Spaces to Places

Transforming Public Spaces into Vibrant Places for the Community.

Street Seats Provide a Gathering Space in the New Normal

Written by Marlo Paventi Dilts, Senior Director of Public Policy & Government Affairs, Long Island Board of REALTORS®

COVID-19 showed us that we needed to think fast about how we can gather in a way that is safe and takes into consideration open air concepts and physical distance – and, for us,  parklets was the answer!

In collaboration with Street Plans, the Rockaway Brewing Company, and the NYC Department of Transportation, the Long Island Board of REALTORS® created the 46th and 5th Street Seat parklet project with the help of NAR’s Placemaking grant. Adjacent to the Rockaway Brewing, the parklet, in Long Island City (Queens), NY, can host residents, visitors and patrons in this community.

Parklet adjacent to the Rockaway Brewing, in Long Island City (Queens), NY, that can host residents, visitors and patrons.

Photos courtesy of the Long Island Board of REALTORS®

An up and coming neighborhood, Long Island City is home to hundreds of restaurants, shops, galleries and event venues. This location was chosen purposefully as to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of individuals whom patronize the local businesses in the area and can provide a SAFE place to stop and rest, meet up, eat, and enjoy the community.

Chairs, tables and benches frame the space and the street mural ties the project to blend with its eclectic surroundings. Keeping this project close to home, local builders and artists were commissioned to complete the project.

Understanding the shifting needs of the community, the Rockaway Brewing Company signed on as the liability partner in the project and will maintain the space over time for the public and its patrons to enjoy.

There were many procedural pieces to this project requiring approval from NYC Department of Transportation in order to make sure this project could be installed safely and run effectively. Doing the heavy lifting, Street Plan got it done!

This project is a testament to teamwork, and the Long Island Board of REALTORS® is proud to be a part of this project.

The 46th and 5th Street Seat is located on the corner of 46th Avenue and 5th Street in Long Island City outside of the Rockaway Brewing Company. The space is accessible to all and will be open through the winter months.


Community Outreach Programs

Housing Opportunity Grant
Housing Opportunity Grants support state and local REALTOR® Associations’ affordable housing activities. The goal of the program is to position REALTORS® as leaders in improving their communities by creating affordable housing

Smart Growth Grant
Smart growth is an approach to development that encourages a mix of building types and uses, diverse housing and transportation options, development within existing neighborhoods, and community engagement. The Smart Growth Program offers state and local REALTOR® Associations to way to engage with government officials, community partners and the general public in planning and designing community’s future.

Planned diversity initiatives makes good business sense. REALTOR® Associations with well-planned diversity programs create a stronger sense of community, particularly in neighborhoods with high concentrations of foreign-born and minority residents who are moving up the socioeconomic ladder and are buying homes.

NAR Placemaking Resources

Placemaking Guide: A Guide to Transform a Public Space into a Community Place
REALTORS® and state and local association staff can learn the details of Placemaking, the kinds of projects placemaking entails, how to organize them, and where to go for assistance and resources.

Placemaking Webinar Series
Our Placemaking Webinar Series will provide more in depth information on the various types of Placemaking and how REALTORS® were involved in Placemaking activities in their communities.

Placemaking Grant
The Placemaking Grant funds the creation of new public spaces, like pocket parks, trails & gardens, in a community. The grant focuses on “lighter, cheaper, quicker” placemaking projects, which can be built under a year and cost less  than $200,000.

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Smart Growth

The healthier a community, the better the environment for REALTORS®. Keeping a community attractive, livable and functioning well is a complex task.