Former empty lot now hosts exciting interim community space with Brooklyn’s first bike course, an urban farm, reading room, and green space
From Two Trees
Two Trees Management Company today announced the opening this weekend of Havemeyer Park and Brooklyn Bike Park, the interim creative community spaces on Site E of the Domino Sugar property in Williamsburg. Over the past three months, the previously vacant 55,000-square-foot lot on Kent Avenue between South 3rd and South 4th Streets has been transformed by Bobby Redd, Ride Brooklyn and Dellavalle Designs, into a neighborhood destination with a community farm, bilingual reading room, community green space, family-friendly bike course, affordable food and goods from local vendors and a variety of seasonal programming, including kids days, yoga classes, and hands-on urban farming classes. The site has been made available by Two Trees for the community to enjoy before construction starts next year on the first of several buildings that will provide hundreds of new affordable housing units.
“Bobby Redd and Ride Brooklyn have done an incredible job transforming this dead zone into a space that the entire community will really enjoy,” said Jed Walentas, Principal at Two Trees Management. “We can’t wait to welcome everyone over the opening weekend and look forward to a terrific summer of programming for all ages and interests.”
The site is now divided into an eastern and western portion with a variety of uses. The eastern portion of the site, which was developed by a group led by Williamsburg resident Bobby Redd, includes 8,000 square feet of much-needed grass to relax on from sunrise to sunset, along with a 3,000 square foot grassed field that will host more active uses for children of all ages. A tranquil reading room will house an open-air library beginning late this summer. Programming will be unveiled throughout the summer, including yoga, speakers, and aerobics, with more information available at havemeyerpark.com and @bbbyrdd on Twitter.
“We graciously thank Two Trees for the immense support over the past several months,” said Bobby Redd. “And we appreciate the encouragement and helping hands from our neighbors in Southside Williamsburg. We would also like to extend our gratitude to Build It Green! NYC for the donation of reclaimed material which allowed for the timely construction of Havemeyer Park.”
The eastern portion of the site will also include an experiential community farm built and operated by North Brooklyn Farms. The farm will host Saturday farm stands, supper clubs, pick-your-own harvests, workshops and farming lessons. All food is grown in modular farming containers designed by North Brooklyn Farms.
The western portion of the site, bordering Kent Ave, will host the Brooklyn Bike Park, the borough’s first legal, free and environmentally conscious bike park. The Bike Park is a “progressive” park, providing users a range of opportunities based on their skill level, from easier to more challenging:
· Multi-use trail: The first park amenity is a 6-foot-wide, multi-use trail that is completely ADA-accessible and can accommodate bikes, strollers and walkers. The loop meanders through the bike park, providing an overview.
· Skills area: The skills areas will help develop the basic skills required for off road cycling. The skills area will hold workshops to teach kids about biking and introduce new riders to cycling and proper riding technique.
· Beginner pump track: The pump track provides a cardio-physical exercise for riders in a safe manner. At this stage, the rider can see and feel the rollers and berms through compressing and decompressing the body, moving forward without pedaling – hence the name “pump track.”
· Expert/advanced pump track: This track design is more advanced for expert off road riders, with tall berms, 360-degree berms a table top, rollers, and transition areas.
The park will also include rain gardens, the park’s hubs for plant life and insects from grasses, wildflowers, trees to butterflies and birds.
The cycling area will be run by local bike shop Ride Brooklyn, in partnership with the New York City Mountain Bike Association and Brooklyn Mountain Biking, and free bikes and helmets will be available for children and available for rent for adults. The bike park was designed and built by Dellavalle Designs’ Jim Dellavalle, a professional bike rider and designer of numerous trail and bike parks. Sponsors of the Brooklyn Bike Park include Giant, Cannondale, Bern and G-Form. The park is looking for volunteers of all ages who are interested in getting involved. For more information, visit Brooklynbikepark.org.
“We can't wait to unveil Brooklyn's first bike park, with fun and challenging options for riders of all ages and skill levels,” said Jim Dellavalle. “We expect the community to really embrace the new park and we're grateful to Two Trees for this unique opportunity."
“Bravo to Two Trees Management, Bobby Redd, Ride Brooklyn, Dellavalle Designs, Build It Green NYC, North Brooklyn Farms and all involved in the opening of Havemeyer Park and Brooklyn Bike Park!” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. “How ‘sweet’ it is to see this Domino Sugar lot transformed into a green space where Brooklynites can kick back and relax or go for a ride and hop on their bike. With local food vendors, an open-air library, biking instruction, yoga sessions, and even urban farming classes, this site’s creative makeover will give Brooklyn residents and visitors a great place to lounge—and learn— while they await even bigger developments to come.”
"This previously barren land will become a must-attend destination for bike riders of all skill levels,” said Assemblyman Joseph Lentol. “It is an excellent example of forward thinking urban planning that will be a welcome addition to our neighborhood.”
"I am happy to welcome new interim park space to Williamsburg. It is always nice to see open space combined with unique programming," said Council Member Diana Reyna. "I appreciate the effort Two Trees has made to address the concerns and needs of the local community. I look forward to working with Two Trees to establish more green space and affordable housing units along Williamsburg's waterfront."
These interim uses are just a taste of the variety of active and passive uses that will be part of the Domino Sugar redevelopment plan’s quarter-mile long waterfront esplanade and about 5 acres of parkland, designed by landscape architecturefirm James Corner Field Operations, which will include kayak launches, a floating pool, sports fields, lawns and gardens with varied seating options.
The Two Trees plan for the Domino Sugar site, released earlier this year and based on extensive community input, will reconnect South Williamsburg to its waterfront; reactivate the historic Domino Sugar factory to house between 3,000 and 4,000 permanent jobs, tripling existing Williamsburg commercial space and supporting the growth of the neighborhood’s tech and creative industries; bring world-class design to the creative neighborhood; and deliver hundreds of units of affordable housing, a public school and a recreational facility.