Landmarks approves rest hub for NYC delivery workers next to City Hall Park

April 17, 2024

Renderings courtesy of Fantastica Brooklyn

New York City delivery workers will soon seek respite at a new “deliverista hub” in City Hall Park. The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) on Tuesday voted to approve designs for a new hub that will give workers a place to rest during bad weather, charge their phones and e-bikes, and learn about e-bike and battery safety. Central to many delivery routes, the new structure replaces a vacant newsstand on the western edge of the park.

In October 2022, Mayor Eric Adams and Sen. Chuck Schumer announced a pilot program to transform existing and underused structures across the city, like vacant newsstands, into “Street Deliverista Hubs.” The federally-funded program intends to reach the city’s 65,000 app-based delivery workers, but rollout has been slow.

The city’s Parks Department is collaborating with the Workers Justice Project and Los Deliveristas Unidos on installing the kiosks.

“I’ve been doing app delivery work for four years and I’ve experienced many challenges, from accidents, bike theft, and a lack of infrastructure. We do this work with pride and dignity, and we’ve been dreaming of having a dignified space for the last three years. What better way to start doing it than near City Hall Park?,” Antonio Solis, a delivery worker, told the LPC on Tuesday.

“Here we have an opportunity to deliver solutions that not only allows deliveristas to have a dignified space but allows us to do this work more safely in an organized way.”

While the site of the proposed hub lies just beyond the boundaries of the City Hall individual landmark, it falls within the African Burial Grounds and the Commons Historical District, requiring approval from the LPC.

The hub would be divided into three sections designated for e-bike repair, e-bike charging, and information. Construction materials will include perforated aluminum, tempered glass, aluminum panels, fiberglass grating, and LED lighting strips.

An HVAC system would provide heating and cooling for riders to get out of the heat or cold while taking a break from work.

Delivery workers will be able to access the hub through sliding doors on the short side and roll-up doors on the park-facing side, both of which feature ADA-accessible ramps.

The safe charging infrastructure is being developed in partnership with Los Deliveristas Unidos and Oonee, and is being overviewed by the city’s Fire Department. Additional optional features include a modular green roof, solar panels, rainwater-catching capabilities, and an irrigation system.

The proposed hub is five feet longer, three feet wider, and six feet taller than the existing newsstand. The new hub will feature expanded space with an access zone and bike racks while retaining adequate clearance on the sidewalk between the structure and City Hall Park.

While the hours of operation still need to be finalized, the intent is to have the hub open during peak hours for delivery workers, during the late afternoon extending into dinner time. When the kiosk closes, workers can still access a battery charging station located on the exterior.

Manhattan Community Board 1 voted against the project in March because of the kiosk’s modern design. On Tuesday, Lucie Levine, speaking on behalf of the Historic Districts Council, also questioned the design of the kiosk within the context of City Hall Park.

“HDC supports deliverista hubs but finds the size and design proposed here inappropriate because it is not related to the context of City Hall Park. Deliveristas are a vital part of our city and they belong here and the deliverista hub should be designed to belong as well. We wonder why the original plan for adaptive reuse was not carried out,” Levine said.

Levine continued: “The existing kiosk is designed to echo the IRT subway architecture found in this district. That nod to the subway is a nod to the public grandeur that early subway architecture was meant to evoke. We ask the design team to adapt this kiosk and take the same care in designing the adaptive reuse as they would for any project in a historic district. Deliveristas, like all New Yorkers, deserve good design,”

Another effort aimed at helping delivery workers was launched last month. The first public e-bike charging station opened in the East Village as part of a six-month pilot program to test safer technologies. More charging stations are expected to open in the coming weeks, including at the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park, Essex Market on the Lower East Side, Plaza de las Americas in Washington Heights, and Willoughby and Jay Streets in Downtown Brooklyn.


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