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String of Public Plazas and Parks Planned for Downtown Brooklyn

By Janet Upadhye | July 17, 2014 1:29pm
 The mayor recently announced a series of projects that will transform Downtown Brooklyn's green spaces.
Downtown Brooklyn Green Spaces
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BROOKLYN — Downtown Brooklyn is going green.

Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced a series of projects designed to make the neighborhood a more pleasant place to live and work — including a 21-acre promenade and three public plazas.

The move comes amid a spurt in development for the area, including several new hotels with 1,200 new rooms and an overhaul of the Brooklyn Cultural District.


-MAP: See where downtown Brooklyn is adding 1,200 hotel rooms.

-MAP: Glitzy makeover for Brooklyn Cultural District.

The promenade, called Brooklyn Strand, will make it easier for pedestrians to walk from Cadman Plaza and the courthouses down to Brooklyn Bridge Park, according to a spokesman for the mayor.

"Right now when you try to walk through the neighborhood, you are constantly confronted with busy streets and an on-ramp or center barrier with turned-up stones that you can't walk over," he said. "This plan will give pedestrians a more contiguous way to walk through the neighborhood."

Brooklyn Strand is still in the planning stages but the spokesman said, with the help of public input, it would be "transformational" for Downtown Brooklyn. The details were not immediately clear.

Planning for Fox Square and Willoughby Square plus the overhaul of BAM Park in Fort Greene is further along.

Willoughby Square will sit atop a public parking lot on Willoughby Street between Duffield and Gold streets and will have green lawns, benches and fountains. 

Work recently started on the 1-acre public space and in the coming year existing buildings will be demolished to make way for the Square. The project is expected to be complete in late 2016.

Fox Square, located at the entrance to the Fulton Street Mall at Flatbush Avenue, is currently a 10,000-square-foot slice of pavement used primarily as an outlet for the Nevins Street subway station and three bus lines.

Plans are in the works to replace the pavement with greenery and add seating, trees and lighting. Construction will start this summer and the $1.4 million project will be complete in 2015.

The long-neglected BAM Park, located in Fort Greene at the intersection of Fulton Street, Lafayette Avenue and St. Felix Place, will soon be renovated and reopen to the public.

WXY Architecture + Urban Design was selected to redesign the triangular space that might include a planting and irrigation system, railings, lighting, seating, on-site furniture and a possible kiosk and performance space.

It is unclear when ground will break on the project but construction is expected to last for nine months.