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Tour the Abandoned Trolley Station Below Delancey

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If there was any doubt that the MTA is intent on reactivating the abandoned trolley terminal below Delancey Street, this video will put an end to that. Posted on YouTube about a week ago and by 2nd Ave. Sagas yesterday, the video is basically an advertisement for the 60,000 square foot subterranean “development opportunity.”

In September, James Ramsey and Daniel Barasch went public with their proposal to turn the old terminal into a dramatic underground park. Their contact at the MTA, Peter Hine, was obviously more than a little intrigued by the idea. Ramsey and Barasch were always well aware they would likely be competing against other potential developers when the MTA gets around to issuing a “Request for Proposals.” In the New York Times last week, Hine said he’d love to see “500 ideas.”

Listen carefully to Hine, as he walks through the trolly station. There’s no doubt the cash-strapped MTA’s main priority is extracting as much money as possible from the unused space. He even mentions creating a night club in part of the terminal. Even at this very preliminary stage, it’s clear the transit agency and the community board might not necessarily see eye to eye on how the space should be developed.

Ramsey and Barasch envision some revenue producing elements as part of their “Delancey Underground” project (possibly retail). But their idea primarily centers around reclaiming the abandoned space for public use.


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  1. As a lifelong resident of the lower eastside, along with having my dad operating his newsstand on the n/w corner of Delancey & Clinton Streets for 50 years, I not only worked there but recall this trolly depot quite well. As a little boy my mom would take me to grandma’s house in Williamsburg via the trolly, 1st going over the bridge- then transfering on the B’klyn side for another trolly going in the right direction. (Tompkins Ave). Later the trollys were replaced with electric busses also operating off the overhead power lines.

  2. During my frequent walks around the lower east side, quite often I’ve noticed many out-of-town tourists admiring our neighborhood. These groups of people are visiting on a daily basis!  We recently read how successful the park on top of the old elevated freight train tracks along 10th ave @ 15th street have become so well liked. I surely think this underground park is another one of a kind and can be visited all year round. I’m certain this will be utilized by LES residents as well as  tourists. Remember- the LES does not have an indoor mall nor an atrium. 

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