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Nike Debuts Stanton Street Courts, Politicos Protest Giant Soho Store

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Photos by Nike.
Photos by Nike.

Nike has revealed its new basketball courts in Sara D. Roosevelt Park. The project is a collaboration with the NYC Parks Department and KAWS, the Brooklyn street artist (Brian Donnelly).

The “New York Made” campaign includes the reinvention of two side-by-side full basketball courts at Stanton Street. They measure approximately 116 by 80 feet). In a Nike news release, KAWS said, “My approach to the courts was very similar to how I would work on canvas. I wanted to create something that was true to my language, but also considerate of this being a court that people are playing on.”

Back in the mid-90s, Donnelly lived near the intersection of Stanton and Clinton streets. “The courts that we painted,” I used to pass everyday,” said the artist. “I worked over in Soho, so I’d walk through…when I wasn’t taking Houston, I’d go through that park.”

Nike is pretty busy in Lower Manhattan at the moment. It’s opening a 55,000 square foot, five-story store at 529 Broadway in Soho tomorrow. Local elected officials will gather in front of the store this afternoon at 2 p.m. to protest the scale of the Nike store and the city’s handling of Buildings Department permits. Here’s the news advisory we received from Council member Maragret Chin’s office:

SoHo residents and community leaders will rally against the broken policies and decision making of the New York City Department of Buildings that led to the granting of a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy to a giant, multi-floor Nike retail space in the middle of one of the most congested shopping districts in the city. The Niketown store, located at 529 Broadway at the corner of Spring Street, is scheduled to open this week inside a new six-story retail complex at the site of a completely demolished building. Despite leaving only a portion of a party wall adjoining a historic property on Spring Street, DOB treated the Niketown site as an “alteration” of an existing property rather than a new building – a decision that allowed a big-box store to open along a shopping corridor already oversaturated with retail space. DOB’s decision – made over the opposition of Council Member Chin, Borough President Brewer and the local community board – puts the interests of a global corporation over the safety of pedestrians forced to navigate congested sidewalks and those looking to protect the historic character of one of the City’s most iconic neighborhoods.

The advisory indicates that Chin will be joined at this afternoon’s news conference by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and State Sen. Daniel Squadron.

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