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Hudson Square Connection Unveils Plan to Transform Neighborhood: Streetscape Improvement Plan Celebrates the Neighborhood’s Creativity, Enhances Green Spaces and Pedestrian Experiences

Hudson Square, NYC (October 10, 2012) – The Hudson Square Business Improvement District, known as the Hudson Square Connection, unveiled an ambitious Streetscape Improvement Plan today that will transform the neighborhood. Once home to the city’s printing industry and now the epicenter of New York’s innovation economy, the Plan will celebrate the neighborhood’s creativity while enhancing green spaces and a pedestrian culture.

Hudson Square is NOW – the $27 million, five-year master plan – envisions a green and sustainable neighborhood, achieved through the implementation of pedestrian-focused improvements in an area that has been dominated by access points and entrances to the Holland Tunnel.

“Hudson Square has become a thriving business center filled with creative businesses of all kinds,” said Laura Walker, president of New York Public Radio, and chair of the Hudson Square Connection board.  “This plan is the next logical step in the neighborhood’s transformation.   The Hudson Square Connection has put forth an ambitious and thoughtful plan that will foster a deep sense of community through physical improvements to our shared environment.”

“The public realm of Hudson Square will soon reflect the creativity that defines the businesses in the neighborhood,” said Ellen Baer, president of the Hudson Square Connection. “The entire pedestrian experience will be enhanced and beautified to encourage social interaction, staying activities, safer street crossings and attract retailers to this growing neighborhood.”

Goals of the Plan include:

  • Managing traffic to balance the needs of the Holland Tunnel, an important regional transportation facility, with the needs of the local community.
  • Creating a pedestrian-friendly environment by providing places for people to walk, socialize and experience Hudson Square.
  • Improving existing open space and finding opportunities to create new and engaging public spaces.
  • Greening the streets by planting trees and other foliage.
  • Strengthening the neighborhood’s identity by improving the streets so they reflect the spirit of innovation that is thriving in the buildings.

Improvements to be undertaken in the initial stages of implementation include:

  • Installation of distinctive street light fixtures and trees, along Spring Street – the main east-west thoroughfare;
  • Renovation and expansion of SoHo Square, the half-acre open space that sits on the neighborhood’s eastern edge at Spring Street and Sixth Avenue;
  • Furnishing of custom-designed vine structures, subway vent seating, custom crosswalks, in-ground solar lights and public art along Varick Street;
  • Transformation of Hudson Street into a world-class boulevard, by widening sidewalks to provide space for small outdoor “living rooms” in garden-like surroundings; and
  • Creation of outdoor places to socialize, see and be seen. Abundant trees and plantings, comfortable places to sit and public art will truly make Hudson Square a socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable neighborhood.

The Plan will be funded through public and private resources, including the issuance of bonds by the Hudson Square Connection. The Plan can be viewed online at http://www.hudsonsquarebid.org/about/hudson-square-is-now/#comments.

A multidisciplinary team, lead by Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects, developed the comprehensive Streetscape Improvement Plan.  Other team members are Rogers Marvel Architects (urban design), Billings Jackson Design (industrial design), ARUP (transportation planning and lighting design), and Open (graphic design).

“This project is an urban planner’s dream,” said Signe Nielsen, principal of Mathews Nielsen.  “Not only are we creating catalytic improvements to transform the district on an immediate basis, we are also looking ahead to the future, devising ways to address escalating vehicular and foot traffic as the area develops.”

The master plan was released at an event hosted by Edelman Communications and Jack Resnick & Sons at their 250 Hudson Street building.

Hudson Square is a vibrant neighborhood on Manhattan’s Lower West Side nestled among Greenwich Village, SoHo and Tribeca, bounded by Canal Street, West Houston Street, Sixth Avenue and Greenwich Street.  The area is home to hundreds of creative businesses working in architecture, design, communications, media and technology. As a result, Hudson Square has one of the lowest office vacancy rates in the city – less than three percent – and more than 50,000 people come to the neighborhood every day.

About the Hudson Square Connection

 Launched in July 2009, the Hudson Square Connection is leading the neighborhood’s transformation into a major creative hub, home to over 35,000 people working in advertising, design, media, communications and other cutting edge businesses. Our district is generally bounded by West Houston Street on the north, Canal Street on the south, 6th Avenue on the east and Greenwich Street on the west.

The mission of the Connection is to put the Hudson Square neighborhood on the map while simultaneously improving local traffic congestion, beautifying and enlivening the streets, and re-enforcing a socially, culturally and environmentally connected community. Our goal is to capture the spirit and innovation that is thriving in the commercial spaces and bring that energy into the public realm.

The Hudson Square Connection is a 501c3, funded primarily through the payment of an annual assessment on commercial property. The NYC Department of Finance disburses these funds to the BID through a contract with the Department of Small Business Services.

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