A few changes will be taking place in various parts of NYC. From fountains being transformed to new water features and developments bringing learning opportunities to local residents, here is a look at a few of the changes coming to NYC.
World’s Fair Fountains to Become New Attractions in Queens Park
Fountains dating back to the 1964 World’s Fair will soon be getting an upgrade in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. According to reports, the NYC Parks Department is working with the Quennell Rothschild & Partners architecture firm to reconstruct the fountains into a “mist garden” and other new attractions for the Queens park.
Located on the south side of Unisphere, the Fountains of the Fair were constructed specifically for the 1965-’65 World’s Fair. While the fountains were the star attraction of the event, they have since fallen into disrepair. The fountains were later damaged further by Hurricane Sandy. The $5 million renovation project will bring new purpose to three of the empty fountains. The Reflecting Pool will be transformed into a “mist garden” with jets releasing sprays of water resembling fog rising from the ground. The center fountain will become a sunken performance space with lawn seating and the large found will become an area for water play featuring spray showers.
The fountain project, which is meant to provide park visitors with a fun and safe place to cool down, will be completed in phases. The first phase will begin later this year, with the other two phases starting shortly thereafter. Other projects planned for the park include renovating the World’s Fair Marina and fixing the Meadow Lake promenade.
Union Square Tech Hub Gains Approval
Despite opposition from some local residents, the Union Square Tech Training Center has received crucial approval to move forward. Formerly referred to as the Tech Hub, plans for the building involve replacing the P.C. Richards & Sons building on East 14th Street with a 21-story building designed to bring affordable digital skill training to the area. The building will also feature office space for startups along with traditional office space on the upper levels. Other features will include a retail and market area operated by Urbanspace on the ground floor.
Among those residents who were concerned about the new building, the biggest concern was zoning. Namely, residents hoped for zoning protections to be put in place for the surrounding area. While residents support the idea of bringing a training center to the area, they are concerned it will open the door for new developments in the area, particularly along Third and Fourth avenues.
The tech hub is being developed by RAL Development Services and various partners. These include Civic Hall, which is a tech non-profit that will run the digital center, and Urbanspace, which will operate the food hall. As of right now, the developers have approval to build a 14-story tower on the site. If they are not approved to go higher, the developers will not have the incentive to include the community benefit aspects of the development.