MNLA Completes 10-Year, $27M Hudson Square MP

MNLA and their partners have completed the four key projects in the Hudson Square BID’s ten-year, $27M public realm master plan, marked by the recent ribbon cutting on a reconstructed Hudson Street. A partnership with the Hudson Square BID, NYC Department of Transportation, and the NYC Economic Development Corporation, the plan included far-reaching initiatives to create a socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable network of spaces in this once-industrial downtown neighborhood. Today, it is an epicenter of the city’s dynamic creative industries, home to more than 60,000 professionals in communications, new media, and design companies.

The plan’s projects include:

Credit: HSBID

  • Hudson Street Reconstruction – Completed 2022 – Transforming this vital street into a grand thoroughfare, this project extends sidewalks along the street up to five feet and adds new amenities along its seven-block corridor. Enhancing pedestrian, bicycle, vehicular traffic safety, transforming the corridor into a grand boulevard that will increase connectivity. Over 8,000 square feet of planting areas are filled with trees, shrubs, and perennials, and the application of the Hudson Square Standard for urban forestry, using continuous tree pits and permeable pavers to maximize stormwater capture and support healthier trees, was employed. New benches provide approximately 170 seats, and there are over 2,000 square feet of allowable space for future sidewalk cafes. Sidewalk realignments, new pedestrian ramps, and a dedicated parking-protected bike lane on Hudson Street from Houston to Canal Street, as well as more than 70 additional bicycle racks, add to public enjoyment.

Credit: MNLA

  • Hudson Square Streetscape Standard – Completed 2022 – This award-winning initiative provides a signature, sustainable streetscape for the district, comprising 500 trees including both new and existing trees retrofitted using the HSS sidewalk tree planting system. Combining structural soil, porous aggregate, permeable pavers, and distinctive tree guards, both the trees and the city benefit from captured stormwater, increased biomass, and real estate values.

Credit: Elizabeth Felicella

  • Spring Street Park – Completed 2018 – The gateway to Hudson Square, this half-acre triangular open space was reimagined to accommodate a variety activities and active space for respite for area workers and residents alike.

Credit: Elizabeth Felicella

  • Freeman Plaza East & West – Completed in 2013 and 2014, Renovated in 2018 and 2021 – Unused areas among the four Holland Tunnel approach routes were converted into spacious, sunlit green spaces offering many activities including lunchtime yoga, music events, a Noguchi play sculpture, a synthetic turf surface for events, and solar Wi-Fi charging stations.

“The Hudson Streetscape Master Plan fulfills our design concept of creating “personal parks” wherein people can find respite areas along the sidewalk buffered from the roadway by thick planting,” said MNLA Principal Signe Nielsen. “The new streetscape traverses the entire District, offering this amenity within easy access for many office workers.

“The BID’s 10-year masterplan has been the driving force behind our continued efforts to create an attractive, safe, and inviting experience for people who work, visit, and live in Hudson Square,” said Samara Karasyk, President and CEO of Hudson Square BID. “We are grateful for MNLA’s inspired design work that has helped to transform our neighborhood from a place known for its car congestion near the Holland Tunnel into a vibrant and welcoming neighborhood for pedestrians, filled with creative energy. Building on the success of these innovative projects, we are poised to commence our next 10-year plan with a new slate of projects that highlight our fantastic neighborhood and build upon our rich past.”

About MNLA

MNLA advocates for connected communities and purposeful ecological design solutions through thoughtful place-making and inspired transformation of landscapes. For over a quarter century, the firm has worked to reinvigorate, heal and mediate places that strengthen and empower communities. We utilize the design process to engage with governing bodies, community stakeholders, and private clients to advocate for incremental and strategic advances in policies and regulations affecting the public realm, as well as ethical design decisions that add long term ecological value and performance to the project. MNLA imagines cumulative and holistic design vision for every project. Our process always starts with the big idea, and we see it as our role to maintain that conceptual thread throughout our efforts. With over 500 built works we know how to execute our big ideas while preserving the design intent and delivering on budget and on time.  Our designs are as insightful and artful as they are performative. Follow MNLA on Instagram and LinkedIn.

About the Hudson Square Business Improvement District

Since July 2009, the Hudson Square BID has overseen the transformation of Manhattan’s former Printing District into a thriving creative hub. Today, Hudson Square is buzzing with the energy of more than 60,000 workers in some 1,000 businesses, complemented by thousands of students, visitors and a growing residential population. In Hudson Square, imagination and technology come together to redefine what it means to be creative.

Incorporated as a 501(c)3, not-for-profit organization, our formal name is the Hudson Square District Management Association, but we do business as the Hudson Square BID. The geographic area we manage (generally bounded by Clarkson Street on the north, Canal Street on the south, 6th Avenue on the east, and West Street on the west) is a Business Improvement District (BID), one of 78 around the city. Our signature programs include our Pedestrian Safety Managers, the award-winning Hudson Square Standard—considered the platinum standard in urban forestry—and our nationally recognized streetscape program Hudson Square is Now, a $27 million public-private partnership with the City of New York. Our goal is to foster the physical, social, and cultural connections that give rise to a community where the spirit of innovation can flourish inside and out. Follow HSBID @hudsonsquarenyc on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

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