NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Those on their lunch break in lower Manhattan now have a new area to enjoy their time outside the office.
“You know, we just walked down here and noticed it for the first time and said, ‘God, how come we don’t eat lunch down here every day?'” Lisa DuRussel said, who was on her lunch break.
The fence around the small park, which sits on a portion of the land once occupied by the ill-fated Deutche Bank building, was also the public queuing area for the 9/11 memorial, Lower Manhattan Development Corporation President David Emil told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.
“This was designed so that in the horrible event of a terrorist attack on people waiting for the September 11 [memorial], a truck with a bomb couldn’t get through this fence,” Emil said.
“It was the LMDC’s intention to use it for public use but the Port Authority apparently had other plans because in the middle of the night they came and erected jersey barriers around the site,” Emil said.
The Port Authority wanted to turn the area just one block south of the 9/11 memorial into a parking lot for their emergency vehicles.
The LMDC and Downtown Alliance prevailed and the park now features a picnic area, pingpong table, shuffleboard and a Tuesday green market, Diamond reported.
The president of the Downtown Alliance, Jessica Lappin, heralded the park as a sign of the rebirth of lower Manhattan.
“There are tourists, there are more residents, there are workers who just want a place to relax and we hope that this will provide that,” she said.
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