After plans for Willoughby Square Park faltered during the downturn after years in the making, the city has finally found a private developer to execute its vision. The Willoughby Operating Company, an affiliate of the American Development Group, will rent the land from the city, build the park using a combination of city and private funds, and hire Automotion Parking System to build and run a huge automated parking garage under the park, The New York Times reported. The city has already spent about $40 million to acquire the acre or so of land and to relocate residents and businesses there (including the controversial relocation of rent-stabilized and rent-controlled tenants, of whom nine families remain). Plans call for site prep to start this summer, followed by demolition. (Above, a tenement at 402-406 Albee Square that will be razed to make way for the development.) The park is tentatively scheduled to open in 2016. The park will have lawns, walkways, gardens and an area commemorating the abolitionist movement. The parking will accommodate 700 cars and help pay for the park, a key part of the 2004 rezoning of downtown.
Buried Garage to Help Pay for New Park in Brooklyn [NY Times]
Willoughby Square Park Plans Resuscitated? [Brownstoner]