Hudson Square Business Improvement District was unveiled, marking the completion of the Business Improvement District’s 10-year Master Plan. On July 12, 2022, Mayor Eric Adams alongside the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT), and the Hudson Square Business Improvement District (BID), unveiled the renovated Hudson Street streetscape, marking the completion of the Business Improvement District’s first 10-year Master Plan, Hudson Square is Now, which was launched in 2012.
First 10-Year Plan – Hudson Square is Now
The 10-year Master Plan, spanning six different projects, cost $27 million, equally funded through a public-private partnership by the Hudson Square Business Improvement District and through public NYC funds. The plan was intended to improve and manage traffic flow, create open space and pedestrian-friendly environments, build a healthy environment by greening the streets, establish neighborhood identity, support retail, and identify and implement sustainable opportunities.
The Hudson Street streetscape is located on Hudson Street, Manhattan, between Canal and West Houston Streets. The streetscape cost $13 million, was completed with 87% minority- and women-owned business enterprises, and utilized the Design-Build process known to quicken the construction process with more communication, efficiency, innovation and financial incentives for timely performance.
Hudson Square Business Improvement District President and CEO Samara Karasyk and Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine have expressed their joy in having the Hudson Street area, which was always known for its car congestion due to its proximity to the Holland Tunnel, become a vibrant, attractive, safe, and inviting place where residents and visitors can enjoy.
The Hudson Street streetscape now features more than 8,000 square feet of new green areas planted with trees, shrubs, and perennials, more than 2,000 square feet of additional sidewalk for café’s, approximately 170 additional seating through new benches, a parking-protected and dedicated bike lane, and 20 new parking spaces for bikes amounting to 70 total bike parking spaces in the area.
Second 10-Year Plan – Hudson Square: New Connections
The Business Improvement District is now planning a new 10-year Master Plan, Hudson Square: New Connections, to better mesh the newly renovated Hudson Street streetscape with the rest of Lower Manhattan by connecting the Hudson Street streetscape with Tribeca, East Houston Street, and Hudson River Park. For a more detailed look on the new 10-year Master Plan click here.
The new 10-year Master Plan focuses on three areas: the Greenwich Street Gateway, the Houston Street mobility corridor, and access to the Hudson River Park area.
The Greenwich Street Gateway is currently uninviting to pedestrians and is blocked off from Tribeca by Canal Street. The plan is to connect to the Hudson Square from the south by enhancing pedestrian space through a planned median refuge island and by stationing an iconic gateway sculpture. The curbside space on Greenwich Street will be reconfigured, by implementing a modular decking system, and amenities like lighting and seating will be added to accommodate pedestrians and retailers and to make the commercial area more people-friendly.
Sufficient electrical capacity to host events as well as public art displays will span the range of the gates of the UPS building. A new bike connection and a new Spring Street bridge connection will be added to allow easier access to the Hudson River Park area.
The Houston Street mobility corridor connects the East River Park to the Hudson River Park. This corridor has a mixture of activity and narrow sidewalks with no visual aspects. A raised bike lane will be created throughout the stretch between East River Park and the Hudson River for the convenience and safety of cyclists. Sidewalks will be widened and greenery, seating and lighting will be added for the comfort of pedestrians.
Multiple nodes will be offered for art murals and activations and a gateway will be added at the loading docks between Varick and Hudson, and the 395 Hudson ground floor. With all these changes, the Business Improvement District hopes to attract more pedestrians to take this path.
The Hudson Square area doesn’t have as easy access to the Hudson River Park Area as other neighborhoods do, especially with the Route 9A highway blocking the way. To circumvent this, the Business Improvement District plans to build a new bridge, the Spring Street Bridge, over the highway for pedestrians to cross over and access the Hudson River Park area.
As it stands, not many people consider or actually do access the Hudson Square area where the future bridge will stand. To attract more pedestrians to this area, the Business Improvement District plans to build and plant elongated planters near 550 Washington and set up temporary murals and lighting on the southwestern corner of the sanitation garage to direct people to the midblock crossing to the Hudson River Park are and consequently the waterfront.
The new 10-year plan will need $22 million funded through a public-private partnership. An additional $40 million will be needed to build the new Spring Street Bridge connecting the Hudson Square area to the Hudson River Park.
By: Malka Amar (Malka is a CityLaw intern and New York Law School student, Class of 2023.)
Economic Development Corporation: Mayor Adams, NYCEDC, DOT, Hudson Square Business Improvement District Unveil Newly Renovated Hudson Street (July 12, 2022).