The development company behind the TWA Hotel at JFK International Airport has donated 74,000 cubic feet of clean sand excavated from the building site to the National Park Service for the Spring Creek South Storm Resilience and Ecosystem Restoration Project.
Valued at nearly $5 million, the sand will stabilize Spring Creek Park — a wildlife refuge in the Gateway National Recreation Area along the Jamaica Bay shoreline — to reduce the risk of storm damage and flooding in the Howard Beach, which was devastated during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
“Queens is the home of the TWA Hotel and we are committed to keeping it safe and beautiful,” MCR and MORSE Development CEO Tyler Morse said. “We are proud that our building can help rebuild the Jamaica Bay shoreline.”
The sand was excavated by Turner Construction Company and Urban Foundation Engineering to build the hotel’s 50,000-square-foot events center. Ruttura & Sons transported the sand to Spring Creek Park where it will be used to create a protective berm and restore more than 225 acres of wetland and coastal forest, home to great blue herons, egrets, red-winged blackbirds, pheasants, mallards, deer, raccoons and muskrats.
“Spring Creek Park is the ideal destination for those who love nature, but it also has the potential to be the borough’s first line of defense against storms that threaten to flood surrounding communities,” Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said. “What a wonderful example of a community neighbor working with government to make smart reuse of resources. MCR and Morse Development’s generous donation of $5 million worth of sand will both save taxpayers money and go a long way toward making the TWA Hotel’s home borough more resilient in the face of future storms.”
The TWA Hotel is opening in the spring with 512 ultra-quiet rooms, six restaurants and eight bars, high-end retail outlets, the event space with a 15,000-square-foot ballroom, a rooftop pool and observation deck, a 10,000-square-foot fitness center and a Lockheed Constellation L-1649A transformed into a cocktail lounge.