Basketball Court Could Be Closed for Years

Grand Canal Court, the park at the northeast corner of Canal and Sixth Ave. (although it sounds like it should be in Venice), is likely to be closed for a while, possibly up to nearly four years. I came across an outdated notice for a Community Board 2 discussion about New York Senate bill S8784, “which looks to authorize the City of New York to alienate permanently certain parcels of land under the Grand Canal Court Park […] in order to construct an electrical power substation necessary to permit greater train efficiency on the 8th Ave. line.”

What that means, according to the folks at the office of State Senator Brian Kavanagh (who introduced the bill at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s request), is that the MTA can permanently have the area under the park for its substation and temporarily (for up to 45 months) use the ground level as a staging area for construction. Messing with parkland anywhere in the state evidently requires state approval, hence the bill; the City Council will also have to sign off. Given the dire state of the subway, it’s hard to imagine this not passing muster. Note: State law also insists that the city come up with an equal amount of parkland while the park is unavailable, although whether it needs to be in the same area is unclear. (How about the vacant lot at Spring and Hudson?)



  1. Is there any chance they will renovate that basketball/park once work is complete? I’ve played basketball there a few times, and it really needs rehab.

    • No, likely not, especially if the experience at Grand and Lafayette Streets is instructive.

      The Village and SoHo Will Get New Parks at Long-Promised Sites, City Says
      By Danielle Tcholakian | October 7, 2016 5:08pm | Updated on October 9, 2016 2:08pm

      HUDSON SQUARE — In a new twist in the ongoing battle over the Elizabeth Street Garden, the city is now promising to make good on a decades-old promise to turn three city-controlled vacant lots in the Village and SoHo into public parks.

      The lots — one on Hudson Street between Clarkson and West Houston streets, another on Grand and Lafayette streets and the third on East Fourth Street and Bowery — were turned over to the Department of Environmental Preservation in the 1990s for work on shafts connected to the massive underground network of tunnels that supply the city’s drinking water.

      As a condition of DEP’s taking control of the sites, agreements were struck in writing that promised that when the agency finished the work on the shafts, the lots would be turned into public parks.

      But as DNAinfo New York reported late last year, DEP attempted to renege on those deals, and wanted to just leave the lots vacant and erect high fences around them.


      Now the city is committing to allocate $3 million to help build three new parks on the DEP lots, $1 million per park, including a 11,250-square-foot one at Hudson and West Houston streets.


      Because DEP will continue to need access to the underground infrastructure below the lots, the parks will be for passive recreation only, Grace said — meaning no ball fields or playground equipment.

      Grace said that in the event that DEP needs to access the shafts in an emergency, time would be of the essence, and DEP officials were concerned about needing to break through large or heavy structures such as playground equipment.

      Under the agreements signed in the 1990s, DEP had said they would only need 4,000 square feet of the parks to remain clear of any structures so they could access the shafts.