Kimlau Square to get a $55 million reno

I am just catching up here, but the mayor announced in his State of the City address at the end of last month that the city will put $55 million towards a renovation of Kimlau Square, the entrance to Chinatown at the crazy intersection of Park Row, Worth, Mott, Bowery, East Broadway, Oliver Street and St. James Place (did you like how I did that clockwise from 9??).

This seems long overdue to me, and I hope they get a kick-ass traffic planner on the case: crossing any of these streets in any direction is death-defying, and forget trying to bike through. The mayor said the city would redesign the “chaotic intersection and finally give one of New York City’s most historic districts the entrance it deserves.”

Up for discussion: the closed Park Row (off limits to cars since 9/11); the redesign of the current arch; and an expansion of the park to make crossings shorter for pedestrians.

Of course the numbers are impossible to follow, even for Gothamist, which is good at that sort of thing: “City Hall spokesperson Charles Lutvak told Gothamist that amount includes $44 million from the city, and $11.5 million more earmarked by the state. Under the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, Gov. Kathy Hochul has already set aside $5 million to renovate Kimlau Square, $2.5 to design the arch, and $4 million to ‘beautify’ a key gateway, along Park Row from the Brooklyn Bridge to the square, along with another $8 million more on other smaller projects in the neighborhood.”

Not sure how that dovetails with the City Council’s original $1-3 million funding for the renovation of the arch, being completed by the Parks Department. (The design was done in 2022; procurement by this coming October; construction 18 months after that.)

I’m getting greedy here, but when they open up Park Row again — which I think they will have to do — the city can also open up the steps of City Hall to the public, another relic of 9/11 security measures.



1 Comment

  1. Consolation prize for the construction of a mega jail in a low income neighborhood…