Redesign plan aims to turn Hudson Square into place for people

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Tuesday, September 28, 2021
Redesign plan aims to turn Hudson Square into place for people
"Hudson Square: New Connections" is a streetscape improvement plan that organizers hope will create an atmosphere for innovation, creativity and commerce.

HUDSON SQUARE, Manhattan (WABC) -- The Hudson Square Business Improvement District unveiled a redesign plan Tuesday it hopes will transform the neighborhood into a destination.

"Hudson Square: New Connections" is a streetscape improvement plan that organizers hope will create an atmosphere for innovation, creativity and commerce.

The plan includes improved links to the waterfront and surrounding neighborhoods, reimagined sidewalks and curb spaces that prioritize pedestrians and cyclists, and a pedestrian bridge over the West Side Highway.

"This plan builds on our work and vision for the neighborhood and incorporates lessons we've learned from the pandemic about open space, mobility and community," Hudson Square Business Improvement District President and CEO Ellen Baer said. "Our goal is to provide a great experience for those who work, shop, play, and live here. The plan ensures that the innovation that thrives in the workplaces in Hudson Square is reflected in the public realm, creating a true 21st century neighborhood, inside and out,"

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The goals of the plan are to:

--Connect Hudson Square by softening the neighborhood edges so it is seamlessly woven into the tapestry of Manhattan's Lower West Side.

--Balance the public realm to facilitate the co-existence of industrial, commercial, and residential spaces, as well as needs of pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers.

--Activate the neighborhood by bringing the creative energy that exists in the buildings out onto the streets and sidewalks.

--Innovate by developing new ways to think about and use public space in service of a green, sustainable, and healthy 21st century neighborhood.

The plan is organized around three big ideas that form a long-term vision, as well as steps to facilitate near-term improvements.

The Greenwich Street Gateway will feature a gateway sculpture and enhanced pedestrian space to knit together Greenwich Street from Hudson Square to Tribeca, mitigating the barrier created by Canal Street.

Greenwich Street will be reconfigured to improve experiences for pedestrians, shoppers, bikers, retail, and commercial businesses, and the corridor will be further enlivened with public art and programming that accounts for the multiple commercial, industrial and residential uses that coexist along this stretch of Greenwich.

The Houston Street Mobility Corridor will create an east-west corridor along Houston Street, utilizing a sidewalk-level bike lane that will mark Houston Street as a major connector extending from the East River Park to Hudson River Park.

Buildings will serve as canvases for art that captures the movement of pedestrians, cyclists, and cars.

Finally, Walk to the Water will improve access to Hudson River Park in the long term, connecting the amenity with Hudson Square and points east via a pedestrian bridge from Spring Street over the West Side Highway.

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In the short term, the plan outlines a more inviting transition to the park from Washington Street, complete with artistic wayfinding, greening, and lighting.

To develop the plan, the Business Improvement District engaged a team led by WXY, a planning, urban design, and architecture firm.

The estimated capital cost of approximately $22 million, not including the cost of the bridge, which will be funded separately.

The plan will be funded through a public-private-partnership, as funds become available, and all operating costs will be funded by the Business Improvement District.

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