The refurbishment of Hell’s Kitchen Park’s sports area is back on track following delays caused by poor weather and infrastructure issues.

Hell's Kitchen Park renovations.
Workers removed rubble from Hell’s Kitchen Park yesterday. Photo: Catie Savage

An idle period of six weeks was broken this week, with the promise of the contractor’s sustained work on the project. Recent progress was briefly stalled as they awaited the connection of a drinking fountain and drainage system, although weather-related delays remain a persistent concern.

In the meantime, key accomplishments have been made — teams have finished excavating the handball court, basketball court and pickleball area and yesterday (Wednesday), a large dumpster was filled with the debris from the excavation. Now the area will undergo paving, with a month-long pause for the asphalt to cure before the application of the final color seal. At the same time, the handball court will see the pouring of concrete, and sidewalk reconstruction will begin along W47th and W48th Streets. The Department of Transportation (DOT) will undertake the sidewalk improvements on 10th Avenue, scheduled for a future date.

A Cherry and a Serviceberry tree have been introduced to Hell’s Kitchen Park, to the delight of volunteer gardeners tending to the areas around the trees.

While bad weather caused some delays, Max Goodstein, Certified Arborist and Deputy Chief of Staff for NYC Parks Manhattan, confirmed that the timeline for the project’s completion is unchanged. He highlighted a recent issue with the health of the newly planted Serviceberry tree, which is to be replaced. Despite these hurdles, the Parks Department has been commended for their proactive communication and problem-solving efforts by the W47th/48th Streets Block Association and other community members.

In January, New York’s growing pickleball trend incited a debate at a Manhattan Community Board 4 meeting over the proposed $450,000 renovation. The plan to install a pickleball court faced opposition from those who wanted the space dedicated to the area’s hockey legacy. MCB4 member Chris LeBrón argued against the temporary trend of pickleball, advocating for the space to be used for long-standing local sports like street hockey. The passionate discussions underscored the complexity of urban space allocation.

Comparison of how Hell’s Kitchen Park will look before and after the work. Photos: NYC Parks presentation to MCB4

The local block associations remain optimistic for the swift conclusion of the park’s refurbishment this summer — and with the promise of a new basketball court and rejuvenated facilities on the horizon, local residents eagerly anticipate the revitalization of this beloved communal space.

Join the Conversation


  1. Slightly off topic but do you have information regarding the delayed construction of Lorraine Hansberry Plaza at the northwest corner of 48th and 10th. It was supposed to start in 2021.

    1. That open space will not be constructed until the affordable housing project over the railway cut is completed. This space will be used as a staging area for the construction before being renovated into open green space

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *