Saturday, November 10, 2007

Plaza Place

With NYC putting in at least one plaza into every community district, we asked where you think a good place would be. There were three suggestions.

1. 75th Ave and Queens Blvd. Northside (picture is mislabled 76th, but it's 75th).

Pros: That area of northside really could use a seating area. Getting it approved would take all of 10 minutes as there's nothing there now except for unused pavement. Would take one weekend to build.

Cons: Right off Queens Boulevard. Would anyone use it?

2. 71st Rd. between QB and Austin St. Eliminate the head-in parking for plaza.

Pros: Side street off Austin could use public seating area. New Cheeburger restaurant and this plaza could help make that now-underused Windsor block more lively. Lots of big retail chains on the block (Banana, Sephora, NY & Co.) would probably support it as would powerful Cord Meyer company. Maybe CM would even kick in a few bucks for a fountain.

Cons: Will plaza become a mess after movies around the corner let out?

3. Restaurant Row. Eliminate the head-in parking for plaza.

Pros: Crowd favorite and makes the most sense. Plaza could provide buffer for outdoor seating and give people a place to relax without having to dine. Parking spaces would have to be eliminated, but plenty of garages nearby (including one on that same block) to house cars. Would definitely be used and improve the area.

Cons: Lots of parking spaces would have to go on both sides of the street. While I'd applaud that, area business owners might not. City might say they just paid $800K to refurbish MacDonald Park around the corner. Would the questionable crowd that hangs outside OTB have a new home?

So there are your choices. Rank 'em and I'll send results to Melinda Katz. Apparently Council members have a big say in where these things are going. They've already built three and plan to have them all done by 2030.