Two firms have been chosen to lead a design and feasibility study for the long-awaited QueensWay project that will transform 3.5 miles of abandoned railroad in Forest Hills into a new park.
Marc Matsil, New York's director for the Trust for Public Land, said the two firms - WXY Architecture and Urban Design and dlandstudio - were selected from among 29 proposals.
"The QueensWay is going to be New York's next great park," Matsil said. "Our mission is to protect land for people and this is a perfect fur for that goal. Two months ago, our ParkScore ranking of park systems in the nation's 50 biggest cities found New York to be the second-ranked park system in the nation. But New York should be number one and this park will help toward that goal."
The 55-acre project will provide space for biking, walking and jogging, but also public art, food events and recreational activities, such as yoga.
Travis Terry, of Friends of QueensWay, said the start date, completion date and total cost for the park have yet to be determined. But he expected the planning process to take an estimated nine months and that the park would not be open for at least a few years.
The study for the park will be paid for by a $467,000 grant from the state's Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. An additional $140,000 will come from the city's Department of Environmental Protection.
One neighbor of the project - Neil Giannelli - said he was not thrilled with the planned park.
"I'm concerned about property values," said Giannelli, who lives next to the QueensWay site. "It would be in my backyard. I have safety, privacy and environmental concerns. And there will be a parking problem."
Drop by Forest Hills Patch later this afternoon to watch a video of Matsil discussing plans for the park.