Elementary school, open space coming to Court Square
by Benjamin Fang
Oct 29, 2018 | 575 views | 0 0 comments | 52 52 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer announced that a deal has been struck to convert the lots under Queensboro Bridge ramps into open space. The redesign effort will cost $5.5 million, and will be designed, developed and maintained by the Long Island City Business Improvement District.

The city has also committed to allocate funding for a new pre-kindergarten to 5th grade elementary school in Court Square.

Both are part of a deal to allow the building of two residential towers along Jackson Avenue, next to the ramps.

In a statement, Van Bramer said neighbors have reclaimed about 50,000 square feet of open space. He added that he “has it in writing” that the administration will keep working on securing the rest of the space under the ramps for public use.

“By approving this deal, we secured open space for a new public park, funding for a brand new UPK-5th grade elementary school, 150 affordable housing units and good-paying, union jobs,” he said. “This is a victory that will benefit the Court Square community for generations to come.”

An advisory board will be created, with the Court Square Civic Association guaranteed a spot to guide the project, Van Bramer said.

“This is a major first step in ensuring Court Square is a livable neighborhood for current residents and future generations,” said Pedro Gomez, president of the Court Square civic group.

The developer for the towers, the Lions Group NYC, has also signed an agreement with SEIU 32BJ so all building service workers are unionized.

Kyle Bragg, 32BJ’s secretary-treasurer, said the Long Island City developments will create new prevailing wage jobs with opportunity for health, training and other benefits.

“It also comes with important commitments to permanently affordable housing and new park and school space,” Bragg said, “that will benefit our members and the entire community.”
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