Landscape Architects Present Park Renderings for ‘Lot 5′ of Essex Crossing Development

Posted on: July 11th, 2014 at 6:06 am by
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When the Essex Crossing mega-development is completed a decade hence, the park planned for SPURA site 5 will be the only public open space in the whole project area. Currently a derelict parking lot, the parcel in question is a 15,000 square-foot rectangle on Broome Street, between Clinton and Suffolk, and buttressed by a school facility and residential tower.

To that end, landscape architects West 8 New York and Delancey Street Associates real estate consortium returned to Community Board 3 last night to deliver a presentation on progress of the overall design. These updates were the product of a local brainstorm session held back in May, where community feedback was collected and analyzed. Suggestions included a respectful “oasis” that wasn’t too “high-brow.”

The resultant renderings produced by West 8 paint a rosy-red picture of what to expect. Alluding to the Lower East Side as the birthplace of guerrilla gardening, the presenters were gung-ho about the pocket park as being a “woodland garden concept.” Over 35% of the area is to be populated by greenery of various tree species, seasonal flowers, and other plantings. The meandering walkway within and numerous coves will offer the opportunity for different types of programming without interruption. A small playground is part of the plans, too, and specifically designed (e.g. climbing elements) for the 2- to 5-year-old children who will attend the adjacent school.

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Rather than have a standard information booth/area, the goal is to create some sort of artist sculpture that presents community details in a creative manner. But this facet is still in the early developmental stage.

Seating will be composed of moveable tables and chairs, back seating, no-back seating, and a communal table that seats ten. But don’t expect to relieve your bladder anywhere on park premises (at least during the day), as there won’t be any toilets. For that, you’ll need to consult the commercial space in the new residential building.

Which brings us to maintenance. There were some worries from both the CB3 panel and the public about upkeep, especially since the development itself is private. Everyone was assured, though, that a binding agreement is in place with the city that the Delancey Street Associates consortium must (1) keep public access and (2) provide maintenance services onsite in perpetuity.

The park falls under phase I of development, and therefore scheduled for a March 2015 groundbreak. Construction of the new greenland will be concurrent with the new building. It’ll take three years – so, spring 2017. See ya then.

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