Mayor Michael Bloomberg invited city residents last week to leave a permanent mark on a new open space at Queens Plaza as the project to improve the major hub of transportation in Long Island City nears completion.
Up until Oct. 26, city residents have a chance to submit to the city Economic Development Corp. potential names for the Long Island City open space that has been created at the intersection of Queens Plaza and Northern and Queens boulevards.
This part of the neighborhood is at the entrance to the Ed Koch-Queensboro Bridge and a short walk from skyscrapers with offices for both private businesses and government entities.
“Everyone knows that New Yorkers are full of opinions, so who better to ask to come up with a great name for the greatest new open space in Queens?” Bloomberg said in a statement.
The area on the east side of Queens Plaza has undergone significant changes since ground broke on the project in August 2009. The first phase of the project, which is near completion, has redirected traffic on Queens Plaza, added trees, installed bike lanes and turned the former JFK Commuter Lot, which is at the intersection of the plaza and the boulevards, into an open green space.
The first phase of the Queens Plaza renovation has cost more than $45 million. The second phase will encompass the area between 21st Street and the East River waterfront at Queens Plaza and will cost about $15 million.
“This is a much-needed improvement to Queens Plaza that will improve the quality of life in and around the area,” said Joseph Conley, chairman of Community Board 2, in a statement.
The EDC is asking for submissions that reflect the site history, neighborhood, natural environment or location. Names of individuals and corporations are not allowed, the EDC said. Residents of all ages can enter their suggestions.
“I’m delighted that the city is soliciting suggestions from the public for the name of the new park in Queens Plaza,” U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) said in a statement. “This park will serve the community and should be named by the community.”
The winner of the contest will be announced during a ribbon-cutting for the first phase of the project, when a permanent sign for marking the open space will be unveiled. The first phase of the project is expected to be completed a few weeks after the contest ends.
Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cn
©2011 Community News Group
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