Oct. 23, 2018 By Tara Law
City officials broke ground on the first phase of a $34 million overhaul of Astoria Park today.
Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver, joined by several elected officials, broke ground on the first phase of work, which includes the installation of a synthetic turf soccer field within a revamped track, as well as erosion control and the addition of amenities like adult fitness equipment to the surrounding area.
This phase–one of three–is slated to be completed in spring 2020.
The makeover is part of the Anchor Parks initiative, announced by the mayor in 2016, where the city pledged to invest $150 million in upgrade five linchpin parks–one park in each of the five boroughs.
The parks selected for the funds were based on the population size in the surrounding area, the amount of funds allocated to the parks in the past, and development potential, according to a Parks spokesperson.
Phase Two is planned to begin in 2019, and will include the reconstruction of Charybdis playground by the pool and the renovation of a comfort station by the playground. Work here is expected to be completed by summer 2020, according to Parks.
Details pertaining to the third phase have yet to be finalized, although Queens Park Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski said last month that this phase will likely focus on landscaping at the northernmost section of the park.
Council Member Costa Constantinides said he was excited to see the project begin after years of planning.
“This soccer field and track is over eight years in the making, and reflects a broader investment in making this park not only more accessible, but sustainable to meet the demands of the 21st Century,” Constantinides said. “I am thankful Astoria Park was selected as just one of five anchor parks, giving it the proper attention this green space deserves.”
Silver said the Anchor Parks initiative has received a very warm welcome from the selected communities.
“These parks are neighborhood anchors— green spaces that serve as focal points for communities,” said Commissioner Silver. “When we announced the Anchor Parks initiative, we got an overwhelming reaction from community members who gave us their input on how to use $30 million to make these old parks new again.”