The crowned jewel of Astoria has a special shine after the city’s Parks Department completed the first phase of its $30 million Astoria Park renovation project seven months ahead of schedule.
The project covered the 12-acre athletic portion of the green space that included a complete reconstruction of the track for runners and a brand-new interior synthetic turf for soccer.
“I’m so happy to see this new track and soccer field, which we could only dream of a decade ago, is open ahead of schedule,” Councilman Costa Constantinides said. “Astoria Park is a 60-acre jewel for this community, and this state-of-the-art facility only solidified that fact. I want to thank the Parks Department for delivering this [seven] months early as well as our great civic organizations, especially the Astoria Park Alliance, whose members have fought so long for this transformative renovation.”
Additionally, several paths were realigned to allow for better drainage, new bleachers and lighting were installed and to take advantage of the sweeping views of the East River and the Manhattan skyline and new seating was installed along the eastern edge of the park. An adult fitness area with new equipment is right next to the track and the bleachers.
“We could not be more pleased that the track is open in time for folks to enjoy it on these beautiful fall days,” NYC Park Commissioner Mitchell Silver said. “This is the first of the Anchor Park transformations to make our old destinations new again.”
The de Blasio administration first introduced the Anchor Parks initiative, in which one park in each borough was selected for major renovations, in 2016. One of the criteria for Astoria Park’s selection was that at least 750,000 people live within walking distance of it.
“I am so pleased that Phase 1 of the Astoria Park project renovations were completed months ahead of schedule. It is crucial that we continue to expand, modernize and protect our public spaces, especially our parks,” Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas said. “I am grateful to the Astoria Park Alliance that led the fight to rehabilitate the park’s soccer and track fields, and to my friend and partner in government, Council member Constantinides, whose efforts have created major improvements to the jewel of our community. Growing up in Astoria, the park was always a place I explored and cherished, and I am so thrilled that we are finally making these major capital investments.”
Phase 2 of the project will include the reconstruction of the Charybdis Playground with new spray showers and comfort station with construction expected to be completed by 2021.
“This is just the first leg in the new Astoria Park, with work on a renovated Charybdis Playground already underway as part of the historic $30 million investment we secured three years ago,” Constantinides said.
As for the incessant flooding that takes place during heavy rainstorms and turn Shore Boulevard into a canal, a rain garden with native plantings has been proposed as part of the larger drainage strategy and was one of the most requested design features at a scoping meeting last November.
“I am pleased the upgrades to Astoria Park will be completed sooner than expected,” state Senator Michael Gianaris said. “This park is a treasure to our neighborhood and an asset for the entire city. These improvements will make it a destination for another generation.”