NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Watch out, Central Park.
Phase II, the latest expansion of the wildly popular High Line Park, opened to the public Wednesday, after Mayor Michael Bloomberg cut the ribbon Tuesday to expand the park from the Meatpacking district through Chelsea.
Phase II expands the wildly popular park 10 blocks north to 30th Street.
Visitors will be allowed to sit on the grass at the Great Lawn, what the park is calling “the 4,900 square foot sunbathing mecca” at West 23rd St.
And while there were rumors that the section would also feature a Shake Shack, the park’s co-founder, Robert Hammond, has dispelled the notion. There will be food carts, he said, but the options for hungry park-goers will be unique.
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“When we said the High Line was going to be good for the neighborhood, we never really thought it would generate this much change,” said Hammond.
He says property values have soared and celebrity guests have opened restaurants.
“There’s one restaurant that said the recession ended for them the day the High Line opened just ’cause it’s bringing all these new people to the neighborhood,” said Hammond.
To celebrate the opening of the new section and the growth of the park from an eyesore to a true New York City gem, the Friends of the High Line commissioned four new public art installations and 100 public events for the summer.