An unused gravel lot at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge is poised to become New York’s next High Line Park, albeit a much smaller version. Officials from the Department of Transportation announced today during a meeting hosted by Community Board 3 that the raised, triangular piece of land will be transformed into a $1 million public plaza with plants, seating, and art installations.
Dying trees are currently the only greenery occupying the plot, which is bordered by the Manhattan Bridge to the west, Canal Street to the north and Forsyth Street to the east. Plans are still in the very early stages, but a full renovation and widening of the sidewalks are guaranteed. Vaidila Kungys, senior project manager for public spaces in the DOT’s division of planning and sustainability told DNAinfo that bigger sidewalks were a major goal of the project. They want ample room for the Greenmarket that occurs near the plaza, as well as more space for pedestrians and cyclists entering and exiting the bridge.
Possible features include movable seating and tables, a creative lighting scheme, bike racks, a playground, and a food vendor. The renovation was proposed by the Renaissance Economic Development Corporation, and the Department of Cultural Affairs panel will take proposals for the art installation, which they want to reflect the local community. Because the site is adjacent to busy roadways, care will be taken to ensure air quality and noise reduction.
Unfortunately, we have a couple years to wait until the plaza becomes a reality. The project will remain in the design phase through at least the beginning of 2012, with completion slated for a year later. Officials say the project relies on public input, and they are hosting a workshop on Thursday, March 10 to elicit ideas, so mark your calendars! The meeting will be from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at 11 Division St. in Chinatown.