Curbed was poking around on the Williamsburg waterfront and noticed the incredible progress on the state park property at Kent Avenue between North 7th and North 9th in Williamsburg, and the fact that people were working there on a Sunday. An email from a tipster confirms that East River State Park will be opening by mid- to late-July. (The tipster went right to the source and asked a construction worker.) The state hasn't posted any information about it yet, and the park has a convoluted history. At one point, it was supposed to be larger than its current 7 acres, but parcels have been sold off.
Whether lightening-fast opening of the park is an attempt to make nice with residents who might be peeved about the 40 story highrises that have broken ground next door, we don't know. Writes our neighborhood source:
They've been adding truckloads of topsoil for months, and a couple weeks back, they began planting (albeit scrawny) trees on the site. They removed a ton of brush and weeds from the site - and a makeshift skatepark, although curiously, a large portion of the site remains bare concrete. The location was formerly the Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal, where in the pre-bridge and -tunnel late 1800s ALL rail cargo to Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island was unloaded from barge-ferried rail cars from New Jersey. At North 5th there's a remaining "floating rail dock" that will probably be removed when The Edge development gets underway...The construction worker I spoke to said the park would probably open in "mid to late July." We await more news as to the fate of Hipster Beach and, maybe, some nice drawings. Meantime, more photos and info after the jump.
· Williamsburg Getting Edgy, But Not the Way You Think [Curbed]
· Williamsburg Waterfront: Where's the Help? [Gowanus Lounge]
· PDF of early East River Park plan [Community Board 1]
These are some of the rail lines that run through the park property, remnants of a huge rail freight operation that once operated on the Bburg waterfront.
There's plenty of signage on Kent Avenue warning people to keep out, but no information about the park that's coming.
Clearly, it's a new era on the Billburg waterfront. Those are NY State Troopers patrolling the park property, courtesy of flickr photographer Runs with Scissors.
Not sure how this is going to turn all green and shady by late July, but this photo shot by our tipster captures the size of the new waterfront playground.
We leave you with one last look at the park site and its newly planted little trees. Get those lawn chairs ready for the summer opening.