The banking firm handed over a check for $800,000 to Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan to assist in maintaining the public spaces.
This donation will go toward the maintenance of the 63 current and planned plazas throughout the five boroughs through the Neighborhood Plaza Partnership.
The partnership was created to ensure that plazas would be able function in areas that were not part of a business improvement district or lacked other financial resources.
“We can’t have a public space program that’s only in areas that have the financial resources to do it,” said Sadik-Khan. “We actually have to have a public space program that works in every single community.”
The plazas are being constructed throughout the city, generally eliminating an existing street.
For instance, the Corona Plaza was a former street that was turned into a 13,000-square-foot public space. Last Tuesday, it was filled with pedestrians who stopped to listen and dance to music provided by local band La Cumbiamba.
“The community understands that they deserve space that is organized, clean and welcomes them,” said Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras, who advocated for Corona Plaza. “What people fail to recognize is that these spaces need a lot of maintenance.”
She said that it costs roughly $65,000 to $75,000 a year for plaza upkeep in Corona.
“It’s so beautiful that people have a place to sit and enjoy when the weather is nice,” said resident Marlene Beauvil. “The flowers, chairs and happiness has been the most wonderful thing that has happened to the neighborhood.”