The Real Deal New York

Community board seeks more power over Lowline

City released a RFEI for the 60K sf Williamsburg Bridge Trolley Terminal space last month

December 11, 2015 09:10AM

Low Line Damaris Reyes

From left: A rendering of the Lowline on the Lower East Side (credit: Raad Studio) (inset: Damaris Reyes)

Community Board 3, representing the Lower East Side and Chinatown, thinks the city government and the team behind the proposed Lowline park need to hit the brakes.

In a meeting Wednesday night, members of the board’s land use committee suggested the city should suspend the Request for Expression of Interest it propagated last month.

“Yes, the Lowline is a sexy idea and there are lots of people who think that it is a great idea,” Board Member Damaris Reyes said, according to Bedford and Bowery. “But our community and our needs have to be taken into account before an RFEI is issued.”

Lusheena Warner, a representative of the city’s Economic Development corporation, argued the proposal constitutes a very early stage in planning.

“Essentially what it says is that, we’re going to look at proposals holistically,” she said, “what’s financially feasible, what fits in with the community.”

The idea for the Lowline, a proposed underground park at the site of the Williamsburg Bridge Trolley Terminal under Delancey Street, was hatched in 2011 by James Ramsey and Dan Barasch. They raised $224,000 for the project on Kickstarter earlier this year. [Bedford and Bowery]Ariel Stulberg