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City Looking for 'Creative' Proposals for Lowline Park Site

By Lisha Arino | November 20, 2015 12:46pm | Updated on November 22, 2015 8:22pm
 A rendering of the proposed Lowline subterranean park in the Lower East Side.
A rendering of the proposed Lowline subterranean park in the Lower East Side.
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Raad Studio c/o Lowline

LOWER EAST SIDE — The city plans to ask for proposals to develop an unused underground trolley station, potentially paving the way for the development of the Lowline, a proposed underground park.

The Economic Development Corporation is searching for “creative responses to activate" the Williamsburg Bridge Trolley Terminal space, located beneath Delancey Street, and is expected to release a request for expressions of interest (RFEI) on Monday, said spokesman Ian Fried.

The agency to activate the space,” he said, adding that the RFEI is “totally open.”

For the past few years, the founders of the Lowline have eyed the station — which has been unused since 1948 — for a one-acre, subterranean park that would use solar technology to bring sunlight underground to illuminate the space and promote plant growth.

The technology is currently being tested in the Lowline Lab, which opened in the former Essex Street Market building last month.

Lowline co-founder Dan Barasch said he was “eager and encouraged” by the news.

“We’re very excited that the city is now looking for concrete ideas for the use of the space,” he said.

“I think we’ll learn more when we see the RFEI next week when it’s released but we’re obviously very interested and we do plan on putting together what I think will be an exciting proposal to use the space.”

The RFEI will be done in collaboration with the MTA, which holds a long-term lease for the space, Fried said. The MTA referred all questions to the EDC.

The news was first reported by The Lo-Down.