2018-03-28 / Front Page

With $3 Million Funding From Van Bramer, City Moving Forward On Park Acquisition

New York City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and NYC Parks announced on March 19 plans to move forward with acquiring private land to be repurposed as public park space. The site, located at 50-02 39th Avenue in Sunnyside is the former site of Phipps Playground. The council member and community members have been dedicated to acquiring this private, fenced-off and unusable site for years.

The next step in the process of creating this public space is to rezone the site from residential to park. The ULURP application was certified by the City Planning Commission last month and the application was to be reviewed by Queens Community Board 2. Once the rezoning is complete, the site will be acquired by the city with the $3 million allocated by Council Member Van Bramer.

“This rezoning will be a great victory for Sunnyside and Woodside,” said Van Bramer. “Public space is a vital component of healthy, dynamic communities and we have been fighting for years to acquire this site. Ensuring that this private land is returned to public park space is really important to me and to the Sunnyside community. I am proud to have secured the $3 million in funding for this and am thrilled to see the community’s vision for this site start to come to life. Ensuring improved quality of life in our neighborhoods has always been important to me and adding park space in Western Queens helps to accomplish this.”

“For years, I’ve worked with Councilman Van Bramer and community leaders to transform what remains of Phipps Playground into a vibrant public space for Sunnyside families,” said Congress Member Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), Chair of the House Democratic Caucus. “It would be tragic to lose this historic site to private developers, and with each step we take toward restoring Phipps, I’m reminded of the concerted community effort that has brought us this far. This renovation is decades in the making, and I am thrilled to reach the last phase of the planning process so we can finally break ground on a brand new park right here in Sunnyside.”

“The Phipps property holds an important place in Sunnyside history, but for too long the space has been overlooked and inaccessible,” said Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski. “Parks is thrilled to move forward on purchasing and restoring this parcel, and give it back to the community for their enjoyment. With the support from our dedicated elected officials, and a little extra TLC, we can create a viable public space.”





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