NYCEDC

Downtown Brooklyn, Urban Design

New York City Economic Development Corporation, Downtown Brooklyn, Partnership, Willoughby Square, Willoughby Square Park

Images courtesy of EDC

As plans for a permanent park at Willoughby Square go forward, a temporary green space at the same site has opened to the public. The 15,000-square-foot “pop-up park” will provide a green escape for the local community until the end of the summer in 2020, at which point construction will commence on the permanent, 1.15-acre park scheduled for completion by 2022.

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Harlem, History

cultural center, memorial, harlem, harlem african burial ground

Image courtesy of NYCEDC.

The city’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC) has said it will begin the search for a nonprofit organization to operate the long-in-the-works Harlem African Burial Ground in East Harlem this fall. A decade of research and planning has gone into the task of converting the city block–home to the unused MTA 126th Street bus depot–into a cultural center and outdoor memorial that will honor its past state as a burial ground for enslaved and free African people. City officials say the project will make use of new apartments rising on a newly-rezoned adjoining site as an ongoing source of funding, as first reported by THE CITY.

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Battery Park City, Design

west thames bridge, wxy, nyc bridge

Rendering by WXY architecture + urban design

A new pedestrian bridge in Lower Manhattan will open this fall, more than ten years after it was proposed, the city announced Wednesday. The 230-foot West Thames Street Pedestrian Bridge replaces the Rector Street Bridge, a temporary structure built after two bridges in the area were destroyed during the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Designed by engineer Thornton Tomassetti and WXY architecture + urban design, the $45 million bridge crosses West Street and connects Battery Park City with the Financial District.

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New Developments, Staten Island

new york wheel staten island

Image credit: S9 Architecture / Perkins Eastman

The fabled and forsaken New York Wheel, Staten Island’s ill-fated answer to the Eiffel Tower, may be getting yet another chance. Last October it was announced that the 630-foot would-be world’s tallest Ferris wheel, anchoring the borough’s North Shore, was a no-go, mired in years of court battles and pay disputes. Now, NY1 reports, plans for a scaled-down version of the wheel may be back on the table. The city’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC), who set the original wheel idea in motion, is meeting with a new developer about the possibility of a smaller wheel.

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Downtown Brooklyn, Urban Design

willoughby square, parks, downtown brooklyn

A previous rendering; via EDC

Downtown Brooklyn is finally getting a park that was promised to the neighborhood more than 15 years ago. The city’s Economic Development Corporation announced on Friday it will take over construction of the green space at Willoughby Square. In January, the city abandoned the plan to add a new park on top of a high-tech parking facility because of the developer’s inability to secure financing. But, as first reported by Crain’s, the EDC said the agency’s capital division will take on the work itself, without a private developer or the underground automated parking lot originally proposed. The city estimates the park will open sometime in 2022.

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Policy, Staten Island

New York Wheel, Staten Island development, NY ferris wheel, Staten Island ferris wheel

Via New York Wheel

The city has not put forth a plan for the vacant Staten Island site of the New York Wheel, a project which was called off last year after nearly a decade of planning. According to the Staten Island Advance, the city’s Economic Development Corporation, which oversees the property, has not released any request for proposals for the site. Construction of the project, sold as the world’s tallest Ferris wheel, was halted two years ago when the contractor walked off site over unpaid bills. Last October, with $450 million already invested, the project was called off.

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affordable housing, Long Island City

TF Cornerstone, LIC development

A rendering from 2017 depicting the proposed mixed-use site; courtesy of TF Cornerstone

The city’s plan to bring a thousand residential units and a mix of industrial space to Long Island City is back on the table after Amazon last month announced it will not open a complex in the neighborhood. James Patchett, the president of the city’s Economic Development Corporation, said during the Crain’s New York Business breakfast on Thursday that the city will forge ahead with its original plan of bringing a mix of businesses and homes to the Queens neighborhood, Gothamist reported.

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Policy, Transportation

Rendering via EDC

The plan to build a streetcar between Brooklyn and Queens got a much-needed push forward on Wednesday. The city’s Economic Development Corporation awarded consulting firm VHB $7.25 million to complete an Environmental Impact Study (EIS) for the proposed Brooklyn Queens Connector (BQX). First announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2016, the streetcar plan has faced many roadblocks, delays, and doubts from public officials. But last year, the mayor announced a revised proposal, which includes a higher price tag, fewer miles on the route, and a delayed start date.

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Long Island City, Policy

amazon, long island city, amazon nyc

A rendering of One Court Square, where Amazon will temporarily move in 2019; via NYCEDC

City and state officials lured Amazon to open its new office complex in New York with an extensive pitch, complete with four suggested neighborhoods and the promise of prime real estate, according to documents released by the city’s economic development corporation on Monday. In exchange for 25,000 new jobs, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio are offering Amazon nearly $3 billion in incentives and grants. And while last month Amazon selected the Queens neighborhood of Long Island City as its new home, officials had proposed bringing Amazon’s campus to the Farley Building, 3 World Trade Center, Brooklyn Height’s Watchtower building, Bjarke Ingels’ The Spiral, and even Governors Island.

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Construction Update, Financial District, Hotels, Restaurants

Via Ismael Leyva Architects

The plan to convert the landmarked Battery Maritime Building into a hotel and Cipriani rooftop restaurant is back on schedule after an injection of capital into the project, Crain’s reported on Thursday. Developer Midtown Equities will take a 30 percent stake, allowing construction to resume this fall or winter. In 2009, the city first approved a plan to redevelop the building, which sits at 10 South Street in the Financial District, but was delayed after a series of legal and financial setbacks.

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