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Breaking: Lowline Underground Park Proposal Wins City Approval

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Lowline rendering by James Ramsey.
Lowline rendering by James Ramsey.

New York City officials tonight are announcing the initial approval of the Lowline underground park proposal in an abandoned former trolley site below Delancey Street.

Since the fall of 2011, when the concept was first made public, co-founders James Ramsey and Dan Barasch have been trying to persuade the MTA and two mayoral administrations to sign off on their plan. They hope to convert the 60,000 square foot space into a lively green space, using sunlight channeling technology.

Last year, the NYC Economic Development Corp. put out a Request for Expressions of Interest for the old trolley station. The announcement is being made now at a meeting of Community Board 3.

The decision is being called a conditional designation, meaning the Lowline team must meet several requirements during the next couple of years. These requirements include engaging the local community through a series of visioning sessions, holding quarterly meetings of a new community engagement committee, raising $10 million within a 12 month period and completing schematic designs within the next year.

We’re attending tonight’s meeting of CB3’s land use committee, in which more details of the city’s agreement with the Lowline are expected to be unveiled. We’ll have a full report when new information is available.

UPDATE: We will have a comprehensive report from Wednesday night’s community board meeting Thursday on The Lo-Down.

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