Hunter's Point South Waterfront Park

Hunter's Point South Waterfront Park, located in a former industrial area of Long Island City, opened in late August 2013 to wide acclaim. LiRo provided construction management and resident engineering inspection services for the project, which included remediation work, roadway installation, and shoreline stabilization, in addition to recreation components. The completion of the park is the first phase of a large master plan that will transform the 30-acre Hunter's Point South site into a new mixed-use neighborhood encompassing 5,000 housing units, a new school, retail spaces, and recreational areas.

The 5.5-acre park is located directly on the waterfront. Built on what was originally a marsh, the site had been drained and filled to function as a ferry stop and transfer point between cargo vessels and rail cars in the late nineteenth century. This former industrial use has been completely replaced by a vibrant community space with breathtaking views of Manhattan. The main feature of the plan is large multi-use oval green, framed by a continuous path and a pleated steel roof shade pavilion. A concession area and comfort stations are located within the pavilion, and the end of the structure serves as a shelter for a water ferry stop. The path extends to a promenade which draws the visitor through the site to the water's edge, where a relaxing beach and wetlands await. A play area, including basketball courts, adult fitness accommodations, and a children's playground, is an important feature of the park. Recreational activities are also extended to pets, with the inclusion of a dog run with a unique water rill.

In a nod to the industrial past, decommissioned freight train tracks which run through the site to the water's edge have been preserved. Native grasses have been planted between the tracks, and the addition of a cross path and a central plaza with decorative water jets enhance the space.

An extensive environmental study of the area was performed during the preconstruction phase. When contaminated soils were encountered, LiRo coordinated the spill response with the NYSDEC and assisted in the direction of soil excavation and sampling work. The new park design incorporates features which will protect and conserve water and power, further advancing the goals of the citywide Waterfront Vision and Enhancement Strategy, a 2010 initiative to create a sustainable blueprint for the City's shoreline. At the park's perimeter, a bioswale filters stormwater from the new Center Boulevard and surrounding streets, minimizing impact on the city's stormwater infrastructure. Photovoltaic panels located on the pleated roof of the pavilion generate 37,000 kWh per year, powering over 50% of park needs. The system can be expanded in the future to fully power the park. The pleated roof also collects rainwater which is used to nourish the bioswales.

The completion of the park serves as an enticing harbinger of the Hunter's Point South neighborhood to come.

Services Provided

Construction Management

Resident/ Construction Engineering & Inspection

Key Facts

Long Island City, NY

New York City Economic Development Corporation

Thomas Balsey Associates

2013 Best of Design Awards, Best Landscape, The Architect's Newspaper
2013 Merit Award, AIA New York Chapter
2012 Good Green Design Award, The Chicago Athanaeum