Downtown Alliance and LMDC Open New Public Plaza
Downtown Alliance President Jessica Lappin and Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) President David Emil today announced the city’s newest public open space, located just one block from the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. The plaza is made possible through a one-year agreement between the Downtown Alliance and LMDC.
Lappin and Emil also announced that the space will feature some of the region’s freshest food offerings from local farmers through a partnership with GrowNYC’s Greenmarket program. Players from New York City’s American Youth Tennis Table Association, as well as Lower Manhattan's City Hall Senior and Smith Houses table tennis players were on hand to officially kick of gaming at one of the highlights of the new plaza: an outdoor Ping-Pong table.
Borough President Gale Brewer, Council Member Margaret Chin and Community Board 1 Chair Catherine McVay-Hughes] also joined in the opening announcement.
“By opening the doors to this plaza, we are once again opening Lower Manhattan’s doors and welcoming the thousands of people who walk by every day,” said Downtown Alliance President Jessica Lappin. “This is one more new way for New Yorkers and visitors alike to find a moment to rest and take in the incredible beauty of Lower Manhattan. What’s more, I’m thrilled to offer the newest location for connecting local farmers with shoppers looking for the freshest food New York has to offer.”
LMDC President David Emil said, “Lower Manhattan Development Corporation along with HUD would like to thank the Downtown Alliance for their commitment of time and resources to creating this important temporary public plaza here in Lower Manhattan. LMDC and HUD are committed to the successful rebuilding of Lower Manhattan. As the rebuilding goes on it is important that every opportunity to create open space be taken advantage of. We are very excited about the use of this site as a public plaza and look forward to the return of the Greenmarket to Lower Manhattan.”
More than 10,000 New Yorkers live in the immediate surrounding area of the Plaza, and more than 310,000 people commute to the area. Last year, 9.6 million tourists visited Lower Manhattan. In its first two months of being open, the National September 11 Memorial Museum attracted more than 500,000 visitors.
The public space, located at Albany and Greenwich streets, is open seven days a week from 8 am until dusk. The plaza includes park furniture and plantings as well as shuffleboard, cornhole and mini golf games. A new table tennis is free and available for visitors to use during the plaza’s open hours.
The Downtown Alliance has placed an information kiosk within the plaza, staffed daily from 10am – 5pm. Staff helps provide visitors with the latest Lower Manhattan information, from transportation and directions to restaurant and shopping recommendations.
The greenmarket will take place every Tuesday from 8am – 5pm along Greenwich Street, beginning on September 2nd. Farm stands will include: Red Jacket Orchards, providing fresh fruit, and cold-pressed unfiltered juices and ciders from the Finger Lakes; Mi Ranchito Farm, a family-owned business from Hazlet, New Jersey, providing naturally grown fruits and vegetables; and Meredith’s Bread, offering hand-made locally sourced baked goods, including gluten-free, wheat-free, sugar-free and organic products.
“GrowNYC is thrilled to bring a Greenmarket to Albany Street with the help of our partners, the Downtown Alliance and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. We have a long history of operating in the area and look forward to serving the community for years to come,” said Marcel Van Ooyen, Executive Director of GrowNYC.
"As we continue to make excellent progress rebuilding and reopening the World Trade Center site, this new plaza will provide much needed open space for our Lower Manhattan community. This plaza will be an oasis in a very busy area, giving residents and workers, as well as the many visitors to this neighborhood, a place to rest, relax or even enjoy a game of ping pong. When the greenmarket opens, residents will have the wonderful opportunity to buy fresh, healthy food and support local farmers. It will be an outstanding addition to our growing community," said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
"The Downtown community has long needed more open space, and this need has only become more acute as thousands of new families have come to call it home, businesses have grown and tourists have increased," said State Senator Daniel Squadron. "This plaza will bring much needed open space for this burgeoning and growing community. Downtown Alliance and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation have partnered with GrowNYC for a new source of fresh food. I look forward to continue working with them and my colleagues to ensure that Downtown remains a great place to live, work, and visit."
"Manhattan is always in need of open space, and this new, albeit temporary, plaza will add to the amenities for lower Manhattan workers, students and residents in a great way," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "With the nutritious value of a Greenmarket, it should quickly become a favorite!"
“Every new swath of open space is a breath of fresh air for our Lower Manhattan community,” said Council Member Margaret Chin. “I’m so excited for this Greenmarket that will bring fresh food right to our doorsteps, and for the ping pong table that will provide fun, healthy activities for our youth, seniors and everyone in between. Steps away from the beautiful 9/11 Memorial plaza, this new public space is yet another sign of the vital, vibrant growth of the Financial District as it continues to be a truly wonderful place to work, visit and raise a family.”
“Lower Manhattan is a neighborhood that is friendly for families and open for business,” said Community Board 1 Chair Catherine McVay-Hughes. “Nothing shows this better than when we welcome farmer's markets. When we eat local from our favorite farmer's markets, we get the freshest food, we create local jobs and we protect the farmland nearby us that makes NYC so livable. We are excited to have more space for farmer's markets, recreation and a nice place to sit and watch the world go by. CB1 would like to thank everyone who made this possible: LMDC, Downtown Alliance, PANYNJ, NYCDOT, NYPD, and the Mayor's office.”
The Downtown Alliance will oversee the plaza for one year. In addition to the current offerings, future programming will be planned and developed.