Opening up East Harlem’s waterfront to the community was one of the promises made in the recently approved rezoning of East Harlem, now the city is looking to deliver on that promise. On Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced a $101 million commitment toward creating a new section of the Manhattan Greenway, between East 125th and East 132nd Streets.
Today’s news follows the city’s $100 million commitment toward the East River Greenway section between East 53rd Street and East 61st Streets, that the mayor announced in April.
“This investment in the East Harlem Greenway gap means a brand new waterfront park for neighborhood kids and residents, and gets us closer to a decades-long goal of completing the amazing Manhattan Greenway,” said de Blasio, in a statement. “New York is a city of parks and communities, and our focus is improving both.”
Of the total allocated funds, $83 million will go toward creating a seven-acre park, and pedestrian and bicycle paths along the seven-block stretch. The rest of the funds will go toward making repairs on an existing section of the waterfront esplanade between East 96th and East 125th Streets.
The city’s Parks Department will work in conjunction with its Economic Development Corporation to begin the design process, and the environmental review to get the ball rolling on this project. The city has already begun a community engagement process that will inform the design of this new park. Construction is expected to get underway in 2020, and wrap up sometime in 2023.
“Every step toward ‘closing the loop’ with the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway is a reason to celebrate – and the East Harlem Greenway link is cause for some major cheering,” said NYC Parks Commission Mitchell Silver. “This crucial seven-acre stretch of all-new parkland will give East Harlem residents a new place to exercise, play, and relax, and will bring all New Yorkers closer to their waterfront.”