NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) –There’s a new place for people to relax and gather outdoors in the Lower West Side.
The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey and the business improvement district Hudson Square Connection unveiled a new pedestrian plaza just outside the Holland Tunnel on Thursday.
Freeman Plaza West — located on Hudson Street between Broome and Watts streets — has been furnished with bistro-style tables, umbrellas and chairs.
Those who live and work in the neighborhood said the open space is a welcome addition.
“They keep building all these condos and all. They’re taking away from us because we grew up in the neighborhood here,” local resident Lorraine Cella told WCBS 880′s Peter Haskell.
“Really gives us a nice outdoor space to hang out in if the weather’s nice,” a man who works nearby told Haskell.
Officials said the small triangular plaza was sorely needed in the area.
“This is a great opportunity and a really open space-starved community to open up the gates and let people enjoy the sunshine,” Hudson Square Connection president Ellen Baer told Haskell. “Everywhere you go in the city, there’s traffic, there’s congestion and right next to them, there are open spaces.”
Four trees were planted at the space in memory of four members of the Port Authority Police Department’s Holland Tunnel Command who lost their lives responding to the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.
A fifth tree was dedicated to all the victims of the 9/11 attacks and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
The plaza will be open from 8 a.m. to dusk on Monday through Friday.
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