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Willowbrook Park in Staten Island
Photograph: Shutterstock

The city might build a giant sports facility at this popular park in Staten Island

Also on a deck: a possible clubhouse.

Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan

Earlier this week, the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation announced its intention to turn the now-battered Willowbrook Park in Staten Island into an year-round recreation facility.

More specifically, the agency just released a Request for Proposals for the development, operation and maintenance of the destination.

"Parks is looking for creative and comprehensive proposals that would create a year-round facility primarily for sports-related uses like soccer, tennis, pickleball, or other sports and recreational interests," reads an official press release, also mentioning that the would-be operators may decide to open a clubhouse and a pro shop on premise as well. "The new concession is intended to expand sports and recreation offerings in Willowbrook Park and make them more accessible."

Given the current state of affairs at the park, this is a huge deal. The concessionaire, who would sign a twenty-year lease, will start managing the site of Willowbrook Park's former public tennis courts, which were shuttered a decade ago and are now, to put it frankly, dilapidated destinations.

"Willowbrook Park is an integral part of Staten Island's Greenbelt and an oasis for active and passive recreational pursuits," said NYC Parks commissioner Sue Donoghue in an official statement. "Willowbrook Park’s former tennis courts are an ideal location for a brand-new year-round sports and recreation facility to appeal to all Staten Islanders. We encourage prospective applicants to consider this dynamic opportunity to create a new recreational resource for the community."

Interested folks have until February 15, 2023 at 3pm to submit their proposals. Before that, on January 18, the Department of Parks & Recreation will hold a recommended remote proposer meeting to share more details about requirements and more.

We suspect that Staten Island will soon be New York's latest must-visit borough. 

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