The city will kick off the final phase of an Emmons Avenue beautification project in the spring, capping off a 10-year rehabilitation of Sheepshead Bay’s waterfront, Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz announced at a press conference today.
Cymbrowitz was joined by Parks Department Brooklyn Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey, Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo, 46th District Leader Mike Geller, Bay Improvement Group President Steve Barrison and Parks Department’s Brooklyn Chief of Staff Martin Maher on Emmons Avenue and Sheepshead Bay Road this afternoon, celebrating the conclusion of a design study that will kick off the construction.
“If you look [at Emmons Avenue west of Ocean Avenue] the area is quite different than the rest of Emmons Avenue. There are several trees, some sidewalk, but that’s about it,” Cymbrowitz said. With construction expected to begin in the spring of 2013, the western portion of the strip will match the east, an area he says is “a lot more relaxing. It’s a terrific area to just sit.”
This latest phase of the project, affecting the water side of Emmons Avenue from Ocean Avenue to East 14th Street, will see improvements including:
- repaired sidewalks
- covered trash bins
- new trees, with granite block pavement in enlarged tree pits
- new curb cuts
- fresh paint on the Bay’s railing
- blue concrete and matching artistic design elements previously installed near the piers, from Ocean Avenue to East 27th Street
- 1964 World’s Fair-style benches
The project will cost $460,000, with all funding provided by a 2008 MultiModal allocation by Cymbrowitz; MultiModal funding may only be used for transportation-related projects.
“Parks benefit from allocations from elected officials, and I have to say it … you’ve been an absolute stalwart in this concept of developing street-scape which is so important as we fight for better access for our open spaces,” Jeffrey told Cymbrowitz. “We hope the action that you’ve taken here will set the precedent for our other elected to start to take a look at the issue of connectivity between our open spaces.”
The project will make the area safer for pedestrians, joggers and senior neighbors, as well as draw more visitors to the neighborhood, Cymbrowitz noted.
“This project not only removes dangerous sidewalk conditions for our seniors, but also makes Emmons Avenue from Ocean Avenue to the end of the Bay more inviting to the public,” Cymbrowitz said.
When construction is finished, the Emmons Avenue street-scape will have seen a complete overhaul over the last decade. Repairs began in 2003, when the city installed new antique-style lights along Emmons Avenue and Shore Boulevard. In 2006, the city completed a similar renovation to the current one, from Ocean Avenue to East 27th Street, adding new benches, sidewalk designs, tree pits and more.
Both the 2003 and 2006 projects were funded by Cymbrowitz.
“People forget, before the time of Steve Cymbrowitz, there were vacant lots … people moving out, no business coming in. Look how wonderful this street has become,” said Geller. “It is a talking point for all of Brooklyn.”
Below is video of the press conference:
([3:15 p.m.] — YouTube appears to be slow in processing the video. It should be up in a few…)