Plans are in place for the World’s Fair Marina to receive a $32 million makeover, including a complete reconstruction of one of its piers.
The improvements to the marina, located on Flushing Bay in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, will focus on the deteriorating Pier 1. The pier, which is closed to the public, will be demolished and completely rebuilt under the plan.
Officials from the Parks Department told Community Board 3 at its Nov. 15 meeting the pier is “in pretty bad shape” and “in need of reconstruction.”
The Parks Department was in front of the community board looking to secure a letter of support before it puts its plan in front of the city’s Public Design Commission. Due to the snow that fell that day, the board did not have the required number of members present at the meeting to vote.
The construction budget of $32 million includes funding from City Hall as well as federal dollars designated for Hurricane Sandy repairs. The World’s Fair Marina was battered during the 2012 hurricane and suffered considerable damage.
“We got a really nice bundle all together,” Erik Linsalata, the deputy director of engineering at the Parks Department, said. “Instead of just doing the repair work from Hurricane Sandy, we lobbied for additional funds to basically do a once-in-a-lifetime reconstruction of the facility.”
Other elements in the park that were damaged by Sandy will also be repaired with new federal funding [see separate story in some editions or at qchron.com].
A public meeting was held in August to gather input and ideas from community members for the marina project. Parks officials said virtually all the suggestions have been incorporated into the plan. That includes handicapped-accessible restrooms.
“It’s exciting to see that a lot of the public scoping ideas were incorporated into the plan,” Rebecca Pryor, a program coordinator at Riverkeeper and Guardians of Flushing Bay, said Thursday. She singled out public restrooms, in particular. “Flushing Bay Promenade really needs bathrooms.”
The reconstructed Pier 1 will be extended farther into the bay and the primary structural deck will be constructed out of concrete and steel, which officials hope will give it a longer lifespan. The project also calls for the rehabilitation of Pier 3.
Floating docks and the bulkhead in the marina will also undergo repairs. In addition, officials plan to build a new concession building and boater facility on Pier 1. Nate Grove, chief of marinas at the Parks Department, said kayak rentals would be among the available amenities.
“It’s really designed to allow people to use it in multiple ways,” Grove said.
The plan, which is still in its initial stages, will have to be submitted to the PDC for preliminary approval. Once that happens, the Parks Department will need additional permits from various agencies, including the Department of Environmental Conservation, before the project design can be finalized and put out to bid.