Site designers Bobby Redd, Ride Brooklyn and Dellavalle Designs came together to design the bike park, community farm, green space and even a bilingual reading room for the 55,000-square-foot lot on Kent Avenue between South 3rd and South 4th streets.
Jed Walentas of Two Trees Management helped facilitate the project across from the closed Domino Sugar factory, which the company plans to redevelop over the next several years.
“They’ve been toiling away here for the last six months to make this a community resource that will be here for at least a year,” Walentas said of the interim recreation space. “I can’t take a lot of credit for it, but we are happy to participate a little bit and happy to have made this possible.”
As part of a the quarter-mile long redevelopment project at the Domino Sugar factory, Two Trees will soon reveal more pieces of the puzzle with designs from the James Corner Field Operations landscape architecture firm for kayak launches, a floating pool, sports fields, lawns and gardens.
The Havemeyer Park includes the borough’s first legal and free bike park, a community farm that is to be cultivated and operated by North Brooklyn Farms and an 8,000-square-foot grass field for children’s activities and open-air library that is expected to begin in the late summer.
There will also be a new rain garden to support plant life, newly designed grassland and ecosystem of the park.
“This previously barren land will become a must-attend destination for bike riders of all skill levels,” said Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, standing in front of the new bike track. “It is an excellent example of forward-thinking urban planning that will be a welcome addition to our neighborhood.”
Jim Dellavelle, owner of Dellavelle Designs, designed the bike park for bikers of all skill levels.
“We’re focused on the pop-up to enable what a park could be,” he said. “In a short time, what we could do is educate and physically exercise people for free and give them the opportunity to get an environmental education in farming.”
North Brooklyn Farms utilizes part of the park for community gardening and plans to host farm stands for residents to pick their own herbs and vegetables, educational workshops and develop programs to reach out to local schools.
“We’re really excited to start engaging with the community,” said Ryan Watson, a co-founder of North Brooklyn Farms. “If some of your kids want to learn how to grow their own tomatoes or how to make some food out of fresh produce, we’re here.”
Councilwoman Diana Reyna thanked Two Trees for their development of the park and for adhering to the needs of the South Williamsburg community.
“Jed came in with a challenge, and he responded to our community,” Reyna said. “It is incredible to see how he’s been able to link so many pieces on one plot; idle land, deplorable land, land that was underutilized and land that many people considered to be just an eyesore.”