enliven the park with programs and destination events. We are happy to be supporting Frank and Coffeed to pull together a group who can work to come up with some great ideas,” said Dana Frankel, at the Long Island City Partnership.
“We look forward to being involved moving forward to implement on-going programs,” Frankel said.
Location: Coffeed, 37-18 Northern Blvd
Date: Friday, Feb. 7
Time: 6:30 pm