Ederle Terrace concessionaire still unnamed in Flushing Meadows Corona Park
by Andrew Shilling
Jan 08, 2014 | 804 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Several weeks after the Department of Parks and Recreation first announced they were in bidding negotiations over the concessions at Ederle Terrace in Flushing Meadows Corona Park (FMCP), some community groups say they were left out of the process.

Owners under the name of their Jamaica-based gas station, S & F Petro, were named the new concessionaires for the space back in early November 2013, however the Parks Department is still in the midst of negotiating a legal agreement over the bid.

In addition to an estimated $13.5 million for redevelopment of the now-vacant terrace, the request for proposal (RFP) for the new concessions include plans for revitalization like an outdoor concert venue, waterfront café and the revival of the boat rentals at Meadow Lake.

Although Glen Kaalund, project manager with the Parks Department, said he does not have an exact date when more information about the newly awarded concessionaire can be revealed, he is optimistic about the awards process and future of the park.

“We don’t want to create any expectations that we will be 100 percent up and running in the spring, but it looks like at this time that things are positive,” Kaalund alluded. “We’re looking at sometime in early to mid June that the concessions will go into operation.”

Renovations of Ederle Terrace will include relocating the boat rental station from the North Meadow Boathouse to a new docking facility or floating docking system, however Kaalund said he is unaware of any plans for the old facility.

“The existing facility needed to be repaired and also that facility may be used to house other administrative entities,” he suggested.

The proposal also includes plans for a waterfront American and ethnic-menu diner and room for community events and concerts.

Jean Silva, president of the FMCP Conservancy, said that while the RFP has been available for some time, she feels there hasn’t been enough inclusion over the bidding process.

“They put them out there, but it would be nice to sit down and talk about it with them and see what the Conservancy wanted to put into it,” Silva said. “The Parks Department seems to take charge and leave the civic groups behind.”

Silva added that the park “is all of our responsibility, and not just the Parks Department. We should all be involved over here.”

While she suggests that more communication could have made for a better project, she said that new development could add some much needed attention to that portion of the park.

“The Conservancy would be happy to have anyone come in to make the park beautiful and more accessible to use the park,” Silva said. “They’ve been missing their boats.”

Steve Stollman operated a boat and bike concession at Meadow Lake for roughly three years, and hoped to put a bid on the RFP for Ederle Terrace, however he too felt left out of the process.

“I think it’s extraordinary that there wouldn’t be an open public and transparent process to maximize the community benefits of having such a potential performance and educational space,” Stollman said.

Moreover, he is concerned that the project has gone under the radar and was left to the sole discretion of the city.

“It doesn’t just have to involve trivial entertainment, but it could involve serious public gatherings,” Stollman said.

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