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RENDERINGS: Hudson Square Plaza to Get a $6M Facelift With New Seating

 A new park in Hudson Square would increase the area's ability to mitigate flooding by 1,140 percent, but require the removal of a Citibike dock.
New Hudson Square Park
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HUDSON SQUARE — A small triangular plaza at Spring Street and Sixth Avenue could soon get a $6 million overhaul to create a more welcoming entrance to Hudson Square, complete with new trees, plantings and seating areas.

The renovation would also enable the plaza to absorb 1,140 percent more storm water, according to a plan the Hudson Square business improvement district presented to the local community board Wednesday night.

Hudson Square Connection President Ellen Baer said in an interview before the meeting that the BID's goal is to relieve pressure on the city's sewer system and mitigate flooding, while also improving a public space in the neighborhood. 

"Once Superstorm Sandy came along, resiliency was the watchword, and we were ready," Baer said. "You want to make sure everything you can [make sustainable] is sustainable."

The existing Sixth Avenue plaza has a Citi Bike dock and a bike rack, neither of which would stay under the BID's current plan. A spokeswoman for the BID said the Citi Bike station would be moved "to a nearby location."

At the meeting Wednesday night, Baer explained the decision to move the Citi Bike dock was made with an eye to maximizing the available open space.

"We don't think that the Citi Bike station should be taking up park space, it's too precious," said Baer.

Board members agreed, noting the dearth of green public areas in the district.

"We need open space so badly, it's so great to get the open space," said board member Shirley Secunda, who chairs the board's Traffic and Transportation Committee. Secunda said her committee will draft a resolution supporting the relocation of the bike dock.

The plaza's monument to General Jose Artigas, erected in 1997, would also be moved, to a more central location within the park. The monument and the trees will be maintained by the Parks Department, according to Parks representatives at the meeting, while the BID will maintain everything else at a cost of $110,000 per year, already built into the HSC's operating budget.

The half-acre park's design comes from Mathews Nielsen, the landscape architecture firm behind the undulating park proposed for the Hudson River's Pier55.

Baer said the project will be a public-private partnership, with the cost split evenly between the BID and the city.

The plan received the support of Community Board 2's Parks and Waterfront Committee Wednesday night, and will go to the full board for a vote on Feb. 19, before a review by the city's Public Design Commission on March 2. If the city approves the BID's design, Hudson Square Connection plans to start construction in spring 2016 and complete the project in the fall of 2018, Baer said at the meeting.