Landscape Architects Outline Park Plans for ‘Lot 5’ of Essex Crossing Development

Posted on: March 20th, 2014 at 6:03 am by
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Phase one of SPURA redevelopment under the Essex Crossing development – about half the total project – is slated for groundbreak in the first quarter of 2015. There are nine total parcels involved in the plan, but Lot 5 is currently under the microscope. It is on this derelict parking lot that construction of a residential building, school facility, and park space will collectively kick off.

Armed with projector and scaled cardboard diorama, landscape Architect West 8 New York delivered a presentation at last night’s Parks subcommittee meeting that illustrated preliminary designs for the 15,000 square-foot rectangle. The space in question spans the northern perimeter of the lot on Broome Street, between Suffolk and Clinton. It would essentially be a private park, but open to the public at all times. (There are no gates)  The “urban oasis” outlined is roughly the same size of the fountain area of Washington Square Park (or the steps area in Union Square). It incorporate several “rooms” of entertainment

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Since this was essentially a no-vote forum to elicit response from Community Board 3, a number of suggestions were floated. Among them, a “water element” (i.e. fountains, sprinklers), not using fixed playground equipment, and focusing on moveable seating.

However, the panel wasn’t too thrilled with the apparent lack of greenery in the design, nor the limited public engagement on the proposed park. And on that front, Shelma Jun of the Hester Street Collaborative was critical of the firm and demanded they approach the neighborhood with events and other sessions to help spread the word. Other worries included the idea of a central kiosk that would take up much-needed open space and the overall lack of Lower East Side heritage reflected in the design.

West 8 will return in the coming months to finalize the blueprints, as per the schedule in the gallery below.

The big dig begins in 2015 and will take approximately two years to complete. So, best case scenario for opening is 2020.

Not much was discussed about the school onsite…

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