March 2, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
The city is expected to complete Hunters Point South Park in coming months, with the 5.5 acre section of new space opening as soon as late spring.
Phase II of the Hunters Point South Park, stretching from below 54th Avenue and wrapping around the Newtown Creek, is nearing completion after three years of continuous construction, and is expected to open sometime in the late spring or early summer, according to the Economic Development Corporation.
The agency said it is working with NYC Parks on finalizing the opening day.
Phase II of the park will feature a much quieter and passive area than the existing parkland to the north, which has basketball courts, a children’s playground, and a bustling eatery, according to the park’s designers.
The roughly five acre portion of parkland set to open will feature wetlands, pedestrian paths, bike lanes, and a “promontory” lawn, a curving overlook set dozens of feet above the water. Other features include a linear park with playground equipment, fitness equipment for adults, a public art piece, and a kayak launch.
With the second portion opening, the entire parkland, stretching from 50th Avenue, will be roughly 11 acres.
Thomas Balsley, of SWA/Balsley, one of the landscape architects behind the park, said in 2015 that people will be able to relax and enjoy nature in this portion of the park, which will act as an “urban escape” and permit for uninterrupted views of the Manhattan skyline.
“Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park has extended its vision, literally and figuratively, and phase two continues to build on its promise: Celebrating the historical and cultural aspects of the area while also speaking to the future,” Balsley said in a statement to the LIC Post. “As designers, we are honored to be able to provide this community with improved access and amenities for its extraordinary waterfront landscape.”
The park was also designed by Weiss/Manfredi, known for projects like the Brooklyn Botanic Garden visitor center and Seattle’s Olympic Sculpture Park. Arup, the engineering and project management firm, were the prime consultants and infrastructure designers for the park.
Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Long Island City) said the second phase of the park, costing around $100 million, is “stunning”.
“This is a project that we fought for, ” Van Bramer said. “It’s going to be an amazing park. A jewel in the crown of Queens parks.”
With Phase II of the parkland finishing, work on the residential towers set to be built through this portion of the development is expected to begin, as Mayor de Blasio announced in 2015.
Developers have already been chosen to build on two out of four plots along the waterfront below 54th Avenue, with the city also announcing plans for a 612-seat school on one of the lots. Developers have yet to be selected for the two remaining parcels in this portion.
The entire Hunters Point South development, when complete, will span 30 acres and hold up to 5,000 residential units.