In 2014, Savanna acquired, for $28 million, the three-story commercial building at 141 Willoughby Street, in Downtown Brooklyn. Then in August of 2015, the developer submitted filings to rezone the property in order to build a 44-story, 270-unit mixed-use tower. The city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) is now underway, with the latest step resulting in Community Board 2’s Land Use Committee disapproving the rezoning, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reports. The project itself has grown slightly since initially being filed. Proposed at the latest hearing was a 49-story, 270-unit mixed-use building. Eighty-one of the units would rent at below-market rates. The base of the building would feature two stories (plus the cellar) of retail, followed by seven stories of office space. Morris Adjmi Architects is designing. The latest step in ULURP is merely a recommendation. The proposal will now go before the entire Community Board 2. If the rezoning is granted, Savanna would also acquire from the city, for $4.8 million, a small, triangular park located to the north of the site. It has 47,718 square feet of development rights and would permanently remain as a park.
In September of 2015, construction was underway on the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church planned on the eastern end of the also-under-construction, one-acre Liberty Park, located on the southern end of the World Trade Center complex, in the Financial District. Now, construction on the rest of Liberty Park, which is elevated 25 feet above street level, is nearly complete, DNAinfo reports. The new park will feature landscaped greenery, plantings, seating and benches, and a 300-foot-long “Living Wall” along its northern base wall. Opening is expected some time this summer. As for the church, being designed by Santiago Calatrava (who also designed the World Trade Center Transportation Hub), construction is expected to last into 2017. The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey is behind the project.
A significant chunk of new public park space on the southern end of Governors Island is expected to open on July 18, a few months after the island officially opens for the summer season, Curbed NY reports. The latest park addition is called The Hills, and features the 25-foot-tall Grassy Hill, the 40-foot-tall Slide Hill, the 40-foot-tall Discovery Hill, and the 70-foot-tall Outlook Hill. Work is quickly wrapping up on The Hills, as seen in photos in a Curbed NY article. Once opened, it will join the recently constructed Liggett Terrace, the Play Lawn, and Hammock Grove, which will put the amount of parkland on Governors Island to around 150 acres. West 8 designed the 30-acre park, and the Trust for Governors Island its development.
Back in November of 2015, renderings were revealed of the renovations that are planned to go into repositioning the Brooklyn War Memorial and Cadman Park Plaza. The upgrades are associated with a large-scale revitalization of Downtown Brooklyn’s parks and public spaces, dubbed Brooklyn Strand. New details and renderings of the entire 50-acre project can be revealed now that the two-year-long community input process has completed. The Community Vision Plan will now go through the city’s review process.
After former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in 2010, rejected plans to build a public park over a two-block span of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway between South 3rd and 5th streets in Williamsburg, Councilman Antonio Reynoso is re-proposing the project. Dubbed BQ Green, the $200 million project could potentially be incorporated into the city’s $2.265 billion budget for park capital spending, according to Gothamist. As currently envisioned, a concrete platform would completely cover two blocks of the BQE, while partially covering the below-grade expressway one block in either direction. The part of South 4th Street that currently spans over the BQE would be reconstructed as parkland, and the existing green space lining the expressway will be revitalized. The proposal also includes a baseball diamond, a waterpark, and wooded and landscaped areas. DLANDstudio is behind the design of the 2010 proposal. The project is expected to be discussed before the city’s budget is adopted.