New York

What the Abandoned Trolley Terminal on the Lower East Side Looks Like Now


Remember “the Low Line” — the proposal to make the 60,000 currently unused square feet of the abandoned trolley terminal on the Lower East Side, under Delancey Street, into something called The Delancey Underground? James Ramsey and Dan Barasch came up with the plan to create a green space there utilizing solar technology, and got a lot of press about it in September. Then, just before Thanksgiving, the MTA took a little tour of the area and posted it on YouTube to show the public what it currently looks like and put out a call for proposals for what it might be.

This is a rare chance to explore a part of the city you likely wouldn’t otherwise get to see — even if it is just via your computer.

As for what this means for the likelihood of a Delancey Underground, Ramsey told us back in September, of the space: “The MTA holds the master lease; the space is owned by the city. They’re open to [the idea]. They’re legally bound to be open to every possibility. There have been a couple news stories recently citing the possibility of a big-box store there — the community board would probably vote that down, but the MTA has to consider it.”

A recent article in the New York Times about the project quotes MTA senior real estate manager Peter Hine, who narrates the video above, as saying “We’re looking at [the Delancey Underground project] very seriously because we need the money, and this is a cool space and we ought to do something with it.”

However, a Low Line is by no means a done deal, as “the authority’s main interest is in deriving revenue from the site, and whether a free public space can serve that end is unclear.”

Hine said, “There are a million creative people in this city, and I would love to get 500 ideas on how to deal with this space.”

MTA’s Underground Tour of Delancey [Animal NY]

Previously: James Ramsey Tells Us About the ‘Low Line,’ His Proposed Subterranean Sci-Fi Green Space on the Lower East Side

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