A green space and new amenities for Downtown Brooklyn will provide greatly-needed open space for the area's growing commercial and cultural hub.
Willoughby Square in Downtown Brooklyn will be a street-level public space that sits atop an underground parking garage.
The project is one of a series of more than $100 million in public investments in open space and infrastructure commitments made under the Downtown Brooklyn Redevelopment Plan, adopted in 2004 to reinvigorate the neighborhood and celebrate the area’s unique heritage.
The one-acre Willoughby Square open space is located on Willoughby Street between Duffield Street and Gold Street in Downtown Brooklyn, half a block from the vibrant Fulton Street Mall.
The project is being designed by Hargreaves Associates through a community-oriented design process. NYCEDC anticipates seeking proposals for developers to construct Willoughby Square and the parking garage.
The area surrounding Willoughby Square consists of commercial businesses, new residential towers, private hotel developments, and the Downtown Brooklyn Cultural District, which is currently undergoing revitalization. In summer 2010, NYCEDC facilitated a community design process, engaging local residents, stakeholders, elected officials, and City agencies, including the Department of City Planning and the Department of Transportation. Their intent was to formulate a premier design for Willoughby Square that would enhance the environment of the local community.
NYCEDC presented a preliminary design to the local community board in June 2010. The plan calls for open space to help meet the needs of workers, visitors, and residents and minimize conflict between vehicular and pedestrian traffic. The community board approved the preliminary design plan in July 2010.
NYCEDC also selected a team to develop the commemoration of the 19th century abolitionist movement, with particular attention to the Underground Railroad and its ties to Brooklyn. A commemorative component will be included in the final Willoughby Square design.
NYCEDC anticipates selecting a developer to construct and operate the Willoughby Square Garage under a long-term ground lease with the City.
Construction of the park is expected to begin after a lease has been executed with the garage developer and the Willoughby Square design has received Public Design Commission approval.