Downtown Brooklyn's answer to Bryant Park has been in the works for nearly a decade, and now the Times reports that work on the 1-acre Willoughby Square Park will likely begin this summer because the city finally found a developer: the Willoughby Operating Company, an affiliate of the American Development Group. The city is almost done
kicking out relocating all the tenants who live in the soon-to-be razed tenement building, and once that happens, they'll begin demolition of it and the other buildings on the site. The park will sit atop a super high-tech automated parking garage that will help pay for the green space above. One might think that the park is the highlight of this project, but the 700-vehicle underground parking garage will be a pretty badass, human-less, robot world that uses light sensors, lasers, and computers to park your car. It will also take the coveted title of the largest automated parking garage on the continent.
The park and garage will be funded with $6 million from city capital, the EDC, and private contributions, and the developer agreed to pay for any cost overruns. Automotion Parking Systems, which has three other garages in the city, will build and operate the garage. The company's technology is key to the whole project, which sits just four feet from the subway lines. Automotion uses a super compact system that needs less ramps, therefore less excavating, than traditional underground garages. Costs come in at $50K to $60K a car, whereas building a normal subterranean garage runs about $90K a car.
If all goes as planned, robots will be parking our cars and we'll be frolicking in Willoughby Square by 2016.
· Underground Garage to Help Pay for New Park in Brooklyn [NYT]
· Willoughby Square Park coverage [Curbed]