NYC Parks announced Thursday that six capital infrastructure projects on the Rockaway peninsula to upgrade parks, playgrounds and a performance space are already completed or in the final stages of construction and are expected to be open this summer.
Of the six projects, three were funded by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through the Rockaway Beach boardwalk reconstruction project after Superstorm Sandy devastated the region more than a decade ago.
“Our administration is committed to ‘getting stuff done,’ and through this $33 million investment in new Rockaway enhancements, we’re again delivering for New Yorkers,” Mayor Eric Adams said. “There’s nothing like visiting the beach for a day of fun and relaxation, and I encourage all New Yorkers to come out this summer, take a dip in the water, visit the concessions on the boardwalk, and enjoy these brand-new amenities.”
The largest project added new park infrastructure and recreational amenities to the Shorefront Parkway Multi-Purpose Area at Beach 77th Street in Rockaway Beach. Opening soon, the updates feature a pair of sand volleyball courts with stadium seating. Stormwater management has also been included in the final design and other amenities include improved sidewalks, additional seating, game tables, drinking fountains, bike racks and new landscaping totaling nearly $8 million in FEMA funding.
“Rockaway Beach is one of the city’s premier destinations for sun and fun, and with multiple new park improvement projects opening this summer, Rockaway will be better than ever this year,” NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue said. “Thanks to advocacy from the community and our elected officials, these new amenities represent a significant upgrade to Rockaway green space, and with brand new parkland, a picturesque performance space, playgrounds, and even a labyrinth, there’s truly something for everyone to enjoy in Rockaway.”
The Beach 59th Playground has reopened following a $5 million overhaul along with Beach 94-95th Street Gateway Plaza and Performance Space, which provides a grand entrance for Rockaway Beach at the foot of the Cross Bay Parkway, just off the Cross Bay Bridge. The new stage provides a venue for theatrical and musical performances, community events, and worship services, and features a large screen for movie screenings. A new flagpole has replaced the one lost during Sandy. That project cost over $3.7 million in FEMA funding and is now open.
“The Rockaways and our parks are worth investing in,” said Councilwoman Selvena Brooks-Powers. “For too long, public space on the peninsula has not received its fair share of the City’s attention and spending. I thank the Parks Department for their efforts in Rockaway, and I look forward to further investments and improvements in our community’s parks.”
Shorefront Labyrinth & Seating Area is reopened between Beach 92nd and 94th Streets following a $2.4 million upgrade and Shorefront Beach 98th Street Playground will open in early summer following a nearly $8 million overhaul funded through FEMA.
Far Rockaway will get a brand new Nameoke Park in late summer at the corner of Nameoke and Augustina Avenues. With no other parks within a quarter-mile radius, the new park is part of the Downtown Far Rockaway rezoning effort.
“Rockaway’s resurgence has been well underway for years, and it will continue for yet another summer as these six projects in support of local families come online. From the brand new Nameoke Park to a pair of playgrounds to the new Gateway Plaza performance space, these amenities represent a much-needed reversal of the disinvestment the peninsula has experienced over the decades,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards. “I look forward to working with NYC Parks and all our partners to continue making Rockaway a priority, supporting both the millions of visitors who flock there in the summer and the families who call its communities home all year round.”