The Hudson Square BID, the NYC Department of Transportation and the NYC Economic Development Corporation, working with consulting landscape architecture firm MNLA have completed four projects on the Hudson Street renovation “to-do” list.
The projects are in alignment with a master plan of economic, civil and environmental upgrades that will take place over the span of 10 years. Once an industrial area, the downtown region is getting a modernization in order to house more than 60,000 professionals working in communications, new media and design.
One project, the Hudson Street Reconstruction, transformed Hudson Street with extended sidewalks and enhanced pedestrian and bicycle avenues. In addition to adding in safety features for all users, the design incorporated over 8,000 square feet of plants and trees along the seven block district. Permeable pavers were used to water the trees and capture stormwater runoff. The plan also incorporated around 170 new seats on the boardwalk and provided space for the future development of sidewalk cafes.
A second project, called the Hudson Square Standard, was also completed this year. A press release explained, “This award-winning initiative provides a signature, sustainable streetscape for the district, comprising 500 trees, including both new and existing trees retrofitted using the HSS sidewalk tree planting system. Combining structural soil, porous aggregate, permeable pavers and distinctive tree guards, both the trees and the city benefit from captured stormwater, increased biomass and real estate values.”
The third project, completed in 2018, is called Spring Street Park, comprising a triangular open space converted into a usable public park. Located in Hudson Square, the project was designed in conjunction with the hustle and bustle nearby. The gathering space provides room for recreational activities, casual gatherings, and resting spots.
Finally, the Freeman Plaza East and West was originally completed in 2013 and 2014, but was renovated to new standards in 2018 and 2021. The vision converted a standard commute route into opportunities for both respite and social gathering. Lining the Holland Tunnel approach routes, Port Authority truck parking lots underwent green design changes to invite in natural sunlight in balance with functional elements. The conversion allows commuters, residents and visitors to gather for music events, go for a stroll, join a yoga class and enjoy passive recreation spaces. The entire area is equipped with Wi-Fi.
Photography by Elizabeth Felicella