Corona residents and business owners got a first look into the future of Corona Plaza.
Before 2012, Corona Plaza, located on Roosevelt Avenue between National and 104th Street, was a busy area filled with trucks, traffic and no open space. After the Queens Economic Development Corporation (EDC) partnered with the Queens Museum, Councilmember Julissa Ferreras and other local groups, the plaza became an open public space allowing residents and visitors to sit down and relax.
Although the public space was expected to be temporary, in March the Department of Transportation (DOT) met with the community to introduce first plans and designs for keeping and improving Corona Plaza as a public space.
During this meeting the public gave its input as to what they wanted to add to the plaza and picked the best initial design from three options.
“We want the community to feel like this is their spot and they helped build it,” said David Strauss, director of external Affairs and Capital Projects of the Queens Museum, which has been working close with the community to receive continuous, direct input.
The DOT and design firm The RBA Group met with the community for a second time on August 24, during the plaza’s one year celebration, to debut two options of the first renderings of the future Corona Plaza.
“We really wanted that second meeting to be outside and allow the people to come up and give their input,” said Prerana Reddy, director of public events at the Queens Museum. “I feel like we’re hearing the same things over and over, so it feels like we got it. People were excited about it.”
Some of the ideas that were included in the renderings were plaza seating, bicycle racks and corrals, a stage for cultural performances, green area, benches, additional trash cans, signage, improved lighting for security, utilizing the space under the No. 7 train for storage, an information/storage kiosk and a drinking fountain.
“Corona Plaza is a vision that the community and I had shared for several years,” said Ferreras. “Since its creation, it has only continued to attract more and more visitors who are seeking a place to meet friends, enjoy a cup of coffee and take in the rich diversity that is our district. As additional plans for the plaza continue to unfold, it is my hope that Corona continues to thrive and becomes a must-see destination for New Yorkers and tourists alike.”
The DOT and design firm will now present the renderings to the city’s Public Design Commission in the next couple of months. According to Reddy, the earliest the community will see the new plaza would be by 2015.