BRONX, NY – Mayor Bill de Blasio joined Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., U.S. Representative Eliot Engel, Senator Jamaal Bailey, Assembly Member Michael Benedetto, Council Member Andy King, and Riverbay Corporation President Linda Berk to announce the City’s will develop 1.4 acres of new parkland, donated by the Co-op City cooperative management company, Riverbay Corporation, to serve residents in and around Co-op City.
“We have seen the power of high-quality community parks to improve health and strengthen communities. I am happy that together with Riverbay co-op board and resident leaders, we are able to do both – and create much-needed waterfront access,” said Mayor de Blasio.
“Each acre we add improves park access and brings us closer to a city in which all New Yorkers live within a walk to a park. In addition to simply bringing more people closer to public space, this new park will also bring new recreational amenities and waterfront greenery to the community,” said Parks Commissioner Silver.
Riverbay Corporation President Linda Berk said, “Thanks to Mayor Bill de Blasio and his administration, I am happy to say that we are finally making ground-breaking progress to develop a beautiful waterfront park in Co-op City that families will be able to enjoy for generations to come. After 50 years of having this area fenced off, this is welcome news. The Mayor’s Office has been responsive to our requests to provide reciprocal services to offset the expenses Co-op City shareholders have taken on for municipal programs ordinarily provided by the city and we are delighted that we have been able to work together to make advancements in this regard. It is also encouraging that the Mayor’s Office is most concerned that this park is developed based on the desires of the shareholders of this community. We look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship with the administration to preserve and enhance our affordable homes.”
The future park sits on the Hutchinson River adjacent to Co-op City, and just south of Co-op City Field, an NYC Parks site serving local little league teams. Riverbay Corporation will donate the land, and will partner with NYC Parks to maintain and operate the future park, which will serve about 45,000 residents in and around Co-op City.
This new waterfront park will provide sweeping views of Pelham Bay Park, the largest park in New York City. The City will develop waterfront pathways and other recreational amenities, working with the community to determine the best use of the space through a public engagement process. The requirements necessary to complete the donation have been memorialized in a memorandum of donation between NYC Parks and the board representing the residents of Co-op City.
In addition to offering recreational amenities, the park will provide a respite and destination for cyclists using the recently completed on-street Co-Op City Boulevard bicycle route to take in an expansive, 350-foot-long view across the Hutchinson River to the Pelham Bay Wildlife Refuge.
"New parkland is always a welcome addition to our city, and today's announcement of a new park in Co-op City is a victory for the entire borough. I congratulate Mayor de Blasio, his administration and the Riverbay Corporation for working together on this agreement for the greater good of Co-op City and The Bronx," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
“As a former Co-op City resident, I know firsthand the potential that lies in our waterfront,” said U.S. Representative Eliot Engel. “By developing new park lands on that waterfront, the City is unlocking some of that potential, while taking a positive step forward for the community. Our borough is rich in natural beauty, and the more that can be done to ensure that beauty is accessible to all is welcome. I appreciate the partnership between the Co-op City Board and the Mayor’s office, whom together have found a unique way to develop this green space. I am excited for this project and look forward to its completion.”
"Thank you to Mayor Bill DeBlasio and the Riverbay Corporation for joining forces in the development of the waterfront park. The construction of the 1.4 acres of parkland by the Mayor's office is a great investment for the residents of Co-op City and the Bronx. This additional parkland will greatly benefit Co-op City, one of the most unique and diverse communities in New York City, housing over 45,000 residents. It will provide an array of recreational amenities which will benefit all the residents of the community, including views of Pelham Bay Park, access to little league games that support our youth and additional green space," said State Senator Jamaal Bailey.
"I am extremely happy to see that the city and Riverbay have agreed on developing the park,” said Assembly Member Michael Benedetto. “I have been working on this initiative for some time now, and it is satisfying to see it come to fruition. Congratulations and thank you, Mayor De Blasio.”
“I want to thank Mayor de Blasio for his continued investment in our community. I’m especially pleased that the Riverbay Corporation envisioned this to be such a worthy project to donate the 1.4 acres and will partner with NYC Parks to maintain it,” said Council Member Andy King. "The new waterfront park ideal for our area and will encourage Co-op City residents of all ages to become more physically active, while enjoying its serenity and peaceful composition.”
“As a 25 year resident of Co-op City and Chairman of Bronx Community Board #10, seeing the development of the waterfront park finally realized after many years of campaigning is a joyful moment. I would like to say thank you to the de Blasio administration and the Riverbay Board for this accomplishment on behalf of my neighbors,” said Martin Prince, Chair of Bronx Community Board 10.