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Pazza de Pearl OK’d

NYC DOT

A parking lot formed by the intersection of Pearl Street, Water Street and Anchorage Place in DUMBO moved one step closer to being reborn as a Paris-style plaza, thanks to a Community Board 2 vote last week.

The board’s transportation committee OK’d a Department of Transportation plan to replace all the parked cars with tables and planters starting in late June — a pilot project that many hope will lead to the creation of a grand public space.

“We believe it will revive the area,” said Tucker Reed, executive director of the DUMBO Improvement District.

What’s the downside? Apparently none: the CB2 committee vote was unanimous.

That doesn’t mean there wasn’t some minor concern. At least two members of the DUMBO Neighborhood Association told the committee they were concerned that a temporary plaza would delay long-sought, neighborhood-wide renovation projects.

But city officials said that the effort to remake DUMBO has to start somewhere — and that Pearl Street was a great opportunity.

“We see this as similar to what we did on Willoughby Street,” where the DOT closed a Downtown street to car traffic and put out tables that have proven to be popular, said Christopher Hrones, the agency’s transportation coordinator for Downtown Brooklyn.

The difference in this case is that the buildings around the Pearl Street triangle are largely industrial, while the Willoughby Street plaza is flanked by a pizzeria, a sandwich shop and fast food eateries whose customers have been enjoying al fresco eating.

“That’s why we’re going to be more proactive at Pearl Street,” Hrones said, saying the DOT would work with the DUMBO Improvement District to “encourage more people to use the area.”

The proposal now goes to a vote — and an expected approval — by the full community board on June 13.

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