Burying Parking Lot Paves Way for Planting Paradise

For nearly a decade, the City of New York has sought to build Willoughby Square, a marquee public space in downtown Brooklyn. Thanks to a city-brokered agreement, a 'high-tech, mammoth underground garage' will help finance construction of the square.
July 11, 2013, 11am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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According to Julie Satow, the planned Willoughby Square, "the long-awaited public space that New York City officials consider Brooklyn’s answer to Bryant Park in Midtown Manhattan...will span more than an acre on Willoughby Street, a half-block from the Fulton Street mall, with manicured lawns, walkways and gardens, as well as a site to commemorate the abolitionist movement."

Below the square, the Willoughby Operating Company will construct the largest automated parking facility in North America, thanks to a deal negotiated by the city. "The Willoughby Operating Company, an affiliate of the American Development Group, will lease the city-owned land," explains Satow. "It will use $6 million from city capital, the city’s Economic Development Corporation and private contributions from surrounding developers to construct the park."

"The city hopes to open the park in 2016."

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Published on Tuesday, July 9, 2013 in The New York Times
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