St. Andrew’s Playground in Bed-Stuy to receive first total renovation in 20 years

st. andrew's playground
St. Andrew’s Playground in Bed-Stuy is set to receive a $23.9 million upgrade.
Photo courtesy of Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks

St. Andrew’s Playground in Bed-Stuy is about to receive its first complete renovation in 20 years thanks to the New York City Strategy for Equity and Economic Development Fund and the city’s Community Parks Initiative. 

The combined $23.9 million investment will be used to revamp and reimagine the Atlantic Avenue green space and create a mixed-use space that is fun and accessible to all community members.

The project falls in step with the Atlantic Avenue Mixed-Use Plan, a community-led rezoning of a 13-block stretch of Atlantic Avenue in Central Brooklyn, which hopes to revitalize the neighborhood. 

sue donoghue at st. andrew's playground
Parks commish Sue Donoghue said the revamped park will be cherished for “generations.” Photo courtesy of Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks

“Housing and public space go hand in hand. We’re so grateful that alongside the AAMUP’s goal of adding approximately 4,000 new homes in Central Brooklyn, Mayor Adams has made the critical investment needed to completely renovate St. Andrew’s Playground for the first time in 20 years,” said parks commissioner Sue Donoghue, in a statement. “With new play areas for kids, revamped sports facilities, additional seating and shade, storm resiliency infrastructure, and more, we are investing in a community space that the neighborhood can cherish for generations. I can’t wait to see the park’s transformation begin!”

New play areas, storm resilient infrastructure, and ADA-accessible entrances are just a few of the numerous new amenities being added to St. Andrew’s Playground to help contribute to the park’s inclusivity and longevity, according to the parks department. 

Prior to additional funding from the NYC SEED Fund and the Parks Community Equity Initiative becoming available, St. Andrew’s was only going to receive a partial renovation, consisting of updates only to its playground areas.

basketball at st. andrew's playground
The park’s existing basketball and handball courts will get a much-needed sprucing. Photo courtesy of Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks

But the additional $23.9 million investment will allow a parkwide renovation with a new turf field and running track, playground spaces with dedicated areas for toddlers and young children – including a swing set and a spray shower — and a renovation of the existing basketball and handball courts.

The receipt of additional funds was celebrated last week by several state and local officials including Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue and City Council members Chi Ossé, and Crystal Hudson.

“I am deeply proud of the work we all put into this, and inspired by the results,” said Council Member Chi Ossé, whose district includes St. Andrew’s Playground. “Thanks to the combined efforts of our Council offices and executive agencies, Crown Heights & Bed-Stuy will see a historic investment of tens of millions of dollars to develop this park to its full potential. Much-needed green space, a renovated playground, enhanced athletic facilities, and more will build this neighborhood gem into the gold standard for public spaces. I’m thrilled to see this piece of Brooklyn receiving the love it deserves.”

group of people in bed-stuy
The park will provide a space for play and for gathering, officials said. Photo courtesy of Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks

When the park is finished, locals will also be able to come together and enjoy new flexible seating and gathering spaces, protected from the sun by new shade trees. 

“Parks are not just sites of joy and recreation,” said Council Member Crystal Hudson. “They are also environments that are especially conducive to nurturing and strengthening our shared sense of community. When considering changes to our built environment, we must guarantee that these same changes spur improvements that benefit all residents.” 

Construction is likely to begin sometime in 2025 – the parks department is still working to finalize a design, and will then choose a contractor to carry out the work. Once started, construction is expected to take 12-18 months.