Thursday, July 02, 2009

"Replacement of parks in (slow) motion" NY Daily News 7/1/9

Replacement of parks in (slow) motion

Wednesday, July 1st 2009, 10:44 AM
Locals still waiting for the replacement parks promised when construction of the new Yankee Stadium destroyed the old ones got a dog-and-pony show last week, but not a lot of good news.

While the new Stadium was completed on schedule, locals are still waiting for completion of all the promised replacement parkland.

"The period keeps getting dragged out," certified city planner and stadium critic Lukas Herbert told city officials at a community briefing meeting on Wednesday.

"In the meantime, kids have no place to play."

Bronx Parks Commissioner Hector Aponte said the city was doing everything it could to complete the parks as soon as possible.

Aponte estimated the parks would be completed by either the fall or end of 2010.

He and officials from the city Economic Development Corp. presented slides showing what the finished green spaces would look like.

The New Macombs Dam Park, being built on the roof of a parking garage, is now partially open. A synthetic turf field has been laid down, along with a synthetic running track.

Aponte said the department hoped to have the planned tennis courts and permanent running track completed later this year.
The community has been eagerly awaiting the approximately 22 acres of new parks for the last three years.

In the city's original plans, most of the replacement parks were scheduled to be open by now. But construction has gone through several delays and none of the parks - most being built on the roofs of stadium parking garages - have been completed.

All the seats in the old Yankee Stadium have now been removed, and are being sold by the Yankees, Aponte said, while demolition is scheduled to begin soon on the side of the stadium running along 157th St.

The design for Heritage Field, to be built once the old stadium is plowed under, is now 50% completed.

To better feature the stadium's history, two pieces of the frieze - the decorative wooden grating that rings the House that Ruth Built - will be incorporated as a part of the future field's Little League ballfield.


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