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Bronx's Historic Orchard Beach Pavilion Could Get $40M Facelift

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A large-scale redevelopment of the Orchard Beach Pavilion at Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx could be underway soon, the Bronx Borough President, Ruben Diaz, Jr. announced as part of his "State of the Borough" address on Thursday. The Real Deal was the first to report on the redevelopment project that is estimated to cost about $40 million.

Diaz has earmarked $10 million of his capital budget for the efforts.

"We need first-rate concessions, performance spaces and the ability to host top-notch events," Diaz said in a press release. "We need to create jobs and rebuild Orchard Beach's historic pavilion as the economic engine it once was and could be again."

The pavilion and the beach itself were commissioned by Robert Moses when he took over as the Parks Commissioner in 1934. It opened to much fanfare and controversy in 1936 for perhaps being a bit too grandiose at the time, according to a New York Times feature on the pavilion. Built as a bathing complex, the pavilion featured 5,000 lockers, and a 500-seat restaurant when it opened. The pavilion was landmarked in 2006, but the structure has gone into disrepair in recent years.

The plan to redevelop the pavilion is part of a larger effort by the Parks Department to renovate all of Orchard Beach, an endeavor that is expected to cost anywhere between $150 million to $200 million, according to TRD.

Some of the other development-related highlights from Diaz's "State of the Borough" speech included his continued opposition to the Mayor's zoning proposals, Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) and Zoning for Quality and Affordability (ZQA). Since he took office in 2009, 23,000 new units of housing have been added over 68 million square feet of development, according to a press release issued by his office. The borough also received $2 billion in new investment in 2015, Diaz said in his speech.

· Bronx borough president kickstarts $40M redevelopment of Orchard Beach pavilion [TRD]
· A High-Minded Pavilion for a Day on the Sand [NYTimes]