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City seeks designs for Inwood waterfront parks

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The city seeks proposals for a pair of parks along the Harlem River as part of the Inwood rezoning

Nathan Kensinger

The city seeks design proposals for a pair of waterfront parks along the Harlem River as part of the de Blasio administration’s Inwood rezoning, the NYC Economic Development Corporation announced Monday.

City officials released a request for proposals for a consultant to envision two new parks at North Cove and Academy Street, with the goal of improving the area’s parkland and waterfront access, according to NYCEDC. The project is a boon to a community in dire need of accessible green space, said Inwood’s New York City Council member.

“Parks are not a luxury item, they are a part of a quality life,” said City Council member Ydanis Rodriguez. “For too long this portion of my district has been missing the access it deserves.”

The city has committed $41 million toward the new Academy Street green space, which would run from Tenth Avenue to the waterfront along the northern side of Sherman Creek Inlet in an area that has been closed off to the public for years. A new two-acre park, known as the Sherman Creek Malécon Park, would connect with the Harlem River Greenway to the south at Tenth Avenue and link to a planned esplanade to be built by developers along the Harlem River waterfront. It will also encompass the triangle formed by Academy, Tenth Avenue, and West 201st Street, and the east side of Tenth Avenue from the intersection of Dyckman Street and Harlem River Drive to Academy Street.

A mix of “hardscaped esplanade and landscaped passive recreation areas” is anticipated for the design, along with other amenities such as picnic and barbecue areas, lawns, a bike path, and opportunities for water activities including fishing and kayaking.

On the other hand, the project at North Cove—a natural inlet on the Harlem River south of the 207th Street rail yard—aims to enhance the “ecological resource and complement it with strategically-placed areas for public access,” according to a press release. The city will invest $9 million for North Cove to remain natural with ecological restoration and protection.

At the moment, the cove has an eroded rubble shoreline and mudflats with numerous pile fields—clusters of aging, wooden fragments that remain from bygone piers. Consultants brought into design the North Cove green space would also need to coordinate with the adjacent private development immediately to the south of North Cove, which is currently in conceptual design.

Once a designer is selected for the parks, NYCEDC and NYC Parks will gather input from the community on the design beginning in late 2019. Completion of the parks is expected by the end of 2022.

NYCEDC will host an information session on the request for proposals on February 19. Designs are due on March 14. Those interested in submitting a proposal and attending next week’s meeting should contact inwooddesignrfp@edc.nyc.