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Lots of hopes for lots
BY SYDNEY PEREIRA
Don’t call them parks — but
Community Board 2 is expecting
two new “open spaces” by
How to incorporate creative design
ideas within the sites’ constraints was
the challenge at a C.B. 2 Parks and Waterfront
Committee meeting on Nov. 7.
“What I tried to say to everyone was,
‘Let’s come up with great ideas and let’s
work with the Parks Department as our
advocate,’ ” said Rich Caccappolo, C.B.
2 Parks Committee chairperson.
The two future open spaces sit on
city Department of Environmental Protection
properties above access points
to City Water Tunnel No. 3, the underground
Manholes and covers of hydrants and
vertical water shafts dot each of the
lots — one at E. Fourth St. adjacent to
the Merchant’s House and a second at
Grand and Lafayette Sts. D.E.P.’s infrastructure
creates challenges in placing
trees there, creating playground space
or bolting anything down.
The green spaces have been two decades
in the making.
“The community has been waiting
for these parks for 20 years,” said Jeannine
Kiely, who chairs C.B. 2’s Schools
and Education Committee. “This is an
opportunity to make something really
great or just accept a gravel pit with a
The spaces would be spruced up
with seating and greenery and shared
by the public and D.E.P. workers needing
access to the water tunnel.
“D.E.P. and Parks are going to try to
push to maximize green space because
it did come up several times for both
meetings,” said Alexandros Zervos, the
Parks Department’s project designer.
At the Merchant’s House lot, trees
seemed unlikely. A scoping meeting
in October revealed the possibility of
plantings, a seating area, a water fountain
and a possible connection point to
the Merchant’s House garden.
The Grand St. lot has space for a
tree, but Zervos didn’t make any promises.
There would be a drinking fountain
and maybe seating.
About $1.3 million has been allocated
for the nearly one-quarter-acre lot
at Bowery and E. Fourth St. and $1.7
million for the nearly one-third-acre lot
Grand and Lafayette Sts. The mayor
committed $1 million to each project,
with additional cash coming from Manhattan
Borough President Gale Brewer,
Councilmember Margaret Chin and
former Councilmember Rosie Mendez.
Attendees at the meeting noted Petrosino
Square in Little Italy got $2 million
for its makeover. Zervos will now
go to D.E.P. to see what’s possible.
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JUMP continued on p. 18
18 November 15, 2018 TVG Schneps Community News Group