Grab your skateboard and knee pads–Tony Hawk’s The Skatepark Project has partnered with NYC non-profit Brooklyn Bridge Manhattan to return the iconic Brooklyn Banks skate spot (that has been closed for 13 years) to the neighborhood!
Construction broke ground this year as the organizations have developed Gotham Park by converting empty lots under the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge into greenspace and open play spaces.
The original announcement coincided with a press conference in which Mayor Adams stated his commitment to build out the public park space in order to bring back desperately needed recreation space in an area that has been long overlooked and under-resourced.
The park space, which will create at least 3,300 permanent jobs, has the potential to become a tourism hub. In doing so, it would foster community, boost local businesses, and create space for safe outdoor recreation areas.
Nine new acres of public space will be transformed through three phases.
Phase one of the project was to reclaim shuttered open space, with a focus on restoring the Banks skate area and rebuilding adjacent basketball courts that were being used to store construction materials.
Digital art will also be incorporated, while the pedestrian connectivity to Chinatown will be restored.
Phase two of the project focused on the remaining half of the Small Banks and the Big Banks areas to establish the area as a skating mecca, and will also create a playground for all ages and abilities.
The Vaults area will be redeveloped to include a library, community hub, restaurant, food hall, and retail space, while the Arches area will be designed to host performances, arts and cultural events, markets, and even include a climbing wall and other potential attractions.
Finally, phase three marks the completion of the project with an open space that will host film screenings, farmers markets, arts and crafts and book markets.
This open space will connect communities on both sides of the bridge, and climate-resilient efforts will be implemented through flood-friendly landscaping.
Overall, the project is worked on an estimated $160 million budget–$10 million for phase one, $100 million for phase two, and $50 million for phase three.
More than 47,000 residents live within a half-mile radius of the park, making it among the most densely populated neighborhoods in NYC–and 60% denser than neighborhoods across the bridge.
The rebuilding of the Brooklyn Banks Skatepark is expected to attract more than 7.5 million visitors and generate $470 million in economic output, including $150 million of spending flowing directly to local businesses.
“Skateboarding brings people together, creating long-lasting friendships, builds determination and confidence, and all while promoting a healthy lifestyle,” said iconic skateboarder and founder of The Skatepark Project, Tony Hawk. “We want to help provide a place for that sense of community and support at the Banks for people of all ages. The local community deserves to have a safe, designated skate space that provides a sense of belonging.”
A detailed plan of the project can be found here.