Much has been made of the transformation of the city’s waterfront, but it is usually tonier precincts like Manhattan and bourgey Brooklyn getting all the attention. Meanwhile, the Bronx waterfront has undergone a quieter transformation that has still managed to maintain its industrial character while introducing greenspace and recreation to the area.
Yesterday, the latest piece of this aquatic puzzle opened, a fun-looking 1.5-acre park in the Hunt’s Point section of the borough. It includes a new fishing pier, a kayak launch, and a restored shoreline with tidal pools that, according to the city’s Economic Development Corporation, will naturally absorb storm water runoff. The park is liberally sprinkled with large granite slabs of city history, remnants of the deconstructed Willis Avenue Bridge, which make up much of the comfortable looking boulder seating area and grass retaining wall.
“Our community has another gem in its growing emerald necklace of green spaces along the waterfront,” Bronx Congressman Jose Serrano, who has been a champion of the parks expansion, said in a release. “These spaces offer our neighborhood a place to breath and to enjoy peace and solitude. They are treasures and each addition makes the whole network of parks and open spaces more valuable.”
Hunts Point Landing is one of five projects underway from the first phase of the South Bronx Greenway master plan, which represent a $48 million total investment by the city. EDC is currently seeking proposals for a food vendor to open up shop, too. It’s not a bad spot for business either, since the famous produce market is here, as well as a new green roof the EDC is working on. At approximately 200,000 square feet, the rooftop has the potential to accommodate what could be one of the largest rooftop farms in the world. And for a bit more of that aquatic flavor, there’s the New Fulton Fish Market next door.
“Hunts Point Landing is a perfect example of the Bloomberg Administration’s vision for reactivating waterfront properties, both in the South Bronx and across the City,” EDC president Seth Pinsky said. “Thanks to our many dedicated partners in the local community, we have been able to transform what was once a dead-end street into publicly-accessible open space with exciting amenities for local residents and workers to enjoy.”
And then everyone went for a paddle.