Chelsea Green

NYC Parks And Councilmember Corey Johnson Announce New Park For Chelsea

Sunday, November 8, 2015
No. 101

City-Owned 10,000 Square Foot Lot at 140 W. 20th to Become New Community Park

Yesterday, NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP and Councilmember Corey Johnson announced funded plans for the creation of a new park at 140 W. 20th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues. The 10,000-square foot City-owned lot will provide much-needed green space for Chelsea.

“When communities and government collaborate, amazing things can happen – and that’s what we’re celebrating today,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “This new park is testament to New Yorkers’ deep understanding of the health, economics and cultural benefits of public space. I’m looking forward to seeing this energy and ingenuity continue as this project moves forward.”

“This is a win-win for the community,” said Council Member Corey Johnson. “The community is getting both new parkland and affordable housing – two pressing needs for the West Side.. In terms of open space, Community Board 4 ranks last in Manhattan and 58th out of 59 community boards citywide. Great cities provide their residents with access to green space. I want to thank the people of my district who have been organizing for years for a new park at this location. I also want to express my gratitude to Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver and Community Board 4 for their support of this endeavor. It is incredibly inspiring to know that future generations of New Yorkers will benefit from.”

“I am thrilled that elected officials, community groups, and Chelsea residents have come together to plan for an oasis in a neighborhood that has few parks,” said Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12). “Currently, 2,000 Chelsea children live at least half a mile from the nearest playground. Now, with this newly added vital green space a great playground will be within reach. Thank you to Mayor de Blasio and Council Member Johnson for making this park a reality.”

"The new 20th Street park we are announcing today will bring much-needed open space to the Chelsea community," said Congressman Jerrold Nadler. "Thank you to Mayor de Blasio, Council Member Corey Johnson, and NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver for making this commitment. I look forward to working with my colleagues in government and the dedicated community members who first identified this site to move this new park project forward."

Senator Brad Hoylman said: "It's not every day you transform a parking lot into a park, so today's announcement on the creation of the new 20th Street Park is welcome news for an area that is sorely lacking in public open space. The effort to create a 20th Street Park has been quite literally a grassroots effort for years on the part of Chelsea residents and I congratulate Matt Weiss and the Friends of 20th Street Park for their persistence and determination. I'm also extremely grateful to Council Member Johnson and the de Blasio Administration for making this new park possible, along with Borough President Brewer, Assembly Member Gottfried and Community Board 4 for their support."

"This park would never have happened without the initiative and determination of the local community, Councilmember Corey Johnson, the NYC Parks Department, and the support of Mayor de Blasio," said Assembly Member Richard Gottfried. "The creation of this park is a great example of what can happen when a group of people come up with a great idea and have the persistence to keep working on it - even if it takes years, like this did - to see it through."

"While construction projects loom ever larger and supertowers are beginning to crowd the sky, seizing the opportunity to preserve and create open space in our neighborhoods has never been more important," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "I’m pleased that the Parks Department is moving this project forward, and I'm excited to see what we can build together for the Chelsea community."

"All New York City neighborhoods aren't equal when it comes to parks--some have far less than their fair share of green space. For too long that has been the case in Chelsea, where a growing population desperately needs more parkland. I am thrilled that CM Johnson and the Parks Department have secured funding to make this wonderful project a reality,” said Council Member and Parks Committee Chair Mark Levine.

"We thank the de Blasio administration, Council Member Johnson, and the community's advocacy for the extraordinary feat of providing both parks and affordable housing to our community,” said Christine Berthet, Chair of Community Board 4. “The new mid- block park - in a section of our district that needs it the most - will bring greenery and play space to the economically diverse population of East Chelsea including 25% of lower income residents. At the same time a large number of affordable housing units will be built on 7th Avenue and in Hudson Yards."

"We are thrilled that this much-needed green space is being built in Chelsea, and we are grateful to the NYC Parks Department and our elected officials, especially Council Member Corey Johnson whose leadership helped to make this possible,” said Matt Weiss & Sally Greenspan, on behalf of Friends of 20th Street Park. “We also want to acknowledge the thousands of downtown residents who have passionately supported this grassroots effort for years. This park will be a testament to what can be achieved when community groups work together with local government to create something special."

In addition to a new park, the community will be getting a new, permanently affordable mixed-use building at another City-owned site: 495 Eleventh Avenue in the heart of Hudson Yards. The future building will provide hundreds of units with a goal of 100% affordability. This 24,687 square foot lot, currently used as NYPD parking, was identified for the City by Council Member Johnson, Community Board 4 and elected officials.

The project is supported by $1 million in funding from Councilmember Johnson, $4.3 million from Mayor de Blasio. NYC Parks is currently at work on an environmental assessment of the site. In 2016, the project will officially kick off with a scoping meeting to gather ideas for the park’s design from the community. Demolition of existing structures is expected in 2017, with a projected opening date for the park in 2019.

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