NEW YORK—MCR/MORSE Development has donated 74,000 cubic feet of clean sand excavated from the site of the TWA Hotel—opening in spring 2019—to the National Park Service for the Spring Creek South Storm Resilience and Ecosystem Restoration Project. The sand was excavated by Turner Construction Company and Urban Foundation Engineering to build the hotel’s 50,000-sq.-ft. events center. Ruttura & Sons transported the sand to Spring Creek Park.
Valued at approximately $5 million, the sand will help stabilize Spring Creek Park—a wildlife refuge in the Gateway National Recreation Area along the Jamaica Bay shoreline—to reduce the risk of storm damage and flooding in Queens’ Howard Beach neighborhood, which was devastated by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. In addition to stabilizing sediment at the shoreline, the Resilience and Ecosystem Restoration Project will create a protective berm and restore more than 225 acres of wetland and coastal forest, home to great blue herons, egrets, red-winged blackbirds, pheasants, mallards, deer, raccoons and muskrats.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awarded New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation a $69.1 million Hazard Mitigation Grant Program for the project, which will begin as soon as FEMA provides approval.
“This donation of sand greatly defrays the total cost of clean sediment that is required by this resiliency project, saving millions of dollars of the public’s money,” said Jen Nersesian, superintendent of Gateway National Recreation Area.
“Spring Creek Park is an ideal destination for those who love nature, but it also has the potential to be the borough’s first line of defense against storms that threaten to flood surrounding communities,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “What a wonderful example of a community neighbor working with government to make smart reuse of resources. MCR and MORSE Development’s generous donation of $5 million worth of sand will both save taxpayers money and go a long way toward making the TWA Hotel’s home borough more resilient in the face of future storms.”
“Queens is the home of the TWA Hotel and we are committed to keeping it safe and beautiful,” said Tyler Morse, CEO of MCR/MORSE Development. “We are proud that our building can help rebuild the Jamaica Bay shoreline.”
The TWA Hotel, JFK Airport’s only on-airport hotel, will have 512 guestrooms, six restaurants—one of which is the Paris Café helmed by Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten—and eight bars, high-end retail outlets, 50,000 sq. ft. of event space with a 15,000-sq.-ft. ballroom, a rooftop pool and observation deck, a 10,000-sq. ft. fitness center, as well as a Lockheed Constellation L-1649A transformed into a cocktail lounge.