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Essex Crossing Park to Feature Toddler Playground and Native Plants

By Lisha Arino | July 11, 2014 4:11pm | Updated on July 14, 2014 8:50am
 West 8, the landscape architects of the project, presented updated plans for a 15,000-square-foot park that will be part of the Essex Crossing development.
Essex Crossing Park Plans
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LOWER EAST SIDE — An expansive new park that will be built on Broome Street as part of the Essex Crossing development will feature native gardens and a playground for toddlers, the developers revealed this week.

The 15,000-square-foot park, opening in 2017, will be a respite from the bustling neighborhood, said representatives from landscape architecture firm West 8, during a presentation to Community Board 3 Thursday evening.

“We really would like this to feel like a relaxing green oasis in the city,” said Jamie Maslyn Larson, a principal at West 8.

Inspired by the Lower East Side's history of community gardens, a third of the park will be covered in native trees and shrubs, said project manager Claire Agre.

There will also be a play area for young children, with features including a "canyon" and possibly climbing nets, Agre said.

“It’s a great place for both the grownups and the 2-to-5-year-olds to be together in the shade in the park,” she said.

Seating areas will be scattered throughout the park as well, with "coves" set off of the main plaza, a communal table that seats up to 10 people, and moveable tables and chairs.

The architects are working on a sculpture for the park that could be used as a space for rotating displays or community information.

The park is just one piece of a $1.1 billion mixed-use development on nine city-owned blocks that had been abandoned for decades near Essex and Delancey streets. The private development will include commercial space and 1,000 new apartments.

The park sits on Site 5, the first area of Essex Crossing to be developed. Construction will begin next spring and is expected to last two years. 

Essex Crossing will ultimately include other green spaces, said Isaac Henderson, a senior project manager at L+M Development Partners, one of the developers. Sites 3 and 4 will contain elevated gardens that will be accessible to the public through the ground-floor commercial spaces, he said.