CB4 Gives Nod To Corona Plaza Plan
Community Board 4 (CB4) members last week approved a plan that will transform a one-block stretch of 41st Avenue in Corona into an urban oasis, where area residents can kick back and enjoy a slice of greenery in the midst of city life.
As part of the Corona Plaza plan, the city Department of Transportation (DOT) will close 41st Avenue between National and 104th Streets, NYC Plaza Program Director Vaidila Kungys said.
The strip will be reinvented into a greenspace with bushes and trees, tables and seating, street umbrellas and bike racks for use by local residents and visitors.
The urban plaza is sponsored by the Corona Community Action Network, the Flushing, Willets Point, Corona Local Development Coalition, the Queens Museum of Art and Councilmember Julissa Ferreras. The Queens Museum of Art will also provide programming for the plaza, Kungys said.
“The plaza will give us a nice place to sit and a place to be proud of,” Ferreras said. “Corona in Spanish means ‘crown’,” Ferreras declared. “I will be proud to wear the crown of the neighborhood.”
Local business owners said they have been complaining about conditions on the strip for some time. “We’ve had problems maintaining the cleanliness our customers deserve,” one merchant said. “This plan seems to be the answer to the problem.”
Parking has also been a sore point on the strip, business owners said. “Trucks, cabs and other commercial delivery vehicles take up all the parking spots, completely frustrating our customers,” the business owners said. “They’ve made it one big parking lot – and this plan may be a way to get rid of them.”
Kungys responded to concerns that the local homeless population would take over the plaza by assuring CB4 members that the tables and chairs would be removed overnight. The Department of Transportation will also work with the MTA to alleviate a local “pigeon problem”, Kungys said.
Restaurant owners in Astoria several years ago halted plans to develop a plaza on Newtown Avenue between 33rd and 31st Streets, saying it would adversely affect their business.
Kungys said the DOT plans to develop a temporary plaza at the site that will open in July. Plans are also underway for a permanent plaza that will open to the public in several years, Kungys said.