April 10, By Christian Murray
The areas located under the 40th Street and 46th Street subway stations—once known for pigeons, dirty newspaper stands and food vendors– are in for a makeover.
Sunnyside Shines, through a program with the Department of Transportation, will be converting these areas into plazas—through the NYC Plaza Program.
The program provides the BID with the ability to design a new space under the two stations in consultation with the community.
The designs can incorporate features such as planters, bike racks, benches and moveable tables and chairs. The plazas are also likely to be transformed into public gathering spaces.
A public meeting is scheduled for April 30 (see details below) so the public can put forward ideas on both locations.
The DOT, which will fund the design and construction of the plazas, will provide the BID and community with a professional team of designers to formalize the plans.
The program follows the BID’s application to be part of the program last year.
“We are thrilled to bring this innovative program to Sunnyside,” said Sunnyside Shines executive director Rachel Thieme. “We look forward to making these spaces more vibrant.”
Sunnyside’s application included 13 letters of support from community stakeholders—such as elected officials, business owners, property owners, residents and community organizations.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who was an advocate for the program, said: “I am proud that we were able to successfully secure not one but two public plazas for Sunnyside.”
Construction is expected to begin this summer. Sunnyside Shines will be in charge of maintaining the plazas.
State Sen. Mike Gianaris said Sunnyside’s inclusion in the plaza program endorses the fact that the neighborhood has become a destination.
Community Outreach meeting:
Date: Wednesday, April 30
Time: 6:30 pm
Location: Sunnyside Community Services Center (43-13 39th Street, Sunnyside)