Historic park space is brought back to life
by Andrew Shilling
Jul 16, 2014 | 581 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ederle Terrace on Meadow Lake is on its way to a full revitalization and becoming the next hub for community events in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

The former site of the Aquacade during the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fair, Marina Pier I recently became home to watercraft and specialty cycle rentals on July 4.

A recent RFP awarded for the concessions at the space now opens the door to a wide range of outdoor activities, like concerts and boat rentals starting as early as next month.

“The contract is in the process of being registered,” said a spokesperson with the Parks Department. “We expect to have the concessionaire start next month.”

Baig Sadeeq of S&F Petro – the owner of several Blimpie sub sandwich shops and convenience stores on Rockaway Boulevard - recently signed the 12-year contract with the Parks Department to run the concessions.

With plans of revitalizing the former snack bar and performance space, the Queens deli owner also has his sights set on obtaining a liquor license to offer park goers beer and wine options during the hot summer days.

“At evening hours, we will have wine or beer so people can sit outside and get some fresh air,” Sadeeq said. “If everyone is happy, and the idea goes over, then we’re happy to do it.”

Because the bid took until July to fill, concerts might be a year away, however Sadeeq said he is confident they will be able to bring back some life to the long-defunct terrace before the summer is over.

“I’m planning to open with nutrition drinks, common food like chicken gyros, rice and tacos,” he said, explaining that the snack bar will offer more than just popcorn, chips and hotdogs. “Every culture likes the tacos. It’s just a common food, not just for one culture.”

Steve Stollman, a former Flushing Meadows concessionaire that once ran the boat and bike rentals at a different space on the lake back in 2007, said he hopes the new terrace operators will put a focus on the culturally diverse neighborhood.

“Parks should be the living center of the borough,” Stollman said. “The community in Queens is made up of a patchwork of communities, and that’s why this park should be a place where people learn about each other.”

Although Stollman said he felt left out of the bidding process for Ederle Terrace, today his only hope is that the city and S&F Petro will find a way to include everyone.

“I just want to know if they are they are doing this so the community is going to have access to their own space,” he said. “Having a private party can be helpful, but does the public retain its park?”

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