Several inches of snow and frozen ground soil will do little to detour the Parks Department’s plans to create new and maintain existing parkland in North Brooklyn.
From McCarren Park, where several projects are underway, to the tiny India Street enclave which will provide a secluded waterfront oasis in Greenpoint, residents are eagerly awaiting the new public spaces.
“There’s basically no other district going through this level of park expansion that Community Board 1 is going through,” Stephanie Thayer, Administrator for North Brooklyn Parks, said.
As the new year approaches, we take a look at the current and ongoing projects in the Parks Department’s portfolio for North Brooklyn.
Residents may be wondering whether the McCarren Park Pool (at Lorimer and Bayard streets ) plans will be downscaled in the wake of citywide budget cuts, but Thayer assured that the pool project is fully funded.
Thayer believes it is highly unlikely that the summer concert series will reappear at the pool this summer, since construct is slated to begin by the end of spring.
Instead, concertgoers may be looking south several blocks to the edge of Bedford and North 12th, where an equally large asphalt lot next to the tennis courts is being considered as an alternate site. The Parks Department has already approved permits for the L Magazine summer film series to occur on the site, just five blocks away from the Bedford L stop.
“This is a good move for L magazine. Having it right there along Bedford will bring in even more local residents,” said Thayer.
With additional funding from Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, McGolrick (bounded by Nassau and Driggs avenues and Russell and Monitor street) and McCarren Parks will be upgrading fencing on the park’s dog runs to a more uniform and wrought iron fence. However, nearby residents have not yet founded a friends group to support local improvements.
A new dog run is also planned here (Montrose Avenue, and Boerum, Lorimer, and Leonard streets) and the Parks Department hopes to resod the ball fields.
East River State Park
The State Department of Parks and Recreation has threatened to close the park (located at 90 Kent Ave.) through March due to state budget cuts, though Assemblyman Lentol’s efforts to bring in local police to monitor the park during daylight hours may ultimately be successful. (See cover story for more.)
North 5th Street
A pier just passed final inspection and this past weekend there was a public opening for the site. The pier will be open to the public on Saturday and Sundays in the winter, before opening seven days a week during the spring.
The Parks Department has acquired the first parcel of the Inlet’s parkland, 28 acres between North 9th and 10th streets, and a possible site for future concert events. They have received bids for building a new soccer field and construction will start next spring.
The end of Greenpoint Avenue at West Street is in preliminary design, and could include a pier with water taxi service. Several elements await approval from the Department of Environmental Conservation.
Budget delays have marred the creation of this new park, at Franklin and Dupont streets though the Department of Environmental Protection is reviewing a bid for a new ship which could set the removal of the nearby sludge tank in motion. The old sludge boat has been retired and is for sale on eBay.
65 Commercial Street
Parks hopes to turn the MTA lot into ball fields, but the MTA has refused to relocate its bus facility. The mayor’s office has offered two new sites for the MTA to move and the agency is evaluating those sites.
Manhattan Avenue Street End
Drawings have been submitted to the Department of Design and Construction, but the project has languished for several years. A safety railing must go up along the edge of the street, and construction should begin next spring for the park, located at Ash Street.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony officially opened the park, near the Domino Sugar complex at River Street, late this past year, and a new pier will soon be turned over the city for waterfront access.
This small park at West Street, the first piece of the waterfront esplanade will be in construction in spring 2009, when the fence is replaced and benches and large planting pots are added.