City puts marina in drydock

December 3, 2008 at 12:23 am Leave a comment

The borough’s oldest marina has been ordered closed for safety reasons, leading members of the boat club harbored there to fear the club will be gone forever.

The Soundview Marina juts out into the East River, between Hunts Point and Ferry Point Park. For nearly a century, the waterside perch has provided views of the Empire State Building, College Point and the graceful Whitestone Bridge.

The Parks Department owns the land. Since 1914, its working-class neighbors have sought refuge from urban summers, running the Point Yacht Club out of the rented marina clubhouse and backyard.

Last month, the Parks Department inspected the property and followed up with a letter ordering the marina be vacated immediately, citing problems with the clubhouse’s foundation and the marina’s docks.

Since 2001, for a $1,300 monthly rent, the club’s 52 members have had a social haven and guaranteed space to dock small boats.

Members’ ashes have been scattered, babies conceived (so the stories say) and birthdays celebrated on the porch, in the boats and in the waterfront living room.

“It’s like a big family, a home away from home,” said Carmen Rosario, a club leader and wife of its commodore, William Sanchez. “We got this and they want to take this away. We are poor people. Middle class, high class – they don’t appreciate this like we do.”

The Parks Department says it is too early to tell if the marina will remain closed, reopen under the Yacht Club or be renovated for a different purpose.

“Due to public safety concerns, we restricted access to the clubhouse and dock, and are working with the city Law Department and the Point Yacht Club to determine what steps need to be taken to ensure the safety of the facility,” the department said in a statement.

Rosario said the city has asked the club to allow the public visiting the nearby park to use the club’s bathrooms and to open a restaurant on the site, while they have resisted, keeping it a private space.

They have opened the club to local police precinct and fire department meetings, and keep a boat in the water year-round to assist in water rescues.

Members said they want to sit down and talk to the department about how the property can be improved, while maintaining the Point Yacht Club’s home there.

“We are fighting and fighting,” said Sanchez in Spanish, gazing toward his bobbing fishing boat. “Things in life are not easy. This is worth fighting for.”

By Dorian Block
Daily News

Advertisements

Entry filed under: Bronx, Get Wet, Go Coastal, Public Waterfront. Tags: , , , , .

Save Sandy Hook USS NEW YORK Ship’s Items Make Great Gifts for the Holidays

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Going Coastal NYC

Connecting People to Coastal Resources

%d bloggers like this: