Downtown now has more places to park — your keister.
Two miniature plazas appeared last weekend at curbside on streets leading into the MetroTech Center office park, giving workers, students, and residents new options for taking a load off outside. The modular seating units feature metal tables and chairs bordered by wooden benches that double as planters. The petite parks on Lawrence and Bridge streets are only around for the next month, but they will hopefully liven up the area around bustling Fulton Mall, according to a staffer at the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, the pro-business group that had the add-ons installed.
“We’re trying to activate primary pedestrian pathways in and out of Fulton Mall,” said Ryan Grew, deputy director of operations for the Partnership.
The program is part of a citywide initiative called Street Seats that is meant to provide places to sit where sidewalk seating is in short supply. In the case of Lawrence Street between Willoughby Street and the Myrtle Avenue promenade, the temporary tables and chairs have been placed alongside permanent, if grimy, concrete picnic tables.
The Partnership footed the bill for the latest recreation stations, which sit on platforms at curb height, extending the sidewalk into an area the width of a parking spot, with the wraparound benches facing away from the street. Design firm Fantastica, the team behind the so-called “Future Plaza” on a sliver of cement between Flatbush Avenue Extension and Gold Street, made the micro-plazas easy to transport and store.
Navy Yard furniture maker Bien Hecho assembles the components, apart from the tables and chairs, out of eucalyptus wood. Each flatbed-sized plaza is comprised of six sections, which workers haul to their destination, then place beside each other and snap together like Legos.
Using a local manufacturer was important to the Partnership, which is trying to showcase nifty creations made in Kings County, Grew said.
“We want to take some of these great ideas out from behind doors and present them to the public,” he said.
The neighborhood booster group wants to move the pop-up parks to other streets in the spring, but is trying them out in their current locations, where it plans to leave them out till November.
“We just wanted to get them out there,” Grew said.