Brookfield Properties, the owner of the giant Brookfield Place retail and office complex, plans a gut renovation to modernize the lobby of 200 Liberty Street, which faces the south side of Liberty Street, between South End Avenue and West Street.
At the November 27 meeting of Community Board 1 (CB1), Tammy Meltzer, who chairs the Battery Park City Committee, explained that, “the Battery Park City Authority has granted Brookfield the right to expand into the public lobby.” This was a reference to the fact that the Authority holds title to the land beneath the Brookfield Place complex, which it leases to the company. This gives the Authority the right to veto any proposed changes to what it ultimately that agency’s property.
“So the public space will now be turned into restaurants and cafes as a way to enliven the building,” Ms. Meltzer continued. “The stairs will be gone, and just the the escalators will remain.” The was a reference to the majestic twin staircases that wind around the perimeter of the current lobby.
“They are also removing all the public seating from upstairs,” Ms. Meltzer added, in a reference to the several thousand feet of public space contained on the terrace of the lobby’s second level. Under Brookfield’s remodeling plan, this terrace will be demolished, although a walkway will remain to provide access to the pedestrian bridges that cross West and Liberty Streets from the existing lobby.
“The downstairs will have a restaurant and a cafe,” she noted, adding that Brookfield also hopes to enclose the columned arcades that surround the exterior of the octagonal building, “but the Battery Park City Authority has not approved that part of the plan, yet.”
Finally, she noted, “Brookfield is also planning a new, outdoor restaurant at the corner of Liberty and West Streets,” which will adjoin the lobby of 200 Liberty Street.
The project is expected to begin construction in early 2019, and conclude approximately 18 months later.
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