After more than a decade, Myrtle Avenue Plaza is open and ready to serve the Clinton Hill community with free fitness programs, kids events and music performances.
Clinton Hill residents have a new public space to hang. On Thursday, The Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership (MARP) opened a 25,000-square-foot pedestrian plaza between Hall Street and Emerson Place with a celebratory ribbon-cutting ceremony, live performances and the kick off of the free summer program series "Move on Myrtle."
MARP Executive Director Meredith Phillips Almeida was joined by officials and local leaders including MARP board member Raffaele DiMaggio, City Council Majority Leader Laurie A. Cumbo, NY State Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol, NYC Department of Small Business Services Commissioner Gregg Bishop and Frances Bronet, President of Pratt Institute.
"We are proud to see the residents and merchant s in our community enjoying this vibrant new public space," said Meredith Phillips Almeida. "It's been exciting to watch our vision come to life after years of community outreach, fundraising, design and construction. We look forward to producing programs this summer in Myrtle Avenue Plaza that bring an element of art and culture to the avenue and that allow us to serve our community as well as attract new visitors to our district."
The opening of the plaza was fittingly celebrated with a day-long program of performances by the Benny Lopez Latin Jazz Band, Edwin Vazquez Musica, Utril Rhaburn Nomadic, Squala Orphan, Mijori Goodwin, and Thomas Piper and Friends. The celebration also marked the kick off for "Move on Myrtle," a free summer series featuring fitness programming including yoga and boot camp classes, interactive events for kids, lunchtime jazz performances and sunset dance parties. For a full lineup go here.
Myrtle Avenue Plaza was initially conceived in 2007 by the Partnership, which oversees the BID and the Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project. The $7 million project spans four blocks and turned two blocks of an asphalt service road into a tree-lined pedestrian destination with 50 benches and tables forming a space for recreation and community events since it broke ground in October 2014.
"Through our network of 75 BIDs across the five boroughs, we know that communities thrive when they come together," said Greg Bishopp, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Small Business Services. "By opening this new plaza, the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership is helping to build a stronger neighborhood by providing a space for residents, merchants and visitors to come together."