That tantalizing grassy vacant lot at Kent Avenue and South 4th Street in Williamsburg will soon undergo a very family-friendly transformation. The property, located across the street from the Domino Sugar Refinery, is owned by Two Trees Management, the real estate company that plans to spend approximately $1.5 billion to turn the sprawling complex into a residential and office complex. If approved, construction won't start until next year, but Two Trees has been eagerly currying favor with the local community, and to that end they're going put that 55,000-square-foot lot to good use, starting in May.
Two Trees put out Requests for Proposals in January, and today they announced what's in store for that the lot that time forgot, which the company is blandly dubbing "Site E." Jed Walentas, the heir apparent at Two Trees, says, "The operators we’ve selected will be welcoming residents of all ages to this new public open space for biking, reading, relaxing, yoga classes, and more.” According to a statement sent out by Two Trees:
Site E will be shared by two local operators through a collaborative plan that will encourage community interaction while allowing for the least amount of impact on the immediate neighborhood.
The eastern portion of the site will include a variety of different open spaces, including a tranquil reading room, a community farm operated by North Brooklyn Farms, and a community green space which will be used for programming such as yoga, speakers, and aerobics. A group led by Williamsburg resident Bobby Redd will design, build, and operate this portion of Site E. In late 2011 Bobby Redd's group took temporary residence at 626 Bushwick Ave. and transformed a 19th century vacant church into the vibrant community space it is today.
The western portion of the site, bordering Kent Ave, will include a free, family-oriented bike course which will include a basic skills training area for children, novices, and intermediate riders, as well as an advanced pump track for the more skilled riders. The cycling area will be run by local bike shop Ride Brooklyn, in partnership with the New York City Mountain Bike Association, and free bikes will be available.