NYC Parks and NYCEDC break ground on Lower Concourse Park in the Bronx

The Lower Concourse Park is expected to be open to the public in 2026.
The Lower Concourse Park is expected to be open to the public in 2026.
Photo NYC Parks / Malcolm Pinckney

The city Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner Sue Donoghue joined the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and elected officials gathered on Nov. 30 to break ground on Lower Concourse Park, a $35 million project along the Harlem River in the South Bronx. Located on Exterior Street between 144th and 146th Streets, the 2.3-acre park is designed to bring much-needed open space and waterfront access to Bronx residents.

“We’re thrilled to join with NYCEDC to break ground on Lower Concourse Park, which will bring essential green space and recreational amenities to the South Bronx. A playground, picnic area, and multi-use lawn will serve as a destination for local residents and enhance access to the waterfront, while the living shoreline design will increase resiliency against erosion,” said Donoghue. “The park’s creation furthers this administration’s goal of increasing park equity in the outer boroughs and ensuring all New Yorkers have access to high-quality, attractive outdoor spaces.”

The park is a key component of the city’s $194 million Lower Concourse Infrastructure plan, led by NYCEDC, intended to bring new infrastructure upgrades, make streets safer and create new connections to the waterfront.

Photo NYC Parks / Malcolm Pinckney

Lower Concourse Park will feature a plaza, playground area, picnic tables and BBQ grills, a seating area, bike racks, public restroom and a flex-use lawn. A welcome plaza will include signage on the history of the Bronx. The park will include robust native trees and plants to provide shade and reduce heat vulnerability for the neighborhood. In addition, the park was designed with a living shoreline to help prevent from erosion and absorb excess stormwater.

The park is located in an area that is heavily residential as well as commercial and in close proximity to Hostos College, Lincoln Hospital and numerous subway and bus lines.

“As part of a comprehensive neighborhood rezoning in 2009, the city mapped a new 2.3-acre park on the Harlem River waterfront between East 144th and East 146th Streets, along Exterior Street,” an NYC Parks representative said.. “The city obtained title for the site in November 2018. NYCEDC is managing the design and construction of the park in coordination with NYC Parks and kicked off the design process in September 2019.”

Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson called Lower Concourse Park “a momentous investment in revitalizing underutilized land and creating public investment in the South Bronx.”

“The creation of essential green space and recreational amenities are the first of a set of projects under the Lower Concourse Infrastructure Plan, which aims to make the streets safer, create new waterfront access to the Harlem River and provide a living shoreline to enhance the resiliency of both the environment and the community,” Gibson said. “The creation of a new park builds on the existing assets of the South Bronx by strengthening the infrastructure needed to promote connections to the waterfront and open spaces, support housing and create jobs.”

State Sen. Jose Serrano called the groundbreaking a “significant step towards improving waterfront access in the South Bronx and expanding green spaces throughout the borough.”

NYC Parks is working on a new name for the park that will be revealed at a later date.

The park is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2025 and open to the public in 2026. The project was funded by Mayor’s Office.

— Seamus Higgins contributed to this report

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