Friday, November 12, 2010

S. I. Comfort Station Fitness Facility Proposal Needs Investors - Parks Dept.

“Parks currently has no long-term plan for the use of these structures other than their current use as comfort stations and headquarters for the Parks District Office and Lifeguard Operations. However, Parks will look favorably upon expressions of interest that have a recreational, fitness, and healthy food component to them,” the notice reads.

A bicyclist rides along the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Boardwalk in 2009. Apparently things have gotten so bad for Staten Island and the Park Department that they are seeking a private investor to convert one or two comfort stations – each approximately 12,331 square feet – into fitness centers on the beach. Councilman James Oddo (R-Mid-Island/Brooklyn) has proposed exercise areas for the East Shore waterfront along the Midland Beach waterfront or South Beach boardwalk which would feature outdoor workout areas.

The agency sent out a “Request for Expressions of Interest” (RFEI) on Nov. 1, and will sponsor a tour of the area on Dec. 8. Responses to the RFEI are due back on January 5. The City of New York/ Parks and "Recreation" Department spends less than 5 percent of its budget on recreation. (Photo: S. I. Advance file)

Staten Island

The East Shore is gonna get ripped.

At least, that’s what City Councilman James Oddo (R-Mid-Island/Brooklyn) hopes will happen if the city transforms a portion of the waterfront into Staten Island’s version of “Muscle Beach,” according to the Staten Island advance.

Oddo -- an admitted “gym rat” -- envisions a beachfront fitness facility along the Midland Beach waterfront or South Beach boardwalk similar to the famous body building mecca in Southern California. Since its creation five decades ago, Muscle Beach in Venice, Calif. has become a tourist magnet and an economic engine for the surrounding community.

“Now that we have a boardwalk that is an attraction for people, their needs to be other amenities,” Oddo said.

The idea of an open-air, beachfront gym no doubt conjures up images of the Island’s buffed denizens flexing their muscles for gawking passersby. But Oddo also sees it as an opportunity to address some of the borough’s health problems – including the highest rates of obesity and diabetes in the city.

Read More:

Staten Island Advance - November 11, 2010 - By Peter N. Spencer

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