Mayor Bloomberg Announces Completion of Construction of
Golf Course at Ferry Point Park
192 Acres of Former Municipal Landfill Transformed into World-Class Public Golf Course
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White today joined Jack Nicklaus and Donald J. Trump to announce the completion of the last hole of the Jack Nicklaus Signature, PGA tournament-quality Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point Park. The course is sited on 192 acres at the foot of the Whitestone Bridge in the Throgs Neck section of the Bronx. It is constructed on a former municipal landfill and reflects the City’s continuing commitment to remediate former brownfields and expand the public’s access to the waterfront. This also marks the completion of a complex decommissioning project that has been on the docket for more than 60 years, and fulfillment of a request first made by the local community more than 30 years ago. The Mayor was also joined at the event by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Council Member James Vacca, State Senator Jeffrey Klein, Assembly Member Michael Benedetto, former Council Member Madeline Provenzano, and members of Bronx Community Board 10.
“We have great public courses around the five boroughs, but we’ve never had a pro tournament-quality public course – until now,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Ferry Point Park is just the latest example of our work to reuse and reimagine brownfields around the city. It’s also the culmination of a process that’s been six decades in the making. The new course will bring revenue to the City – and the open space will bring great new opportunities for recreation and relaxation and a beautiful new green space to the Bronx.”
The course was designed by Nicklaus Design and overseen by Sanford Golf Design, with construction managed by the Department of Parks and Recreation. The golf course will be operated by the Trump Organization, under a 20-year concession agreement, and is scheduled to open for youth programming in the summer of 2014 and fully open in the spring of 2015, allowing for time for the grass to grow in completely. When it opens, the 7,365-yard, links-style course will include a practice facility, as well as a rain shelter, comfort station and snack bar constructed by the Department of Design and Construction.
“With the development of Ferry Point Park, we are transforming a former municipal landfill and one of the City’s largest pieces of undeveloped parkland into a world-class, public golf course," said Parks Commissioner White. “Thanks to Mayor Bloomberg, we have created and restored parks across the five boroughs, and this project is part of the more than $5 billion that has already been invested. The golf course will provide Bronx residents and New Yorkers with a unique recreational amenity, and offer a new opportunity to showcase the borough on the national stage."
“I think Ferry Point will be a tremendous golf experience,” Nicklaus said. “I’ve been asked to create something that is world-class, a source of pride for New York City, and if they wanted to hold a national or international event, a course that will be a strong golf course from the back tees. Most important, the course needs to service the needs of those in the Metropolitan New York area who hopefully will play Ferry Point. Ferry Point was created to be a unique public golf experience and it is our collective hope that the golf course will add to New York City’s global reputation, enhance New York’s reputation for quality golf, and give the proud residents of New York City a place to play and call home. Donald Trump has a deep-rooted love for New York City and he deserves a great deal of credit for getting Ferry Point to the finish line and for delivering it to the golfers and golf fans of New York. If you are going to have a golf course that has the ability to host a high-profile national or international event, you have to have some spice in it,” Nicklaus added. “Our goal as a public golf course is to have it play well on a daily basis and serve the needs of those golfers who visit Ferry Point. But when asked to host an event, we believe we have the ability to move to the back tees, hide the pins, and create a test of golf fitting of any tournament or championship.”
“The Trump Organization is pleased and honored that we have been designated as the operator of this great golf course,” said Trump. “I am very happy to have helped our city get Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point built and open. The selection of our organization represents a unique opportunity for the residents of the City of New York. For the first time, New York City golfers will reap the benefits of a world class golfing experience unlike any other. Our portfolio of golf courses are the finest and most sought after properties worldwide. They are considered to have the highest standards in landscaping, golf course design, and management. We will bring this same level of quality to Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point and as a result we fully expect it to be recognized as one of the top golf courses in the United States and indeed, the world. The true beneficiaries will be the residents of the Bronx and the entire city. Many major championships will be played here--- bringing millions of dollars to the city coffers. This will be a great asset to the wonderful world of golf and, most importantly, to New York City and all of its citizens.”
“This forthcoming golf course will be a major amenity to our borough, transforming a blighted site into a world class golf course that will attract visitors from across not just the region, but the world,” said Bronx Borough President Diaz. “That Donald Trump is willing to lend his significant brand name to our borough shows that we are, indeed, building the ‘New Bronx.’”
“I'm thrilled that the long-awaited development of this golf course is finally a reality," said Congressman Joe Crowley. “The addition of the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point Park is not only a boon to the Throggs Neck community but to the entire City of New York. It is a true testament to the City's commitment to rehabilitate our waterfronts and expand open space for all New Yorkers. This world-class golf course is yet another thing the people of the Bronx can be proud of!”
“For decades, plans to revitalize Ferry Point Park were stalled,” said State Senator Klein. “As the Bronx nears its 100th anniversary, we celebrate a new chapter for Ferry Point Park with its world-class golf course, community park and coastal vistas. The completion of this project is yet another sign that the Bronx is on the rise, attracting interest and investment from the private and public sectors.”
“For years there was only light at the end of the tunnel, but now we see the golf course, which was originally conceived in 1978, at the brink of reality,” said Council Member Vacca. “I was the Community Board Chairman at the time and we knew this idea was the best use of Ferry Point Park - but we had a lot of convincing to do and a lot of red tape to cut through. We are here today to finally proclaim success."
The 7,365-yard layout provides two “returning nines” that meander through grass dunes reminiscent of the links courses of Scotland and Ireland. The course’s dunes are designed to frame views and funnel steady breezes to challenge any player. All of the golf holes require a balance of strategy and power, and while each hole will be unique, they all maintain a unified look and feel. Multiple tees will allow golfers of all levels to enjoy an unforgettable experience, yet the course is still designed to provide a great challenge to advanced players.
Reflecting the City’s commitment to green infrastructure, the golf course was sustainably designed and responsibly constructed. The course’s contours were largely shaped with recycled schist rock, excavated as part of the 2nd Avenue Subway and East Side Access projects. The course uses a state-of-the-art irrigation system that also can be used to distribute fertilizer. Its drainage areas feed back into the course and its roughs are planted with native, drought-tolerant fescue grasses, reducing its overall water consumption to approximately one-quarter of that of an average course. With the site’s former use as a landfill, construction was completed under a permit from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and with the aid of an independent environmental consultant. A vent trench around the site’s perimeter was constructed to allow landfill gasses to harmlessly dissipate, with monitoring wells to allow regular readings of sub-surface conditions.
The course will be operated and maintained by the Trump Organization, selected though a 2010 request for proposals. As part of their agreement with the City, Trump will be spending a minimum of $10 million constructing a new publicly-owned clubhouse for the course, in addition to their concession fees. Construction on the clubhouse is expected to start early next year.
At 222 acres, the eastern portion of Ferry Point Park is one of the largest pieces of undeveloped parkland in New York City. As part of the development of the park, the City is also constructing two new parks – a 10-acre community playground and park, and a 19.5-acre waterfront park. The community playground and park, which opened in phases in 2011 and 2012, include ball fields, basketball courts and playground equipment. Visitors to the site can walk along paths that circumnavigate the park’s ponds and through areas planted with wildflowers and native grasses. A new comfort station is currently being built. The building will house public restrooms and includes planted green walls that will provide shade and reduce heating and cooling needs. The 19.5-acre waterfront park project, which will include the creation of new tidal wetland to provide wildlife habitat and stormwater capture, is currently being designed.
Ferry Point Golf Course will host free, youth golf instruction through the City Parks Foundation (CPF). First offered in 1999, the CPF golf program offers free lessons in driving, pitching and putting to kids of all abilities, and in 2013, the program reached nearly 4,000 kids citywide. More information about the City Parks Foundation’s work and partnership with NYC Parks can be found at cityparksfoundation.org.
The land on which Ferry Point Park was built was part of the Throgmorton Grant of 1642, and was farmed by a series of families through the next two centuries. In 1850 the land was purchased by shipping magnate Augustus diZerega and tobacco manufacturer Jacob Lorillard. It was acquired by the City in 1937. The property took its name from the ferries that traveled though the area during the early 20th century. In 1948, an additional 72 acres were acquired by condemnation. Over the next eighteen years, the Department of Sanitation used Ferry Point Park as a municipal waste importation site. Fill operations ceased at Ferry Point East in the 1960s, and the site was covered and left to naturalize. The City’s long history of providing public golf courses began in July of 1895, with the opening of the country’s first municipal golf course in Van Cortlandt Park. Ferry Point is the New York City’s 14th public golf course, and its first tournament-quality course.