The Myrtle Avenue Plaza – set to break ground in October 2014 – has been a project many years in the making. Below is a recap of how the plaza came to be, including input from local residents and merchants and support provided by various elected officials and the City. Read the latest construction news here.
2005: Working with Pratt Institute urban planning professors and students, we held a workshop open to all local stakeholders to gather public perceptions of all public space on Myrtle Avenue and suggestions for improvements.
2006-2007: With help from the Project for Public Spaces, we held two public planning workshops to solicit more concrete ideas for improving four specific areas along the avenue. These sessions identified the Myrtle Avenue service road between Hall Street and Emerson Place as a prime location in need of new pedestrian amenities. Community members and the Partnership explored ideas and developed conceptual plans (see below).
2007-2008: Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and Councilmember Letitia James committed $1.5M in capital funding to recreate this public space. Additionally, about $2 million was raised in cooperation with the NYC Department of City Planning from the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program.
The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) selected Myrtle Avenue in the first round of the NYC Plaza Program, bringing the total project budget to $6M.
2009-2011: We organized a Community Advisory Committee of local stakeholders and conducted two public meetings in 2010-2011. AECOM, the design partner retained by DOT, used information from the Partnership, DOT, the Advisory Committee, and the public meetings to create a design.
2012: The Public Design Commission approved the final design.
2013-2014: With support from SBS, the Partnership created a Construction Mitigation plan to reduce the negative effects of construction on businesses within and surrounding the construction footprint. The plan includes highlighting business specials, organizing events, mailing information to 2,900 local addresses, providing additional sanitation, distributing construction updates from DDC, improving signage, and adding visual interest to the area through the installation of a 1,200-ft construction fence wrap designed by artist Nami Yamamoto in partnership with DOT and DDC.
2014: Construction began in the fall of 2014 and was scheduled to last 12-18 months.
2014-2017: The NYC Department of Design & Construction oversees the severely delayed project. To help counter the impacts of construction, the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn BID releases a “Come In, We’re Open” campaign to encourage local shoppers and diners to support businesses affected by ongoing construction.
July 2017: Construction continues, marking 36 months after work began (two years over-scheduled from the original timeline provided by the City). After completion, the plaza will be a space to sit and relax, eat lunch or enjoy events. Have ideas for what types of events and programs should happen in the plaza? Please share your thoughts through this short survey.
October 2017: The plaza receives plantings – including dozens of trees and hundreds of grasses, shrubs, flowers, and ornamental plantings. A permanent public art piece, Formosa by Matthew Geller, is installed.