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Astoria Park Overhaul to Begin this Fall

Rendering (Parks Dept.)

Sept. 7, 2018 By Tara Law

Construction for the $34 million overhaul of Astoria Park is expected to begin this fall.

The park is being revamped as part of a three-stage project funded by the mayor’s Anchor Park project, through which the city is implementing major upgrades to a large park in each borough.

NYC Parks Queens Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski provided an update about the Astoria Park initiative at a meeting with the Astoria Park Alliance on Wednesday. 

The first stage, which will soon be under construction, will involve a $13.65 million renovation of the track and surrounding area. The second stage will be a $15.75 million makeover and expansion of Charybdis Playground, which is located by the pool. The final stage will involve the expenditure of $4 million to $5 million on landscaping the northern end of the park.

Lewandowski said that construction for the first stage of the Astoria Park will take about 18 months. The phase will focus on the installation of a new track and soccer field, which is located at the southernmost section of the park. The area will be fenced off during the course of construction.

During phase one, the track will be replaced with an eight-lane rubberized track, which will be equipped for track and field events such as shot putt.

The center of the track will be repurposed for soccer, and will be covered with synthetic turf and equipped with new bleachers. The soccer field will be primarily contracted out to youth soccer teams, Lewandowski said.

A misting station where athletes can cool down under soft spray will be installed near the track, Lewandowski said. An adult fitness equipment area will also be installed nearby.

Along the shore near the track, an “overlook” area will give park-goers a better view of the river, Lewandowski said.

The bathrooms and water fountains near the track will also be completely renovated, and the roof of the building where they are located will be repaired. The bathrooms will also be made ADA compliant.

Although many of the meeting attendees reacted positively to the plans, one resident, Doros Evangelides, expressed concern that the addition of the soccer field will make the park area too crowded.

Lewandowski responded that track and field combinations “work successfully” at other parks across the city. She noted that at Juniper Park, which is near her Middle Village home, the combined track, soccer and football field is not disruptive.

“There’s a coexistence that goes on there,” Lewandowski said. “Even when the games happen for football or soccer, you’re not so overwhelmed that you’re not able to use the facilities together.”

Construction for the second phase of the Anchor Park project is expected to begin in 2019. The phase is currently in the early stages of procurement, which typically lasts nine months.

The second phase will focus on expanding Charybdis Playground, which is located to the north of the pool. Construction is set to begin sometime next year, although Lewandowski said that she is not certain how long the phase will last.

Charybdis Playground (Parks Dept.)

Although the details of the phase are still being finalized, Lewandowski assured the Astoria Parks Alliance that the comfort station at the playground, which has been closed since 2015, will be fully renovated as part of phase two.

Lewandowski said that the bathrooms were being incorporated into phase two, rather than a separate project, “to avoid digging up that area twice.”

During this phase, the playground will be expanded to incorporate part of the pool where there are currently spray showers, Lewandowski said. New play equipment, picnic tables and gaming tables will be installed at the playground.

Finally, the timeline for third phase of the project has not been finalized yet, said Lewandowski. However, she revealed that the project will focus on landscaping at the northern section of the park.

Design Plan

Meanwhile, construction work at the the old diving pool, which is separate from the Anchor Parks initiative, is expected to be completed in the fall of 2019. The diving pool is being decked in to create an event plaza. One of the diving boards will be preserved as a reminder of the pool’s history, and the surrounding bleachers will be kept for audiences viewing events.

Amphitheater rendering

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44 Comments

jane

you can’t even go to the pool with a colored t-shirt and you want to open it up to dogs? not happening. there’s a reason the rules to enter the pool are so institutionalized.
as much as i’m all for adopting four legged friends, dogs and cats, you chose to have a dog even though you don’t have a backyard. it’s you responsibility as a dog owner to find places for your dog play and cool down.
also im sorry people need to learn to leash their dogs in the park. the number of times im running in the park and unleashed dogs have jumped out at me is ridiculous and unsafe. i even had one owner try to coax/call their dog over a path while there were plenty of people running and walking. the dog wanted to go over, but obviously found it difficult with all the people walking and running, but the owner kept on calling the dog who finally decided to make a run for it right in front of me. Almost ran the poor thing over. Use your brains people.




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Anonymous

All these “improvements” are welcome but they really won’t amount to anything if they are not maintained. Just to get the grass mowed once or twice a year seems to be a real stretch. Yet I often go the park and see workers tooling around on a tractor not really doing anything. Why can’t they hitch up a mower to the tractor instead of just riding around? It drives me crazy to see these city workers not doing a whole lot of anything as usual while the grass grows so high to provide good cover for rats and mice. The money is being spent for maintenance but sadly it is being wasted!




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Anonymous

All the discussions here show how stupid people from NYC really are. Wake up and look at the real world outside of your burrows.




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max

ya but i think the op understood that and was making a pithy pun about the similarity between shortsighted humans and troglodytic mammals.




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Barbara L.

The track certainly does not need to be redone AGAIN. It is perfect, much better than any tracks in Manhattan at this point. Maybe the inept City Council members that constantly votes AGAINST people’s concerns can use the tax money that homeowners are paying up the nose for taxes to own houses in this neighborhood can follow the law and repost the municipal signs that USED to be around the park that stated 1) LEASH, GUTTER AND CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR DOG, IT’S THE LAW and 2) NO OPEN FLAMES OR BARBEQUES. Both are LAWS on the books that MUST BE ENFORCED. We saw a tree go up in flames this Summer from people cooking right under it. And the fact that no one can lay on the grass anymore without sitting in dog waste is DISGUSTING, ATROCIOUS, and ABSOLUTELY MUST BE STOPPED. People DO NOT have the right to do whatever they want, I hate to inform you.




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theyakster

Don’t worry. When the dog park opens under the t-boro where mother nature can’t hit it with rain to wash the stench, you’ll be fine.




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Julie

Can we open up the pool to dogs? At least lets make it happen during certain times of the day. I don’t have a backyard and my dogs were so hot all summer. We need a place where our dogs can swim.




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David

That’s unsanitary and wouldn’t pass health code. There would be doggy fecal matter in the water, and people will get sick.




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Enough with the dogs!

You really are out of your mind aren’t you? How frigging disgusting times a million! You probably sleep in your bed with and personally bath with your dogs too. God only knows what else you people do with them? They are everywhere, in stores, restaurants, kayaks, laundromats, churches, etc.
So sick of you selfish, inconsiderate, lawless, entitled, pretentious dog owners, you, the mayor, and the city council humanizing animals, it’s insane, further distorting the concept of reality, inconveniencing the rest of society to cater to your every stupid whim. As another said, most all of you not even from NY but you get to tell all the rest of us born and raised here how to live in our own hometown where we worked and lived here for years, while your only passing through many of you, dictating to the rest of us and getting away with it.
Then you laugh at us and tell us we don’t like change. Change is inevitable, it’s not the change that we don’t like, it’s not having control over our own neighborhood and being dictated to by mindless drones who care about nothing else but themselves! And I am not a dog hater by far but dogs are dogs, not people and they don’t belong in swimming pools or off of leashes.
Go live in the country with your dogs. Astoria is so over crowded with them as well as too many people. This is majority, apartment living here folks, and even more now-a-days, check it out! Don’t have a dog or two or three in the city, especially a big old ugly and scary looking one trying to be tough as most of you do, and then expect to have somewhere for it to run free or swim.
What a waste of tax paying dollars for all of these dog parks that only encourage dog owners to have their dogs off of the leash by thinking that all dogs are friendly and conditioned so they are entitled, now you want them in the pools too! OMG!
The only good thing about the dog parks is that it gets the majority of the dogs and their owners off of the street, at least for a little while.
There are very good reasons why laws were created in the first place, trial and error has already been done and now undone unfortunately by our wonderful irrational, local government NYC leaders. People are allergic to dogs, are afraid of them, don’t like them and have every right not to like them, just like you do. Dogs bite, get spooked, are unpredictable, etc.
The last thing we need are dogs in the pool, it’s already a mess as it is and that would make it worse and even more unsanitary as someone else said.
Keeps your dogs to yourself and your idea of them going into the pool also!




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theyakster

Well said. When you take down basketball courts (and prior to that tennis courts) to build a dog park…. And bocce courts and 2 other basketball courts to house FDNY ambulances… No one complained.




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Queensstreets

what a horrible idea — outfitting the park with new accessories and “nice” things will only ATTRACT THUGS & ruffians -.- what the people really want, nyet, what they NEED, is a PARKING LOT! ! ! there is a parking crisis across all the streets and roads and even drives and avenues – we need mawr parking! ! !




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XOXO

It does not make sense!! We can’t change the beautiful park for recreation into a parking LOT!!
Finally the park wil be renovated!!!!




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theyakster

Where were you when FDNY took over one of the parks under the t–boro. And the handball courts were locked to store equipment.




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Sergio V.

You are not wrong. Especially with Target and all these new mega stores being brought in, is going to attract a lot more cars and people. We are urbanizing, and parking needs to be up on the most needed.




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Gabe

Fix the diving pool to swim in, so adults can swim, too!
So many people want the diving pool back, you should do renovations that make ALL people happy, not just what YOU LIKE to do!!!!!




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Peter F

I’ve used the running track and grassy center of the field extensively in the last year I’ve lived in Astoria, and am sad to hear that it will be closed for 18 months. Personally, I find nothing wrong with the track in it’s current condition, but the grass is woefully maintained. I HATE synthetic turf. The rubber pellets get everywhere and the plastic ‘grass’ breaks down until you’re running around on nothing but old, used tires. Why not re-sod the grass, properly water/mow it and take care of that replacement in the span of a few months, rather than a year and a half (subject to delay)?




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DB

Turf fields are more manageable and cheaper overall than grass fields. I’m with you, I love having a grass field to play sports on in a city full of turf fields, but it makes sense given the amount of people trying to use the field and can be used year round. If I’m not mistaken though, the north side of the park will be redone and is a grass field that can be used for sports as well.




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Paula velez

Astoria park needs a dog park accessible to everyone. I dont understand how other parks have it except Astoria. It’s a shame!!!! We need a dog park inside the park,not behind a trashy corner that nobody even knows is there.




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georgia

I hope they add soap and showers to the bathrooms so the homeless that live and sleep at the park can use them. Every morning i see them sleeping on the benches. Make the benches bigger and more comfortable and include some enclosures to keep them dry.




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Dr Jose

About time the track field and soccer field are renovated . It’s an eye sore. Let’s protect it from schools and other groups




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John Roche

Soccer doesn’t “co-exist” with track and field! The ball and players are constantly creating an unsafe collision! Anyone who’s ever done ONE of those activities knows this. A second concern is overcrowding. Why bring so many people to ONE PART OF THE PARK? Why not use the entire park? There’s no reason an enclosed soccer facility can’t be put somewhere in Astoria Park. Off the top of my head, the North Side is one viable option.

My Father (Joe Roche) was very involved in the original overhaul of the track. He worked tirelessly with many, to bring this great facility to fruition. Running and exercise was, and still is, His greatest passion! My two Children, along with my Wife and I, still enjoy the track on a regular basis. Both my Children just completed another track and field camp run by the New York Parks Department at Astoria Park.

It’s a shame this project isn’t planned with input from the people who actually use the facility!




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Mary Finn

Fix the broken asphalt under the Triborough Bridge so the less fancy people don’t have to bust their ankles walking.




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Mason MannerM/Sgt USAF ret steam fitter DSNY ret

Plant pear,apple,almond,walnut fig,peach,olive trees and hazelnut bushes(best converter of co2 to O)to truly humanize this amazing space ALSO BAN ALL SMOKING AND ENFORCE THE BAN WITH HEAVY FINES




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Paula velez

Dogs deserve a clean and well built dog park. The current dog park its gross and unsafe for dogs. My dog almost fractured his leg with all the rocks around.




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Mary Finn

The problem with that is that many of those trees wouldn’t survive, while others, like Russian Olive, are notoriously allergenic. So long as they have input from the pros and plant appropriately, we are set. The existing trees are mostly a century old and are aging out. New trees are a priority.




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andrea

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the present track which was redone a few short years ago. Total waste of tax payer’s money. Also, to destroy, not redo, the historic diving pool is sacrilege to every native Astorian that grew up here and used it every summer. Typical attitude of government bureaucracy today by people in control of neighborhoods they did not grow up in in NYC.




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Eileen Porzelt

True! The track is okay the way it is. The field area in thr center could be fixed up and the bathrooms renovated or replaced but that’s all I feel has to be done there.




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Rebecca

Tracks wear out with use. The Astoria park track needs to be redone. The existing track was a huge imorovement over the cinder track that was there before, but it is at the end of its useful life. If you used it, you would know. And, yay for the performance space. What good was the empty diving pool? Been in Astoria 25 years and it was just an eyesore the whole time. Now it will be a vibrant community gathering spot.




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Nadia

It’s a great project, lots of people will benefit from the renovation, however the pool will still be limited to its old clients. Lots of Astoria residents travel all the way to Flushing meadows park to swim whether for therapy or recreation. I wish there is a pool in Astoria similar to that one that the residents can benefit from. Thank you.




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Anna P

What about a fenced in dog park? So many people have dogs but no where for them to run and play. The by the river is disgusting and at times you see rats run around




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Anonymous

This is a very crowded city-millions of people live here. Acreage is scarce. If you want space for your dog to roam-please move away. Buy a house with a huge yard. The city has survived for ages without fenced in spaces for dogs to run around and shit all over the place while their owners socialize. Or move to a hipster neighborhood that has one. I am sure fellow hipsters will embrace you…




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Eileen Lyons

As long as it doesn’t cost 1 million dollars for a new dog park! That is too much money to spend on it imo.




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Ginger Conlon

A dog park is currently being constructed under the Triboro Bridge between 23rd and 24th Streets. Not sure when it will be completed.




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Jenny

Completely agree with your comment. That area needs to be looked at. It needs upkeep and it feels scary to walk home at night




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Anastasios

Rats are everywhere in the park. There is nothing you can do about it. I know! Let some ferile cats lose they will take care of the problem. Problem is the cat poo and the urine smell not to mention the dogs chasing the cat’s. Get serious people the rats come from the river and all the garbage that is there. Clean the garbage from the shore and your problem is gone




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