Flatbush residents can look forward to a new outdoor hang. The Flatbush Junction BID presented a proposal to the local Community Board 14 and NYC DOT, and mid-March the organization received the official approval of what will become Hillel Place Plaza. The new plaza will be located at the intersection of the busy Flatbush and Nostrand avenues, nearby Brooklyn College and the last stop for the 2 and 5 trains.
"Hillel Place Plaza will be a wonderful community asset for generations to come," shared the Flatbush Junction BID via twitter.
After the proposal received the official approval from DOT, as it met the requirements for a public plaza, primarily high pedestrian traffic and low vehicular traffic, Flatbush Junction BID took it to the community. The approval process included a series of meetings with stakeholders, elected officials as well as comprehensive surveys with residents, businesses, shoppers and students. The BID also made four formal presentations to Community Board 14.
"Without the board's consent, the initiative would not materialize," said Kenneth Mbonu, director of the Flatbush Junction BID.
The Hillel Place Plaza will serve the community as a place for creative programming and cultural exchange. Flatbush Junction is made up of a diverse community that includes African American, Caribbean, Jewish, South Asian and Italian residents. The programming of the new plaza will be reflective of the various communities living nearby. Activities and events will include pop-up puppetry shows, pop-up art exhibitions by local artists, jazz and classical music performances, street theater shows, open-air dance classes, yoga for seniors and even gardening classes.
"With the abundance of street-level attractions at the junction, paying attention to maximizing the human experience is critical to creating a vibrant commercial corridor," said Mbonu. "It will be a place for the community that includes, residents, students and shoppers to meet, socialize and relax."
The Flatbush Junction BID is now preparing for the next step: The creation of a temporary plaza which will consist of installing planters, foldable tables and chairs, lighting, Wi-Fi access and security cameras, beginning in September. After that, there will be another series of meetings with the community and businesses to determine the final design of the permanent plaza.