Design plans for the $4.5 million rehabilitation and reconstruction of Bensonhurst’s Lt. Joseph Petrosino Park, 71st Street and 16th Avenue, have been officially released.
A plan that heavily weighed on the opinions of community members, the park’s new design – which will feature new basketball courts, a playground, spray shower, adult fitness equipment, fencing, lighting, benches, synthetic turf, sidewalk and green infrastructure – has been unanimously supported by Community Board 11, says District Manager Marnee Elias-Pavia.
Included in the Mayor’s Community Parks Initiative (CPI) – the goals of which are to “create a park system that is fairer to the needs of all New Yorkers, and to engage members of the community with the development and care of their parks,” according to the city’s Parks Department – the proposed design for Lt. Petrosino Playground was presented by Parks to the board in early September.
“A public scoping meeting was held last April, which was well attended,” said Elias-Pavia. “The proposed design reflects many of the suggestions heard at the scoping meeting. The board unanimously adopted a resolution in support of the design.”
The April 19 meeting saw attendance from a wide variety of residents ranging from local elected officials to parents to their (very enthusiastic) children.
Ideas including the relocation of the basketball courts to fit more on site were heard along with the introduction of more appealing features for youngsters and shady seating for others near the water fountain. The requests were representative of the wide range of residents in the area.
“The approved redesign of Lt. Joseph Petrosino Park is truly astounding,” said Councilmember Vincent Gentile. “Once construction is completed, it will be almost unrecognizable with its vast improvements across the board, including brand new basketball courts, playground equipment and picnic tables among other changes.
“I was extremely pleased to see the park included in the initial phase of the Community Parks Initiative after advocating for its reconstruction for a number of years,” he continued. “The redesign is the culmination of community input and a commitment to the betterment of community parks, no matter how large or small, from the Parks Department and the mayor’s office. I look forward to the groundbreaking in the near future and I am ecstatic that residents in Bensonhurst will be able to enjoy this state-of-the-art park for years to come.”
Open since 1935 and renamed in ‘99 for New York City’s first Italian-American police detective, Lt. Joseph Petrosino Park last saw major renovations in 1993, when $700,000 was spent to renovate the park’s handball courts, basketball courts and playground. This go-around, the renovations will hit almost every square inch of the Bensonhurst park and are scheduled to be completed in April of 2017.
According to NYC Park’s latest update, now that the schematic design has gone through the review process internally at Parks and through the community board, it will go through “external regulatory agencies for comment and approval.”