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Mayor Bloomberg cut the ribbon to Long Island City‘s new waterfront park in Hunter’s Point South this morning. The park, located just next to Gantry Plaza State Park, will be an integral part of the Hunter’s Point South development. The thirty acre mixed-use site will have 5,000 new residential units, 20,000 square feet of retail space and a new school. It’s clear from today’s opening that Mayor Bloomberg is highlighting the affordable housing portion of the plan. The community will have a minimum of 60% affordable units, “making it the largest new affordable housing complex to be built in New York City since the 1970s.”

The park, designed by Weiss/Manfredi and Thomas Balsley Associates runs five acres along the waterfront but will eventually extend to 11 acres. In addition to the beautiful location and view, the park offers a spacious escape from city that also takes into account some of the industrial elements in this waterfront corridor.  Some of its current highlights include an elevated deck facing the Manhattan skyline, a dog park with a fountain, a sand park, a landscaped garden with old railroad tracks, and dozens of chairs of different designs.

The photographs below provide a glimpse into the new park. Visiting Hunter’s Point South in the morning, early afternoon or early evening seems to be the best choice, as the trees haven’t grown enough to offer too much shade. Hopefully they’ll also be adding more furniture offering shade besides the pavilion.

Here is a raised plaza near the white pavilion:

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We caught a couple pick up games beside the playground:

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This is the lawn that includes both artificial grass (inner circle) and natural grass (lower right corner) :

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The sand park that replaced the Water Taxi beach:

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Weiss/Manfredi’s site shows an image of Hunter’s Point South from a bird’s eye view:

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Also check out our earlier article that provides a tour of Hunter’s Point neighborhood and its modern industrial highlights.

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