New public plaza opens in downtown Brooklyn

Two Trees Management Company and the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership have announced the opening of the new public plaza at 300 Ashland, downtown Brooklyn.

Two Trees Management Company, a New York-based real estate development firm, said the new 15,000 square foot plaza activates one of Brooklyn’s “most recognized yet historically under-utilized intersections: the corner of Flatbush and Lafayette Avenues.”

Designed by Enrique Norten of Ten Arquitectos and Grain Collective, the new plaza will create a public place for residents, theater-goers, shoppers, and visitors to gather, relax, eat, and more, Two Trees Management Co. said.

The opening of the plaza was celebrated with a free community event with music, drinks, and refreshments on Wednesday evening.

“Two Trees has been working in partnership with the City, cultural groups, and the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership for a decade to create a great new public space for the community to enjoy,” said Two Trees Management Company principal Jed Walentas.

“The new plaza is at the crossroads of so many neighborhoods, and all of the partners are committed to ensuring it is a vibrant new open space with programming and performances, becoming a true destination at the heart of the Brooklyn Cultural District,” he added.

“This public plaza introduces a spectacular new open space to the heart of the Brooklyn Cultural District,” said Regina Myer, President of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership.

“We applaud Two Trees Management and the City on so creatively integrating open space into the urban landscape,” she added. “The 300 Ashland plaza marks an important step forward in Downtown’s wider renaissance.”

Two Trees Management Company said the expansive, central public plaza will serve the flourishing Brooklyn Cultural District and surrounding Brooklyn neighborhoods of Downtown Brooklyn, Fort Greene, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, and Boerum Hill.

The company said “the vibrant, street-level civic space” is in close proximity to Atlantic Terminal, Barclays Center and Fort Greene Park.

The plaza will be maintained and programmed by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and activated with performances, art and events, Two Trees Management Company said.

The project represents the culmination of a decade-long collaboration between Two Trees and the Department of City Planning, the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the Department of Cultural Affairs and the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership.

The $6 million public plaza was financed and built by Two Trees Management, and ownership will soon be transferred to the City of New York.

It sits at the base of 300 Ashland, the 32-story building that includes 379 residences, 20 percent of which are affordable to low-income New Yorkers.

In addition, the 365 by Whole Foods grocery store will anchor 300 Ashland, and is slated to open by the end of the year, Two Trees Management Company said.

At 300 Ashland, Two Trees also constructed a custom core and shell for a 50,000 SF cultural hub that, together with the public plaza, will soon be transferred to the City.

The City plans to fit out the cultural space for an expansion of BAM Cinemas, a branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) and 651 ARTs.

Since its founding in 1968, Two Trees Management Company said it has owned, managed and developed a portfolio worth more than $3 billion in real estate, including more than 6,000 apartments and over 3 million square feet of office and retail space.

Two Trees said it currently owns more than 4 million square feet of commercial, industrial and residential real estate throughout the United States, with the majority of its properties located in New York City, and employs 175 people to develop and manage its properties.

Two Trees is known for its singular role in transforming the Brooklyn neighborhood of DUMBO from a neglected industrial waterfront into a vital mixed-use community.

A popular destination for New Yorkers and tourists alike, DUMBO is known for its boutique retail, innovative technology companies, art galleries and performance venues.

Recent critically-acclaimed Two Trees developments include 300 Ashland, Mercedes House, the Wythe Hotel and the Domino Sugar Factory site in Williamsburg.

More from Around NYC