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Long-awaited Downtown Brooklyn park inches towards reality

The city is now prepping to demolish an office building to make way for Willoughby Square Park

Downtown Brooklyn’s decade-in-the-making Willoughby Square Park gets a small boost towards becoming a reality. Though not much else has been done to make way for the one-acre park, the city is getting ready to demolish an office building at 217 Duffield Street between Willoughby and Fulton streets, reports YIMBY.

The city sold 120,000 square feet of air rights and 3,000 square feet of property from the proposed park’s site to JEMB Realty for $15.5 million, helping the park project finally move forward, cites YIMBY. JEMB, who owns an adjacent lot, was planning on a 65-story mixed-use tower but will construct a 400,000-square-foot office tower instead. As for Willoughby Square, it will sit above a high-tech underground parking garage with the capacity to fit 700 cars and will be maintained by robots. Once constructed, it will claim the title for the continent’s largest automated parking garage.

When the city found a developer for the project back in 2013, it was anticipating for construction to begin the summer of that year, once the occupants of the tenement building that stood in its way were evicted so that the building could be razed. Of course, that didn’t happen. Will this new step be enough to fully get the ball rolling? Honestly, who knows.