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Press Release

NYCEDC and NYC Parks Department Open East Midtown Greenway and Andrew Haswell Green Park

Dec 19 2023
Rendering of East Midtown Greenway and Phase 2B of Andrew Haswell Green Park

Doubling Down on New York City’s Commitment to Expand Greenways and Green, Open Spaces with a $197.6 Million Investment for a Park, Pedestrian Walkway, Pedestrian Bridge, and Bike Lane

Furthering New York City’s Effort to Complete the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway Loop

NEW YORK, NYToday, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and NYC Parks officially opened the East Midtown Greenway and Phase 2B of Andrew Haswell Green Park. Located on a stretch of newly-created open space spanning from East 53rd Street to East 60th street, these two new spaces total almost three acres and represents a $197.6 million investment from the City of New York. East Midtown Greenway, which fills a key gap in the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway, is built over the East River and includes new pedestrian walkway, landscaping, a pedestrian bridge, and separated bike lane. Andrew Haswell Green Phase 2B represents a $42.6 million investment and includes renovations to the East 60th Street ramp, a new lawn and landscaping, lighting, and seating. The completion of both projects is a product of extensive community outreach with representation from Community Boards 6 and 8 and local elected officials. 

The East Midtown Greenway and Andrew Haswell Green Park openings represents a piece of the city’s larger NYC greenway expansion initiative throughout the five boroughs. This fall, Mayor Adams and his administration announced that the RAISE grant will fund implementation plans for five new greenway corridors in the outer boroughs to fill gaps in the existing greenway network and improve cycling and pedestrian access to the city’s waterfronts and parks. The implementation plans collectively represent 60 miles of new and improved greenways. The city will begin outreach in early 2024 for the first implementation plan, the 16-mile Queens Waterfront Greenway, connecting Gantry Plaza State Park to Little Bay Park. These implementation plans build upon DOT’s planning process to develop the Harlem River Greenway in the Bronx, announced by the Adams’ administration earlier this year.

East Midtown Greenway was an interagency effort led by NYCEDC, NYC Parks, New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT), and New York State Department of Transportation (NYS DOT) that began in 2008. The greenway includes a 20 feet wide bikeway and a 20 feet wide pedestrian zone with a walkway, planting area, pedestrian bridge at East 54th Street, and public art component created by artist Stacy Levy, called Diatom Lace. It also completes a key gap in the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway, which, when completed, will be a continuous 32.5-mile loop around Manhattan that will connect a network of green spaces totaling more than 1,000 acres. 

“In Manhattan, green space is at a premium; if we have to get creative and add to the island to deliver it, that's what we'll do!”  said Deputy Mayor of Operations Meera Joshi. “A crucial component of our broader Manhattan Waterfront Greenway, which piece by piece is delivering a 32.5 mile loop around Manhattan, the Midtown East Greenway and Andrew Haswell Park will welcome more New Yorkers than ever to bike, run and walk with the sun in their faces-- and further develop our city's work-play waterfront. These are the kinds of projects we need more of, and I congratulate EDC and the Parks Department for getting it done for New York.” 

“I am excited to celebrate the opening of Andrew Haswell Green Park and the completion of another section of the East Midtown Greenway,” said Deputy Mayor of Housing, Economic Development and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer. “This project demonstrates effective cross-agency collaboration and offers an example of how improved public space and easy-to-access greenways are some of the best forms of economic development that help to unlock the full potential of New York City's waterfront.” 

“The opening of the East Midtown Greenway and Andrew Haswell Green Park represent another major step forward by the Adams Administration to finish the long-envisioned Manhattan Greenway,”  said NYCEDC President & CEO Andrew Kimball. “These remarkable capital projects will not only improve quality of life for New Yorkers but expand opportunities to commute by bike or foot while enjoying spectacular views on the East River.  NYCEDC is thrilled to be a part of this project with our colleagues at the Parks Department, which furthers our commitment of making New York City a great place to live, work, and play.” 

“The newly unveiled East Midtown Greenway and second phase of Andrew Haswell Green Park stand as a testament to the power of community and interagency collaboration for urban development,”  said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue. “From the innovative pedestrian walkway to the revitalized landscaping with an artistic touch at Andrew Haswell Green Park, these transformative projects continue to further the city's efforts toward completing the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway. At Parks, we are committed to working with our sister agencies to enhance urban landscapes and greenspaces, fostering a sense of unity and well-being for residents and visitors alike.” 

“The opening of this first segment of the East Midtown Greenway marks an exciting step forward for our greenway network and coastal resiliency. NYC DOT was proud to advise on the project every step of the way and help improve access from local streets to what will be one of the most-used cycle paths in the world, once fully completed,” said New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. “Every New Yorker deserves access to high-quality greenways, which provide critical recreational paths and commuting corridors, and that’s why we were excited to secure important federal funding to advance the new RFP being issued today to bolster the planning process to develop a dramatic expansion of greenways across the five boroughs.” 

“Our densely populated Council District has one of the lowest amounts of green space and building this greenway brings much-desired waterfront access,” said Council Member Julie Menin, City Council's Committee on Parks. “Finally, the East Midtown Greenway and renovated Andrew Haswell Green Park will provide over a mile of new parkland for all New Yorkers to enjoy. Thank you to the Parks Department and NYC Economic Development Corporation for completing this vital project and I will continue to work with my colleagues in government to improve our parks.”

“After years of hard work, I am thrilled that the East Midtown Greenway is finally open,” said City Council Majority Leader Keith Powers. “This iconic public space closes a key gap in Manhattan’s existing greenway network and provides New Yorkers with additional waterfront access to enjoy. Thank you to NYCEDC, NYC Parks, and everyone else who worked tirelessly to get us to the finish line.”

“The residents of Manhattan Community District 6 have for many years not been able to access large segments of our waterfront because our waterfront esplanade has significant gaps,” said Community Board 6 Chair Kyle Athayde. “And for many years, CB6 has advocated for closing those gaps, so that our district, and indeed, our whole city, can enjoy a continuous, unbroken walk from the top to the bottom of our district. The East Midtown Greenway project, in creating a waterfront esplanade from East 54th to 61st Streets, brings us one step closer towards closing those gaps.” 

“Community Board 8 is excited to celebrate the opening of the long-awaited East Midtown Greenway and the completion of Andrew Haswell Green Park's Phase 2B,” said Community Board 8 Chair Russell Squire. “CB8 has long advocated for this project, with parts originating from our 197-A plan. We congratulate EDC and the Parks Department for their tireless work and dedication in delivering this much-needed open space for Manhattan's east side.” 

Since the early planning stages, NYC Parks and NYCEDC partnered with NYC DOT on the greenway’s bike lane design and its larger connections to the city’s bicycle lanes. To complement the greenway’s opening and provide safe cycling and pedestrian connections, NYC DOT completed the installation of parking-protected bike lanes on East 54th Street, from First Avenue to Sutton Place, as well as on Sutton Place, between 54th and 55th streets. 

Andrew Haswell Green Phase 2B is part of a phased NYC Parks project that includes the former midtown heliport, the space underneath it and the space to the north. The concept for Andrew Haswell Green Park stemmed from a CB8 led 197-a process and a master plan completed by NYC Parks. Phase 1 included a dog park and Phase 2A sits atop the former heliport structure and includes a lawn, seating and decorative lighting.

“I first sent a letter to former Mayor Bloomberg calling for transforming the FDR Outer Detour Roadway into a new East Midtown Greenway back in February of 2006,” said Senator Liz Krueger. “They say good things come to those who wait, and we've certainly waited a long time, but I am thrilled that East Midtown residents will finally have access to the East River and desperately needed open space. Thanks to the commitment of multiple mayoral administrations, my fellow East Side elected officials, and Community Boards 6 and 8 over almost two decades, we are now much closer than ever to seeing the completion of a continuous East River Greenway.”

“I applaud NYCEDC, NYC Parks, and their partners for opening the new East Midtown Greenway and Andrew Haswell Green Park,” said Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright. “This sustainable expansion will help finally close the loop on our East Side waterfront while delivering vital recreation and transit opportunities. The East River Esplanade and our community will benefit for years to come.”

“This innovative build-out will change what New Yorkers believe is possible in a greenway,” said Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine. “Adding more open space and connecting this stretch of the East Side to the rest of Manhattan’s bike paths are crucial to a safer, healthier, and happier borough.”

“Cities across the world are looking for ways to become more bikeable and walkable, but new pathways and corridors can also be places people want to be in and of themselves,” said Nicole Ogrosso, project manager at Stantec, lead design firm on the project. “The East Midtown Greenway offers just that—a unique waterfront experience that is both beautiful and park-like. We’re incredibly proud to see this project come to life and congratulate the New York City Economic Development Corporation and NYC Parks on today’s grand opening.”

We are delighted to have once again partnered with EDC to deliver a project that not only transforms New York City’s waterfront into a fun, vibrant and attractive place for residents and visitors to spend their time, but also strengthens our city’s coastline to stand up to the looming effects of climate change,” said Sean Szatkowski, Executive Vice President – General Manager, Skanska USA Building. “The East Midtown Greenway will enable public access to sections of the waterfront that have been blocked by FDR Drive for over a half a century, and the engineered elements of the in-water structure will specifically account for and mitigate the natural corroding effects of water and our evolving environment.

“CIVITAS is thrilled with such a stunning reimagination of the East Midtown Greenway and Andrew Haswell Green Park,” said Sharon Pope-Marshall, Executive Director, Civitas.  “We are grateful to the NYC Economic Development Corporation and the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation for designing an exciting and engaging greenway and park that is bold and inspiring; as well as resilient and sustainable. In 2011, CIVITAS organized a global waterfront competition seeking imaginative design ideas. In 2023, the EMG & AHGP represents an ambitious and profoundly successful integration of waterfront design and use.”

NYC Parks and NYC DOT are also currently executing a $47.6 million project committed by Mayor Adams in 2022 to build six key greenway segments in Brooklyn and Queens identified in the Destination: Greenways! study. In addition, in 2022, New York City was awarded a $7.25 million federal RAISE grant to plan for future greenways with a focus on expanding the network to historically underserved communities outside Manhattan.

NYCEDC also released an RFP today, funded by the RAISE grant, to find a team to help the City of New York develop and execute a robust process guided by community and stakeholder engagement to envision future New York City greenways. This planning project will result in the release of a public-facing report in 2025 that will guide the city’s long-term greenway expansion work. The link for the RFP can be found at and an information session for the RFP will be held on January 8th. Proposals are due February 6th.

New York City Economic Development Corporation is a mission-driven, nonprofit organization that works for a vibrant, inclusive, and globally competitive economy for all New Yorkers. We take a comprehensive approach, through four main strategies: strengthen confidence in NYC as a great place to do business; grow innovative sectors with a focus on equity; build neighborhoods as places to live, learn, work, and play; and deliver sustainable infrastructure for communities and the city's future economy. To learn more about what we do, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.