A project to transform a street in Manhattan’s Hudson Square neighborhood into a “grand boulevard” is one step closer to reality with the selection of a design and construction team, the city will announce Thursday.
Hudson Street, between Canal and West Houston streets, is slated to get extended sidewalks, a parking-protected bike lane, 8,041 square feet of planting areas, new benches and space for sidewalk cafes, as part of a $27 million public-private streetscape plan to make the neighborhood more pedestrian-friendly.
The project will “complete the transformation of our neighborhood from an old industrial neighborhood into a place that really is a centerpiece for the city’s creative industry,” said Ellen Baer, Hudson Square BID president and CEO.
Three companies — Prima Paving Corporation, Sam Schwartz Engineering, D.P.C. and Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects — have been selected as “design-build” consultants for the project, the city’s Economic Development Corporation and Department of Transportation said. The design-build system will help to streamline the construction process by contracting both the design and construction components to the firms, acting as a team, the city said.
Prima Paving Corporation, which has done several other projects in the city, will complete designs and get the necessary approvals over the coming months, with construction expected to begin in late 2019, the city said. The company will manage the construction work, while Sam Schwartz will lead the engineering work, designs, agency approvals and public outreach, and Mathews Nielsen will lead the landscape architecture and urban design, according to the city.
“We are pleased to work with our agency partners, community stakeholders and design-build consultants to help expedite this project in record time to beautify the neighborhood and improve public safety conditions for all New Yorkers,” NYCEDC president and CEO James Patchett said in a statement.
While Hudson Square sits next to “some of the most famous neighborhoods in the world” like Greenwich Village, SOHO and TriBeCa, it had been “an undeveloped piece,” until about 10 years ago, Baer said.
“Now that we have a bustling creative community here with a daytime population of over 60,000 people, we felt it was time to sort of create that sense of a grand boulevard in the Hudson Square portion of Hudson Street,” similar to how it is in the surrounding neighborhoods, she said.
The Hudson Square BID will maintain the street when construction is complete as part of its commitment to improving the quality of life in the neighborhood, Baer said.
“If we can add to the reason why people will want to work in the companies here, because they’ll say, ‘Wow that’s a great neighborhood,’ then that’s the contribution that we can make to our businesses in helping them attract and retain talent,” she said.
The streetscape plan has also added or “retrofitted” 250 trees throughout the neighborhood and upgraded Spring Street Park.