The Lower East Side has a new green area that offers recreation from the concrete jungle.
A 15,000-square-foot park on the Essex Crossing mega project, open to the public on Monday and designed by renowned West 8 landscape architecture firm known for The Hills at Governors Island.
The new area on Broome Street between Clinton Street and Suffolk Street is the latest feature of Developer Delancey Street Associates' megaproject (a collaboration between L & M development partners, BFC partners, Taconic, the Prusik Group, and Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group).
"The community has wanted that for a long time. There are not so many open spaces in the neighborhood and this will fill a gap that did not exist, "said BFC Partners' Ernie Padron.
The airy space features a playground with wooden animal feathers, a freestanding mini net and a wave-shaped balance beam. The park also offers a mix of benches, moving seats, fixed tables and stools, and lush flora once native to the area, including blueberry bushes, honeysuckle with trumpet, and fragrant sumac.
Already on the opening day, the locals went into the room with children who had climbed the climbing frame of the playground and adults who sat on stone benches and gazed at the park's greenery.
"People wanted a balance between a heavily planted space and a place to sit and think," said Isaac Henderson, project manager for Essex Crossing at L + M Development. "It seems like it's a park that's really used."
A handful of community visioning sessions were held in 2014 to collect the opinions of Lower East Sierre on the design of the park. Delancey Street Associates owns and operates the space and eventually plans to install stalls selling fresh produce from the urban farm, which is expected to be launched this summer at Essex Crossing. Other programs can be recorded in the room after it has become clear how the locals use the space.
Visitors can visit the park daily from 7am to 10pm. from April to October and from 19:00 to 20:00 from November to March.
The room directly adjoins The Rollins, a fully occupied mixed-income rental building featuring the largest trader Joe on the east coast and a target. Just across the street from Broome Street, The Essex is a mixed-use, mixed-income 26-story rental building featuring a 14-screen cinema and the recently-opened Essex Market. The Essex is also the first phase of The Market Line, which is planned as a bazaar-like market square in the Broome Street over a length of 200 meters and is expected to open at the end of summer.
Nearby is the 242 Broome, a luxurious condominium with 55 units, which is 93 percent sold and has only four residential units. The new home of the International Photography Center and the bowling entertainment center The Gutter are expected to open there this fall. Three more properties – 180 Broome Street, 202 Broome Street and 140 Essex Street – are under construction and will provide a mix of office space and condominiums.