Business improvement district works to overhaul Hudson Square

Since the construction of Holland Tunnel, Hudson Square has been primarily dominated by traffic. But it’s looking to shake that reputation.

Natalia Ryzak

Mar 2, 2023, 3:33 PM

Updated 472 days ago


Hudson Square is amidst an overhaul.
Since the construction of Holland Tunnel, the neighborhood has been primarily dominated by traffic. But it’s looking to shake that reputation.
Over the past 10 years, the Hudson Square Business Improvement District has poured millions into redeveloping the area, welcoming new businesses and residents alike.
In fact, Google and Disney have leased office space in the neighborhood.
“[We] felt like our streets were not welcoming. It feels very industrial – like not super safe to walk around in terms of the vehicles and the conflict with pedestrians and bikes. So, we had a 10-year plan -our initial 10-year plan - that was really to kind of deal with that [and] we also expanded our boundaries,” explained Samara Karasyk, president of Hudson Square BID.
The area of Hudson Square is bordered by Tribeca in the south, The Village in the north, Hudson River Park in the west, and SoHo on the east.
Due to traffic and congestion, one of the BID’s main initiatives was to make the area more pedestrian-friendly, adding benches, plazas, parks and trees. 
“We also built these two plazas – Freeman Plaza East and Freeman Plaza West – that are right by the entrance to the Holland Tunnel. Everyone thought it was crazy that we took these two cement areas, and we're like, ‘No, no, we're going to make these something that people want to hang out in,'" said Karasyk, adding, “It was so successful that we actually just finished renovating one of the plazas.” 
Now, the BID is working on phase two –a new 10-year master plan dedicated to expanding their progress with certain long term aspirations.
“Between Canal and Houston is the longest stretch where you can't cross to Hudson River Park and, so, in the near term, when Google finishes the St. John's Terminal, they will have a crossing so you won’t have to go all the way up to Houston Street. But long term, we have a vision for a really beautiful sort of destination pedestrian raised bridge that would go over Spring Street,” explained Karasyk.
The current developments have pleased longtime residents like Ronnie Peters, who also works in the area. He says he thinks the history of the neighborhood makes it the most unique.
“The Richmond Hill Mansion was over on the corner of Hudson Street and Charlton Street - that's where George Washington was for a while,” said Peters, adding, “Burr bought the mansion. That's where he got on the rowing boat, went across the Hudson and shot Hamilton, infamously, so, we have a lot of rich history in this neighborhood.”

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