By Sabina Mollot
On Tuesday morning, during the opening of a new fitness playground in Stuyvesant Town, StuyTown Property Services CEO Rick Hayduk announced that all of the property’s 15 playgrounds would be renovated within the next five years. Additionally, like the fitness playground, which is the first playground to be accessible only by residents’ key-cards, the other playgrounds will also be outfitted similarly. Hayduk said this wasn’t in response to any security issue but about making tenants feel safer.
The next playground to be renovated is Stuy Town’s Playground 1. The fitness playground (Playground 7) previously had no amenities and had been used mostly for roller hockey. To accommodate the hockey players, Playground 1, which currently has a rough terrain, will be smoothed over and renovated sometime in 2018. Key-card readers at the playgrounds are expected to be installed even before the renovation work begins.
According to Hayduk, improving playgrounds and recreational facilities was one of Blackstone/Ivanhoe Cambridge’s priorities after acquiring Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village in 2015.
Meanwhile, he touted the new fitness playground as being suitable for a multigenerational crowd.
“Regardless of age, anyone can use this playground,” said Hayduk. “We said it’s got to be able to function for a 25-year-old American ninja wannabe as well as a 70-year-old who wants to improve their balance and strength.”
The playground’s features include a looped track, stationary cardio machines, upper body training tools, core and abdominal exercise benches and an obstacle course with tires and a wall climb. There are also lockers and a place where playground users can fill bottles with filtered water. The space was designed by the architectural firm Starr Whitehouse. Part of the preparation on the new playground, which now has a spongy, colorful surface over newly poured in concrete, included beautifying the surrounding landscaping.
Located near First Avenue behind the leasing office, Playground 7 was the first playground in the complex to be renovated after management found that it was underutilized.
“It was an asphalt box. It was used for some activities, but it was used by very few residents just because of the format,” Hayduk said.
Following Hayduk’s statements, made to the dozens of SPS employees who’d been involved in the project, in lieu of a traditional ribbon-cutting, Hayduk and a few others in management ran a 40-yard dash from one end of the playground to the other. A Stuy Town logo-covered banner served as the finish line.
As part of the grand opening, SPS announced on Tuesday that there will be some complimentary fitness workshops and demos conducted by NFC Amenity Management, the company that manages the Oval Fitness gym. The gym’s personal trainers will also offer personal assistance to seniors who want to use the equipment on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from August 7 to October 2 from 10-11:30 a.m.