Construction on the triangular 16,000-square-foot park, which will house a 1,600-square-foot AIDS memorial, began with the demolition of the one-story hospital storage building that was previously on the site, a spokesman for developers Rudin Management and Global Holdings, Inc. said.
The spokesman said the park is expected to be open to the public this summer.
The park, called Triangle Park for the time being, was created as part of a negotiation with the city that allowed Rudin and Global Holdings to build a nearby complex of five luxury condo buildings and five townhouses known as The Greenwich Lane.
Newly released renderings of Triangle Park show a leafy green space with curving paths and colorful flower beds, as first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
The most recent designs for the AIDS memorial in the park, which were released in 2013, show an 18-foot metal canopy with granite stones inscribed with poetry, quotes and facts. The spokesman for Rudin said he did not have updated renderings of the memorial.
Two urban planners began pushing for an AIDS memorial in the park more than three years ago, arguing that the location was fitting because St. Vincent's Hospital had once been "the Ground Zero of the AIDS epidemic."
Rudin squashed a call for a below-ground learning center, however, and largely ignored a community-organized design competition for the park, judged by celebrities and award-winning architects. The park's designer, Rick Parisi of M. Paul Friedberg and Partners, said it was supposed to be "more a neighborhood park" than an AIDS memorial.
Rudin ultimately agreed to incorporate a memorial designed by the winner of the community's competition, studio a+i, into Parisi's planned park. The studio did not respond to a request for comment.