City plans expanded open space in Downtown
by Benjamin Fang
May 29, 2019 | 793 views | 0 0 comments | 887 887 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Last week, the city’s Economic Development Corporation announced it that it will advance development of publicly accessible open space in Downtown Brooklyn.

Willoughby Square, located on Willoughby Street between Duffield and Gold streets, will see the construction on a 1.15-acre street-level site in 2020. The project is expected to be completed by 2022.

The expanded site will have green space and community amenities. Public artwork will commemorate the abolitionist history of the neighborhood, EDC officials said.

A portion of the site will be open this summer for use by the local community while the design and development plan is finalized.

“We’re committed to creating open space that meets the needs of this growing community while honoring its historic legacy,” said EDC President James Patchett.

The previous EDC proposal involved a “financially unfeasible underground garage.” The ramp ways for the garage will now be converted into green space.

The new plan was based on the evaluation that the need for parking lessened because of the area’s new public transit options.

Planning for the development of Willoughby Square first began in 2010. It’s one of the sites targeted for open space and infrastructure investment under the Downtown Brooklyn Redevelopment Plan that was adopted in 2004.

Regina Myer, president of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, applauded EDC for sticking with the project and seeing it through to this milestone.

“Workers, residents and visitors to Downtown have waited years for it,” she said.

EDC will collaborate with the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs’ Percent for Art program to select an artist for the memorial. Officials said they will pay particular attention to the Underground Railroad and its ties to the borough.

“Across the city, we’ve been actively collaborating with residents to bring new monuments to our public spaces that reflect the full breadth and diversity of NYC’s people and history,” Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl said in a statement.
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