Request on behalf of the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC), in partnership with Grand Central Partnership, to approve its preliminary design concept for Pershing Square plaza on Park Avenue between 42nd and 41st streets.
WHEREAS, Pershing Square Plaza is located in the southbound lanes of Park Avenue between 42nd and 41st Streets, and is flanked by the Altria Building at 120 Park Avenue and the landmark Pershing Square Viaduct; and
WHEREAS, A public seating promenade is currently open weekdays from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. alongside the Altria Building and, across from the public seating area, there is an outdoor café operated by Pershing Square Café weekdays from noon until 10:30 p.m.; and
WHEREAS, After operating as a seasonal street activity for the past decade, the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) selected Pershing Square Plaza for inclusion in the first round of the City's NYC Plaza Program in 2009, and designated Grand Central Partnership (GCP) as its maintenance partner in the project; and
WHEREAS, DOT, in partnership with GCP, seeks to transform the site into a permanent year-round plaza for the benefit of residents, commuters and visitors of the Grand Central neighborhood; and
WHEREAS, In 2009, Community Board Five recommended approval of Pershing Square Plaza for inclusion in the NYC Plaza Program; and
WHEREAS, The Pershing Square Plaza project moved into a year-long design phase in August 2010 with the selection of an engineering consultant and landscape architect to produce design proposals for the proposed year-round plaza; and
WHEREAS, The New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC), as lead agency, along with the project's consulting engineering firm (URS) and landscape architectural firm (Quennell Rothschild & Partners), held as part of the preliminary design phase for the plaza space two (2) public workshops (October 2010 and March 2011) to elicit stakeholder input on the preliminary design concepts; and
WHEREAS, The proposed preliminary design concept recognizes, and is aesthetically harmonious with, the architectural character of the surrounding area including, in particular, the landmark Grand Central Terminal and the landmark Park Avenue Viaduct; and
WHEREAS, The proposed preliminary design concept includes plentiful "green" features including trees, rain garden planters and pervious surfaces; and
WHEREAS, The traffic study conducted as part of the preliminary design concept phase concludes that the permanent closing of the segment of Park Avenue between 42nd and 41st Streets to all vehicular traffic will not result in significant adverse impacts to traffic flow or efficiencies in the area around the project site; and
WHEREAS, The fire truck turning radius study conducted as part of the preliminary design concept phase concludes that the proposed design concept allows for sufficient turning radius and travel lane capacity for fire trucks; and
WHEREAS, The transformation of the existing part-time plaza to a year-round plaza will complete the creation of the approved neighborhood plaza under the NYC Plaza Program; therefore be it
RESOLVED, That Community Board Five recommends approval of the preliminary design concept proposed by the Department of Design and Construction and Grand Central Partnership for the Pershing Square Plaza.
The above resolution passed with a vote of 27 in favor, 1opposed, 1 abstaining.