CB3 Approves Designs of Essex Crossing Park on Broome Street

Posted on: November 14th, 2014 at 5:00 am by

You’re looking at the nearly-final rendering of the park planned for SPURA Site 5 of the Essex Crossing development. Once the historic firehouse at 185 Broome Street is razed in the coming months, the consortium of developers that comprise Delancey Street Associates will install its “urban oasis” in the 200-by-77-foot parcel carve out.

To that end, the landscape architect firm behind the project – West 8 New York – returned to the Parks subcommittee of Community Board 3 to present design updates. It was the third such meeting for the Site 5 Park in the last ten months, and netted unanimous advisory approval. There were a few additions, but overall the plans remain unchanged.

The park sits at the north end of the parcel along Broome Street and measures approximately one third of an acre. It abuts a future school and residential building. West 8 was big on designing the space as respite with character and identity. A whole greater than the sum of its parts, as it were. What that equates to is three unique coves with separate purpose. On the east, a congregational spot for “flexible programming” (performance, art, etc.) that fits fifty heads; on the west, a dynamic playground for 2 to 5 year olds with capacity of twenty. The new element here is the seating component – a combination of backed/backless linear seating, communal tables, and movable tables and chairs. There are three entrances, no gates, and no public bathrooms.

Plantings line the perimeter with an overall aim to convey a “woodland garden concept.” Over 35% of the area is to be populated by greenery of various local tree species, seasonal flowers, and other plantings.

The caveat here is that it’s not really a public Park. Rather it’s privately held by Delancey Associates, but open to the public (e.g. Zuccotti Park). The area won’t be gated, but will carry hours of 7am to 10pm. There will be no access from the new fourteen-story tower at the rear.

The CB3 panel brought up the issue of community involvement. So a stipulation was added requiring solicitation of the neighborhood to assemble an advisory committee for programming and maintenance.

Ground break on the project was pushed back to summer 2015, followed by a two year construction period. So, 2020 if we’re lucky…

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