Four Brooklyn Parks Projects Gain $31 Million in City Funding

Rendering via NYC Parks Department

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    The city will spend $31 million on construction on four new parks projects in Brooklyn — bringing a new green space to Williamsburg, and much-needed upgrades to three other dilapidated parks.

    “Increasing access to open space and improving parkland is integral to building healthy communities. These four projects set to begin work in Brooklyn reflect our effort to continuously invest in our neighborhoods and offer New Yorkers much needed respite and recreation,” said Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver, who announced the plans on Friday.

    rendering of 50kent park

    Rendering of planned 50 Kent via NYC Parks Department

    Williamsburg’s 50 Kent.

    As part of the new funding, the city will finance the creation of 50 Kent, which has been in the works for over a decade. The two-acre lawn between North 11th and North 12th streets will sit amid Bushwick Inlet Park, and marks the latest in the Bloomberg-era plan to transform the historic manufacturing waterfront into sprawling open space.

    After the project broke ground in 2018, construction stalled due to the coronavirus pandemic, which hampered the Parks Department budget. Construction restarted last month with a scheduled end date of April 2022.

    The newly granted funds will help complete the project, which will feature a “picturesque” view of Manhattan, picnic areas, an entrance plaza and fountains for children to play in.

    laguardia playground

    Phase 2 for La Guardia Playground. Image via NYC Parks Department

    Williamsburg’s La Guardia Playground.

    Also in Williamsburg, the city will spend $4.76 million to renovate the play equipment, add new seating, and landscape La Guardia Playground at 252 South 4th Street.

    The construction, which will also include the addition of a new spray shower, marks the second phase of the playground’s makeover, after 2020 saw the remodeling of the sports courts and plaza in the space’s southern half.

    Mayor de Blasio hailed the construction as the latest in his Community Parks Initiative, which aims to bring funds to upgrade small parks in higher-populated neighborhoods where large concentrations of poverty exist.

    “A recovery for all of us means increasing access to parks in historically underserved neighborhoods and creating greener, healthier communities,” de Blasio said of the recent funding.

    plan of park

    Plan for Susan Smith McKinney Park. Image via NYC Parks Department

    Dumbo’s Susan Smith McKinney Steward Park.

    Under the Manhattan Bridge at the intersection of Jay and York streets in Dumbo, Susan Smith McKinney Steward Park, which was recently renamed after the first Black woman to become a physician in New York, will get a new artificial turf field, a stage, exercise area and water system.

    The project will also see renovation of the York Street green space’s playground and play fountain, and is expected to be completed by April of 2022.

    plan of callahan kelly playground

    Plan for renovations to Callahan Kelly Playground. Image via NYC Parks Department

    Ocean Hill’s Callahan Kelly Playground.

    Adjacent to Broadway Junction at 19 Sackman Street, the triangular Callahan Kelly Playground will receive a new skate park and new entrances.

    The construction plan also calls for renovation of the space’s playground, basketball courts, spray shower, exercise equipment, sidewalks, seating areas and walls.

    That project is not expected to be done until April of 2023.

    “As a child, I have fond memories of the bustling handball court at Callahan Kelly Park,” Assembly member Latrice Walker said in a statement. “Over the years the park has been plagued with non-working lights that left a very vibrant park dismal. As we all recover from this past year, the open outdoor green spaces are most certainly welcome.”

    Editor’s note: A version of this story originally ran in Brooklyn Paper. Click here to see the original story.

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