A summer in NYC wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Rockaway Beach, and though parts of Rockaway beach will be closed again this summer, NYC Parks is showing Rockaway Peninsula some love by way of a $33 million makeover.
The $33 million budget includes six different projects, all of which have either been recently completed or are moving through the final stages of construction. From a performance space and playground upgrades to a brand new parkland, all six of the projects are expected to be open for fun this summer.
Of the six projects, three are currently open, including a completely upgraded playground at Beach 59th Street, a new performance space at Beach 94-95th St. Gateway Plaza, and a brand-new Shorefront Labyrinth & Seating Area.
The Beach 59th Street Playground received brand new play equipment, rubber surfaces, and spray showers along with a new shade structure. In addition to the original entrances on Beach 59th and Beach 60th Streets, a new ADA ramp has also been built at the Beach 60th Street entrance.
At the foot of Cross Bay Parkway, just off the Cross Bay Bridge, is the Beach 94-95th Street Gateway Plaza and Performance Space.
This new stage serves as a venue for theatrical and musical performances, community events, and worship services, and even features a large screen for movie screenings.
The brand-new Shorefront Labyrinth & Seating Area serves as an escape from the craziness of NYC.
Located on Shorefront Parkway between Beach 92nd and 94th Streets, the area features a passive recreational area centered on an inlaid labyrinth for contemplative use–i.e. it’s a great place to clear your mind and meditate for a bit. Additional seating, game tables, drinking fountains, and new bike racks also make up the space.
Of the projects set to open soon at Rockaway Peninsula, the Shorefront Parkway Multi-Purpose Area will be the first to do so.
This project will bring new recreational amenities along Shorefront Parkway at Beach 77th Street, including sand volleyball courts, a lawn for playing or relaxing, table tennis tables, and adult fitness equipment.
Improved sidewalks, additional seating, game tables, drinking fountains, bike racks, and new landscaping will also be implemented.
A second playground, this one located at Beach 98th Street, is set to open early this summer.
Designed to suit visitors ranging from tots to seniors, the playground will include an obstacle course, tot play near the beach concession island at 97th Street to allow easy access to the bathrooms, and new shade structures and umbrellas for caregivers and other park-goers.
Lastly, set to open at the end of the summer is Nameoke Park.
Located at the corner of Nameoke Ave. and Augustina Ave., this brand-new park will feature benches and game tables, an adult fitness area, and two play units–one for children ages 2-5 and one for ages 5-12.
A central spray shower will provide a sense of relief from the summer heat, and in the colder months the shower area will serve as a flexible, free-play area.
Three of the Rockaway Peninsula projects have been funded by FEMA through cost savings from the Rockaway Beach boardwalk reconstruction after Hurricane Sandy’s devastation back in 2012.
“Rockaway Beach is one of the city’s premier destinations for sun and fun, and with multiple new park improvement projects opening this summer, Rockaway will be better than ever this year,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue.
“There’s nothing like visiting the beach for a day of fun and relaxation, and I encourage all New Yorkers to come out this summer, take a dip in the water, visit the concessions on the boardwalk, and enjoy these brand-new amenities,” added New York City Mayor Eric Adams.