FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Parks Cuts Ribbon On Mill Pond Park Along Harlem River
As Part Of Yankee Stadium Redevelopment Project, New 10-Acre Waterfront Park Opens
On Formerly Decayed Industrial Waterfront
Commissioner Benepe today joined Deputy Bronx Borough President Aurelia Greene, Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo, Council Member Helen Diane Foster, Assembly Member Vanessa Gibson, NYC Economic Development Corporation Tokumbo Shobowale and Parks Committee Chair of Community Board 4 D. Lee Ezell, to cut the ribbon on Mill Pond Park, a new 10-acre waterfront park created along the Harlem River. Students from The Performance School and Cardinal Hayes High School attended, and the Bronx-based dance group A Perfect Imperfection (which has been featured on the NBC show America’s Got Talent) performed.
“Mill Pond Park is the first very significant City park to open on the Bronx bank of the Harlem River,” said Commissioner Benepe. “We are thrilled to bring increased green space and new, state-of-the-art recreational amenities to this community at Mill Pond Park. The City is delivering on its promise to replace every inch of parkland displaced by the construction of the new Yankee Stadium in the South Bronx.”
As part of the Yankee Stadium Redevelopment Project, the City invested $64 million in funds to transform this decayed industrial waterfront into a lush new ten-acre park featuring picnic & grass areas, overlooks with waterfront views, sixteen Deco Turf tennis courts, and an esplanade to unite the site (Deco Turf is the surface used on tennis courts at the world's most prestigious events including the Olympic Games and the U.S. Open). The park also rehabilitated a sea wall, four piers, and the river’s edge. Other amenities include an outdoor classroom, two water runnels, children’s spray showers, and a sand play area. Landscaped plantings line the ADA-accessible pathways throughout the park.
Parks will operate the sixteen tennis courts at Mill Pond Park during the outdoor tennis season, which runs from early April to late November. All courts are open to the public for the remainder of the 2009 outdoor season. Parks is currently reviewing responses to a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a concessionaire to install a bubble over 12 tennis courts, operate the enclosed tennis courts with option for other indoor sports during the winter season, and manage a year-round indoor/outdoor café. When a tennis concessionaire is selected, that vendor will manage and operate the tennis courts during the winter months, allowing the public to play on the courts year-round.
In December, Parks plans to unveil the newly-restored historic 25,800-square-foot Power House building in Mill Pond Park. Ultimately this LEED certified building will include a green roof with plantings visible from the nearby Major Deegan Expressway, space on the first floor for Parks Department operations, a café operated by a future concessionaire and a tennis locker room. The Parks Department will seek an operator to develop 12,900 square feet of space for public programming on the building’s second floor. The public restrooms in the Power House are currently open to the public.
Upon petition in 1813, Robert Macomb was granted permission by the Legislature to erect a dam across the Harlem River from Bussing's Point in Manhattan to Devoe's Point in Westchester, making the Harlem River and Spuyten Duyvil Creek a large mill pond – or body of water used as a reservoir for a water-powered mill – to furnish power for milling purposes. Visitors can learn about the history of the site through signage that will be installed in the park over the coming months.
For more information about new parks associated with the Yankee Stadium Redevelopment Project, visit www.nyc.gov/parks.
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