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Top redevelopment stories to watch for in Queens in 2023

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Construction is underway on the $100 million Edgemere Commons megaproject in the Rockaways. (QNS/File)

The old will be new again at a number of locations across the borough, from the New York State Pavilion to the airports, a long-dormant landmark in the Rockaways, and a medical facility in Jamaica that was repurposed to help address the affordability crisis in Queens.

NYC Parks nears completion of $24 million project in Flushing Meadows Corona Park

NYC Parks tests new structural lighting at the New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. (Courtesy of NYC Parks/Daniel Avila)

The city’s Parks Department anticipates completing the $24 million project to preserve the historic New York State Pavilion Towers in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in 2023. Parks officials recently tested a new lighting system on the iconic space-age structure that served as a centerpiece of the 1964 World’s Fair. The work included the waterproofing of the tower bases, stair replacement, electrical upgrades and structural conservation work on the observation towers.

Former Queens Borough President Melinda Katz made the preservation of the New York State Pavilion a priority, allocating more than $13 million for the project. Former Mayor Bill de Blasio kicked in $9 million and Councilman Francisco Moya added nearly $2 million in funding.

LaGuardia Airport transformation nears completion while JFK overhaul gets underway

The $18 billion transformation of JFK Airport is underway. (Courtesy of governor’s office)

The $8 billion transformation at LaGuardia Airport is nearing completion. Delta’s new Terminal C on the west side of the airport replaces the airline’s two antiquated and much smaller terminals and will be completed in 2023. The new Terminal B was completed last spring and a newly rebuilt roadway network at LaGuardia is also nearing is nearly finished. Meanwhile, the $18 billion transformation at JFK International Airport is currently underway, with outdated terminals facing the wrecking ball to make way for new and expanded terminals.

The Port Authority says the massive projects are creating thousands of temporary and permanent jobs.

“Our goal is to provide air passengers who travel through our airports a world-class 21st-century travel experience, and to contribute to the growing resurgence in the region’s economy post-COVID,” Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said.

T Building in Jamaica receives historic preservation award while offering a blueprint for faster affordable housing

The T Building in Jamaica wins a state historic preservation award. (Courtesy of Dunn Development)

Construction is underway on the long-delayed $100 million Edgemere Commons megaproject in the Rockaways, which will bring more than 2,000 units of affordable housing on the site of the former Peninsula Hospital, but it is slated for completion in 2034. Meanwhile, a few miles to the north, the T Building in Jamaica proves that there is a faster way to deliver affordable housing by repurposing existing stock.

Originally built in 1937, the former tuberculosis ward of Queens Hospital was converted by SLCE Architecture Group into 200 apartments, 75 of which are supportive housing for patients in the NYC Health + Hospitals system who experienced homelessness.

When Governor Kathy Hochul announced the winners of the state’s Historic Preservation Awards on Dec. 28, the restored 10-story T Building was recognized for Excellence in Historic Building Rehabilitation.

Art Deco bathhouse at Jacob Riis Park to undergo $50 million restoration

The Riis Bathhouse will undergo a $50 makeover. (Photo by Sylvester Zawadki)

The iconic 90-year-old Art Deco bathhouse at Jacob Riis Park will undergo a $50 million extreme makeover starting in 2023 after sitting underutilized for nearly half a century.

The historic preservation project will transform the building’s facade to its original glory and feature a rooftop restaurant with sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean, a surfside bar, a pool, retail and event spaces, 28 hotel rooms and a catering hall.

Rockaway Beach boardwalk concessionaire Brooklyn Bazaar was selected by the National Parks Service to renovate the facility in 2017 following a competitive process. Partners Belvy Klein and Aaron Broudo began laying the groundwork to restore the bathhouse as soon as they began operating in the Rockaways, and they signed a lease on the property last fall.

“Since arriving at Riis Park in 2015 with Riis Park Beach Bazaar, then expanding our beach operations to the downtown concessions with Rockaway Beach Bazaar, we have been honored to be part of Rockaway’s comeback post-Superstorm Sandy,” they said in a statement to QNS. “We have met and worked alongside countless amazing members of the Rockaway community and are so excited to kick off this project and transform one of Queens’ most beloved landmarks — the bathhouse in Jacob RiisPark — back to its original glory and then some.”

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