Yesterday, we reported that the Department of Transportation approved applications for 12 pop-up cafes that will turn parking spots and traffic lanes into pedestrian plazas. It only makes sense that the first business to get the green light is a green business! Ecopolis Cafe on Smith Street in Brooklyn, which was the only applicant from the borough, will build and operate the first pedestrian friendly space with eco-friendly materials. Green urban design plus green building materials? We like it.
Ecopolis owner Patricia Simono Boyce told the Brooklyn Paper that she is very excited about the addition of public space near her cafe. The plans submitted by Boyce call for a 25 by 6 foot space that would only take up one metered parking spot. She will build the platform using reclaimed wood joists from a 1920 warehouse in Red Hook, and the railing will be constructed from a recycled metal grate from the MTA.
The transportation committee of the neighborhood’s Community Board voted unanimously to allow the pop-up cafe. “In weighing the loss of one parking spot against the value of adding an activity and dimension to the street and street activity, hosting [Brooklyn’s] first ‘Pop-up cafes’ certainly wins out,” Bette Stolz, the director of the South Brooklyn Local Development Corporation, wrote in a statement to the Brooklyn Paper.
Cafe owners are responsible for paying for the construction and upkeep of the pop-up plazas, which the city estimates to be about $10,000. The cost includes planters, tables, chairs, and construction materials.