The Lower East Side's "Lowline," an innovative park that would send sunlight to an abandoned subterranean trolley terminal through fiber optic cables, is one step closer to becoming a reality after the MTA signaled that it would be interesting in transferring the space to the city.
The bus terminal, which lies below Delancey, is now owned by the MTA, which has been trying for years to renovate the space for retail development. Like many things with the MTA, the plan has never really come to fruition, and now it would like to transfer the land back to the city, in the hopes that it can become a park.
“They basically said at our last meeting, ‘We are ready for a phone call from City Hall,’” Dan Barasch, co-founder of the Lowline, told DNAinfo.
The MTA wants to talk to the city's Economic Development Corporation about how to actually transfer the property, so the parks department can designate it a permanent public space.
We checked in with the Lowline a few weeks back, and the MTA transfer seemed like one huge hurtle for the project to get past. Now with apparent MTA approval, we might actually see an underground park?!
In a letter sent to the EDC that was signed by almost every politician associated with the surrounding neighborhoods (including Senator Schumer), elected officials confirmed that the transfer was imminent. "The MTA leadership has signaled to us a willingness to enter into direct discussions to explore the process of transferring the site from MTA to city control and we would greatly appreciate if EDC would begin this process," the letter said.