Steiner Studios discusses play area plans to CB 7

Steiner Studios representatives made an appearance during a Community Board 7 meeting to get input on the play area that is coming to Bush Terminal Piers Park.

After a long process, the Brooklyn-based soundstage operator was selected to be the developer of the new film and television studio project on First Avenue from 43rd to 51st streets.

“We’re committed to build a playground in the park,” said Steiner Studios Chairman Doug Steiner. “We want to get a feel for the committee and what most of the people want so we know what to design.”

Gullivar Shepard of landscape designer Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc., who will design the play area, asked for suggestions from community members.

“You have several parks in this community, and we wanted to hear from you about what’s out there and what’s most popular,” he said.

He mentioned that they want to preserve what locals already enjoy about the park and asked if the location for the play area is optimal.

“We think there are a lot of strong points as a location, having designed many playgrounds in many cities,” Shepard added. “It’s adjacent to restrooms, drinking fountains and park entrance. It’s very good that it’s very visible and it’s not tucked away in a corner.”

Slides were shown of other playgrounds that encourage different types of sensory play,  such as talking tubes, dance chimes, turning stones and an oversized xylophone.

CB 7 members had several questions and suggestions.

“One of the problems that I saw from the beginning is parking,” said Cynthia Gonzalez. “You can’t really expect seniors to walk there and all the way through regardless of the access area.”

Steiner assured her that parking spots would be included for the park.

Renderings of where the proposed play area will be located at Bush Terminal Piers Park.

“We’re also going to finish the parts of the park that were never done,” he said. “This  community has been waiting over 20 years for this park, and unfortunately when it was created, there was environmental contamination that had to be remedied.”

Pat Ruiz asked if the play area would be wheelchair-accessible.

Both Steiner and Shepard said it would be accessible, but the specifics won’t be revealed until they receive community input on what the playground should be.

Parent Stacy Boyd reached out to parents at PTA from her son’s school to find some suggestions.

“More than a dozen people wanted a nature exploration area like the Zucker Natural Exploration Area in Prospect Park,” she said.

Alexa Avlies suggested that they receive input from children and create unique areas for children with special needs.

“I have heard from some parents to have dedicated spaces for children with special needs where they can feel safe to be in their full glory of who they are, and their families are welcome,” she said.

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