Last Tuesday, city and elected officials broke ground on the first phase of the renovation, which will bring a synthetic turf soccer field and track to the are under the RFK Triboro Bridge. The project also includes site amenities and much-needed erosion control, which is expected to be done by spring 2020.
The second phase involves reconstructing Charybdis Playground, the spray shower and comfort station at the park. Construction is anticipated to finish by summer 2020.
“This soccer field and track is over eight years in the making,” Councilman Costa Constantinides said in a statement, “and reflects a broader investment in making this park not only more accessible, but sustainable to meet the demands of the 21st century.”
Astoria Park is one of five sites selected in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Anchor Parks initiative, which will invest $150 million in total. Each park was chosen based on historical underinvestment, large surrounding population and potential for park development.
“These parks are neighborhood anchors,” Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver said, “green spaces that serve as focal points for communities.”
The other anchor parks are Highbridge Park in Washington Heights, Betsy Head Park in Brownsville, St. Mary’s Park in Mott Haven and Freshkills Park in Staten Island.
With the exception of Freshkills Park, the anchor parks are expected to open anew in 2020. The Staten Island site will begin construction that year, and end in 2022.
“With an Anchor Park in each borough, these investments fund renovations and new resources in long-overlooked parks,” Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen said in a statement, “serving a total of more than 750,000 New Yorkers.”