Watch out, High Line, there’s a new park in town. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was on hand yesterday to unveil a 5.5-acre waterfront park and several roadways at the site of the Hunter’s Point South development in Queens. We dispatched writer Nancy Lazarus to assess the city’s newest green space.
The multi-use green oval at Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park, which opened to the public yesterday. (All photos: Albert Vecerka/Esto)
Many New Yorkers know Long Island City from the Silvercup or Pepsi signs visible across the East River. Art enthusiasts associate LIC with galleries, studios, and MoMA’s PS1. With the opening of Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park, locals now have recreational reasons to visit. So hop on the subway or East River Ferry and bring your cameras, bicycles, bathing suits, and dogs to NYC’s newest waterfront oasis.
Hunter’s Point South development, formerly known as “Queens West,” would have hosted an Olympic village if New York had won its 2012 bid. New York City Economic Development Corporation is overseeing the project, and Thomas Balsley Associates and Weiss/Manfredi collaborated on Phase 1, the design of the park and open space, with ARUP acting as prime consultant and infrastructure designers. Affordable housing and a school are also being built.
During a recent press tour, Marion Weiss, Michael Manfredi, and Thomas Balsley described how they converted the former marshland and industrial area for leisure use. While the tour was on a bright sunny day, the area was designed to be sustainable and to withstand storms. According to Weiss, the park flooded briefly during storm Sandy, but the water quickly receded, thanks to their water runoff and conservation system. There’s more official interest now in addressing potential floods, Manfredi added.