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CB2 Unanimously Approves Public Park At Former Phipps Playground

Phipps Playground at 50-02 39th Ave.

April 6, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez

Community Board 2 unanimously voted to back the city’s acquisition of the former Phipps Playground for a public park in Sunnyside.

The park, at the corner of 39th Avenue and 50th Street, has been vacant for decades, and served as a playground for the neighboring Phipps Housing Complex.

The community has been calling for the city to make the site a public park for years. In 2016, Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer announced that $3 million would go toward the site’s purchase from DBH, the owner.

The city kicked off its month-long ULURP process–which requires the community board, borough president, and city council to vote on the site to be rezoned for park use– in February. Once the matter goes through all parties, the city can then purchase the site and begin to work on it.

Several Sunnyside Gardens residents, where the former Phipps Playground site is located, were at last night’s Community Board 2 meeting to show solidarity for the effort.

“Since 2009—nine years and counting—we’ve worked with over 300 Woodsiders, Sunnysiders, and neighbors from afar to reopen this historic parkland,” said Herbert Reynolds, President of the Sunnyside Gardens Preservation Alliance. “We’re very grateful for the demonstrative support.”

While the community board’s vote was only to approve the city’s acquisition of the space, some board members spoke to the park’s upcoming design and features. Many called for the park, at about 10,000 square feet, to be a passive space. Some asked about a comfort station and playground equipment for children.

Lisa Deller, Chair of Community Board 2’s Land Use Committee, reminded the board that conversations and votes about the park’s design can occur once the city finishes its ULURP process.

NYC Parks will work on the park’s design in conjunction with the community board and local stakeholders, according to Jose Lopez, Deputy Director of Parkland and Real Estate for NYC Parks, who was at the meeting last night.

The site is one of the last depression-era playgrounds remaining citywide. Remnants of the old park, like a shed and swings, are still seen today.

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27 Comments

51st Street Parent

Only a matter of days before Richie from Phipps and the other neighborhood drunks take it over.

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GrumpToast

A place to sit and relax in peace and quiet please. Take your kids to a playground and the strollers too. Not every park is ment for screaming children.

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Beenthere

I hope the clay tennis courts are restored. That park was maintained by local residents who volunteered their time to do some type of maintenance work at least one day per week in exchange for membership to the park. Their were people who signed up to, garden the grounds, or wet down the tennis courts in the morning, etc. Everyone pitched in in one way or another.

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Clammin Scammy from Miami

This should be a small relaxing park with benches… For people. No dog run, etc. If you own a dog or a car in nyc i really dont feel sorry for your plight.

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Anonymous

Make it a bookie joint with card games. Take all kinds of action. Horses, football, baseball, basketball even soccer for the guys from out of the country. Make everyone happy and make money. Have a nice girl serving drinks. Very nice idea.

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Selvin Gootar

The residents of Sunnyside, Woodside, and Sunnyside Gardens are happy that the Community Board approved the construction of a community park on the site of the former Phipps playground on 50th street and 39th avenue. The idea of many in the neighborhood would be for this free park to be open to the public (as opposed to a yearly fee required for membership at Sunnyside Gardens Park a block away). Moms could bring their strollers and their kids, and people could relax on benches and read a newspaper with a cup of coffee. There’s no need for a dog run or a playground (there’s a dog run and a playground at Lou Lodati Park on Skillman and 43rd avenue). This type of park would be great for the neighborhood.

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LIC RESIDENT CONCERNED

Wake up Selvin, That’s why there are no drunks hanging out/sleeping, drinking and urinating in the private sunnyside garden park, becuase it’s private! Wake up this park will be like the others in the area invaded by the neighborhood drunks that occupy the area parks and occupy the sunnyside library and just sit there all day when it’s cold outside, not reading a book either.

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Dan

What are the chances that it can be an open grass field? There are far too many playgrounds, turf fields, basketball courts in this city. It’s nice to have a grass field where people can hang out like Astoria Park or run around and play soccer or some other field sports.

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LIC Neighbor

Why not build the 1st of the 90 permanent Bill DiBlasio Homeless Shelter on that site? Much needed in that community which has none.

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Withheld

Nice the other side of the Blvd gets a park, on this side of the Blvd we get homeless shelters. Now to Lisa Deller, Chair of Community Board 2’s Land Use Committe. All these hotels that have been built in recent years and the ones approved and the ones on the drawing board, which have and will be converted to homeless shelters have passed through her desk. Any new plans for hotels to be built should be halted immediately. She has been involved with a Network of Non-for profits and guess what? she is VP at NEF a company which secures financing for REAL ESTATE projects and not for profits. Have any of these projects which she has reviewed as Chair of Land Use at CB2 been these hotels which are then converted into homeless shelter hotels? Has her company financed any of these projects? I can mention at least four new hotels built during her and JVB tenure that are now Homeless Shelters. She is sitting on the Land Use commitee which recommends approval of these new developments in LIC/hotels which are then coverted to shelters. She is VP of the National Equity Fund an institution which lends money to RE developers. How many of these new deveopments have been funded by NEF in CB2? Has she used her posititon on CB2 Land Use Commitee to generate business and facilitate funding through her company to RE developers building hotels within CB2? This all smells of impropriety. They (JVB/Lisa Deller) don’t care for the people in Blissville.

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middle aged white man

shoulda put the historic aluminaire house here when we had the chance!

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Tree of Liberty

The city’s priority should be making this a doggy park. The poor dogs in nyc with the leash
law, requiring dogs to be on a leash no more than six feet long. It’s sad… let’s build some doggy parks. This space is perfect. All that needs to be done is to put some grass and a couple of fire hydrants.

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Carbie Barbie

What a missed opportunity. This could have been seven or eight parking spots.

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Carbie Barbie

I would suggest your standards of nasty need adjustment. Also, if you’re hoping to find light in an internet comment section, I’m afraid you’ve come to the wrong place.

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Anonymous

Making this space a multistory parking garage would actually be very useful, therefore it will never happen.

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Sally G

Very nice. Needs to be benches for sitting and relaxing and maybe a small, younger children’s playground. There are residents right there and keep noise low. No handball courts or basketball courts etc. WE DO NOT WANT IT TO BE THAN HANG OUT FOR THE TEENAGERS COMING FROM THE NEW MIDDLE SCHOOL A FEW BLOCKS AWAY!

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Sally G

I had a friend once. Then I had to drop out of school. I NEVER GOT TO GO TO MIDDLE SCHOOL. CHILDREN SCARE ME!

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