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Hudson Square corridor to transform into ‘grand boulevard’

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The revamp will extend sidewalks and roll out new bike lanes

A rendering of the Hudson Street overhaul.
Original render by W in 2018, final render by MNLA in 2019, courtesy of MNLA

A Hudson Square thoroughfare will be reimagined as a “grand boulevard” to better serve the tiny neighborhood that is in the midst of a development boom.

The city, in partnership with the Hudson Square Business Improvement District, will overhaul seven blocks of Hudson Street with pedestrian and cyclist upgrades to better serve those who live and work in the fast-growing west side neighborhood. The area, once known as Manhattan’s Printing District, has seen a surge of residential development following a 2013 rezoning, and will soon house the Walt Disney Company’s new headquarters in an office building spanning an entire city block.

With all that construction comes the need to boost the area’s infrastructure to “increase pedestrian walkability, add new green space, and significantly improve bicycle safety,” says Hudson Square BID President and CEO Ellen Baer. The NYC Economic Development Corporation and the Department of Transportation have teamed up with the BID on the initiative.

The redesign, which is being spearheaded by Prima Paving Corporation, Sam Schwartz Engineering, and MNLA, will extend sidewalks along Hudson Street up to five feet and add a new bike lane from Canal to West Houston streets. The revamp will also create 2,255 square feet for sidewalk cafes and will line the corridor with new trees, greenery, and benches. The streetscape improvements are part of a $27 million plan to create a more pedestrian-friendly and environmentally resilient streetscape, says the BID.

The effort is also the first time the city has used the design-build method to advance a public-private initiative. Design-build streamlines the process by fusing design and construction services into one project and contracting both components to a single entity.

To ensure minimal impact on locals, the project will take a phased approach. The first leg of the renovations spans between West Houston and Spring streets and began in November with completion set for fall 2020. The second and final phase will extend from Spring to Canal streets with work expected to break ground in fall 2020 and wrap up in the summer of 2021.