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Hudson Square
2022 Annual Report

A letter from our
President and CEO, and Chair

Samara Karasyk and
Jeffrey Sussman

Welcome to Hudson Square!
We are defined by a unique history, creative people, lush and surprising green spaces, distinctive architecture, and an authentic NYC spirit.

For this year’s Annual Report, we offer you a sense of the dynamism of our area
Samara Karasyk

what it feels like to stroll down Hudson Street along our newly widened sidewalks surrounded by greenery,

Jeffrey Sussman

to sit in busy Spring Street Park taking in live music, to play ping pong in Freeman Plaza West while cocooned from Holland Tunnel traffic,

Samara Karasyk

or to sit outside one of our wonderful coffee shops watching the world go by.

Both of us stepped into our roles at the BID this year.
Samara Karasyk

Our fantastic team and dedicated board persevered through another year of the pandemic and a leadership change full speed ahead,

Jeffrey Sussman

completing our first 10-Year Master Plan and launching our 2nd 10-Year plan.

This year marked
Jeffrey Sussman

A complete renovation of Freeman Plaza East into an ‘artpark’ and urban oasis,

Samara Karasyk

the completion of a fully reimagined Hudson Street between Canal and Houston,

Samara Karasyk

the planting of many more new trees, and opportunities for our community to come together.

All of this work sets the stage
Jeffrey Sussman

for continued, thoughtful planning as we further enhance this neighborhood

Samara Karasyk

and more seamlessly connect it to the lower west side of Manhattan.

Jeffrey Sussman

We are excited to embark upon our next phase of growth.

Samara Karasyk

Samara Karasyk
President and CEO
Jeffrey Sussman

Jeffrey Sussman
Chair
Enjoy your journey through
Hudson Square!

Our neighborhood, bound by Canal Street in the south, Clarkson in the north, 6th Avenue in the east and West Street in the west, was once the city’s Printing District.

When our BID was formed in 2009, Hudson Square was known for its congestion by the Holland Tunnel.

Hudson Square is a walkable, beautiful and dynamic neighborhood—a hub of creativity, with advertising, design and architecture firms, tech and life science companies.

Google and Disney made headlines as both companies make their home here, while companies like Edelman and Medidata recommit to the neighborhood…no doubt because of Hudson Square’s unique buildings, and the bustling, creative energy in our streets.

Photo courtesy of Bernstein Associates Photographers

TRD
6 SQFT
New York Times

Over the last year, we have continued to build upon efforts to transform our streets for people and make

Hudson Square a neighborhood where you want to live, work, and play.

Reimagining
Our Streetscape

In spring of 2022, we marked the completion of our award-winning urban forestry program, the Hudson Square Standard by planting our 500th tree!

L-R: Assembly Member Deborah Glick, Councilmember Erik Bottcher, Commissioner Sue Donoghue, HSBID President Samara Karasyk, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine.

51
Last year Hudson Square Standard Trees
532
Trees Planted and
Retrofitted to Date

Hudson Square Standard

In 2013, HSBID in partnership with the NYC Parks Tree Time, began planting and retrofitting trees throughout the neighborhood using a unique tree pit design that bolsters tree health and yields measurable environmental and public health benefits.

Before
After

15 beautiful, healthy trees line every block in our neighborhood.

Hudson Square Standard trees are special because our tree pits are connected underground with a trench filled with structural soil and covered by permeable pavers that absorb more water than your average street tree.

This has a real environmental impact as we combat climate change. Hudson Square Standard trees reduce flooding, provide shade, produce more oxygen, and reduce carbon in the atmosphere.

Each year,
our Hudson Square
Standard trees...

Produce the amount of oxygen consumed by 34 people.

Collect enough gallons of stormwater to fill more than 8 Olympic- sized swimming pools.

Help regulate temperatures and keep Hudson Square cooler.

Capture enough carbon to offset 2 days of traffic through the Holland Tunnel.

Hudson Street Renovation
The $13M streetscape improvement project is the culmination of our ambitious 10-year Master Plan to transform Hudson Square into a beautiful, tree-lined boulevard with lush plantings throughout.
The renovations create a new Hudson Street between Canal and Houston Streets, including 2,000+ square feet for sidewalk cafe space with widened sidewalks that allow businesses plenty of outdoor seating while pedestrians can easily move by.
There are parking protected bike lanes, more bike parking spots, 8,000+ square feet of newly planted unique parklike spaces as well as modern benches that provide approximately 170 additional seats.
A partnership among Hudson Square BID, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), and New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT), the project was the First public-private capital improvement project in New York City to use the Design-Build process. It was completed on-time and on budget (despite temporary COVID-19 delays).

The Hudson Street Ribbon Cutting ceremony featured L-R:
EDC Executive VP Elizabeth Arnaiz, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine, NYC Mayor Eric Adams, HSBID President Samara Karasyk, DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriquez.

Safe parking-protected Bike lanes

Widened Sidewalks and new modern benches

8,000+ square feet of newly planted areas of trees, shrubs, and perennials

2,000+ square feet of sidewalk cafe space

20 additional bike parking spaces

A quick stroll down the newly renovated Hudson Street brings you to Freeman Plaza.

Freeman Plaza
East and West

When Hudson Square BID announced in 2013 plans to transform two formerly unused Port Authority of NY&NJ owned spaces at the mouth of the Holland Tunnel into parks, people thought we were crazy! Who would want to spend time in a park surrounded by cars streaming into the tunnel?

Freeman Plaza
East and West

Yet Freeman Plaza East and West proved so popular that we renovated them a few years after they opened. These plazas demonstrate how much people appreciate green space—even in the most unexpected of places.

Small group areas to accommodate outdoor work.

Pathways that lead to new seating with table furnishings.

Access to free Wi-Fi

Decking islands made from recycled plastic.

Virtually quiet! Plants act as buffers to tunnel traffic noise.

Renovations to Freeman Plaza East offer vibrant, accessible, outdoor spaces perfect for both peaceful relaxation and productive work, with new seating and tables, lounge chairs with footrests, new areas to work in small groups, as well as free Wi-Fi, all atop new decking islands made from recycled materials.

For the first time in the Freeman Plaza history, the park is seasonally open to the public seven days a week, spring through fall, 8 am to dusk.

The artist Molly Dilworth installing Nature of Technology.

As an “Art Park,” Freeman Plaza East is embellished with installations that connect our Varick Street outdoor urban art gallery, Hudson Square Canvas, into the park. Freeman Plaza East features the mural Nature of Technology by NYC’s Department of Transportation Arterventions program winner, artist Molly Dilworth. Installed in the pedestrian plaza adjacent to the park entryway, this brightly colored abstract piece pays homage to the neighborhood’s vibrant history and environmental impact. Sherwin Williams Co., located in Hudson Square, generously donated the paint.

The bold, playful, interactive Isamu Noguchi Octetra concrete sculpture serves as a centerpiece for the plaza, calling visitors into the green oasis for a respite from the hustle and bustle of work and life.

Varick Street Vibrations, a custom painted piano by Julia Cocuzza that reflects the unique feel of our neighborhood.

Thanks to 60 Charlton Street for providing space for the painting of this project.

In May 2022, we unveiled an updated Freeman Plaza East with a public re-opening party that featured live music from pianist Mischa Piatigorsky and catering from neighborhood eateries Lindens NYC, City Beet Kitchen, and Adoro Lei.

Energetic, Clean
Safe Streets
Pedestrian Safety Managers

The Holland Tunnel entrance and its evening peak traffic are a fact of life in Hudson Square. While we can’t do anything about the presence of a regional transportation facility in our neighborhood, we continue to make every effort to assure that Jersey- bound traffic has as little impact as possible on pedestrian safety and sanity.

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, we suspended our Pedestrian Safety Managers program and redirected those funds toward other priorities.

Now with an increase in subway ridership citywide and foot traffic in Hudson Square, we have restarted the program, which deploys crossing guards Tuesdays through Fridays, 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm to balance the local and commuter traffic and ensure that people walking the neighborhood can safely cross at busy intersections along Varick Street.

79%
Year-over-year percent increase in foot traffic based on sample intersection.
65%
Year-over-year percent Increase in MTA ridership.
Neighborhood Maintenance

Thanks to our maintenance team, our beautiful greenspaces, sidewalks and parks remain clean and inviting. As our neighborhood continues to evolve, drawing more residents, workers and visitors, our maintenance team, led by Robert Awuah, has not skipped a beat.

This year we expanded our Clean Ambassador program to include Hudson Street and additional staff who provide services now 7 days a week. Over the year, on average monthly total, they collect 750-800 full trash bags and regularly remove graffiti from about 50 public fixtures—including traffic poles, lamp posts, fire hydrants, mailboxes, tree guards— and repaint them too.

And our Maintenance Team continues to keep up pace, adding to their already extensive daily routine as we add more modern street amenities to the neighborhood.

Our Clean Ambassadors

Operate 7 days per week.

Remove graffiti from public fixtures.

Repaint and maintain tree guards.

Eyes and ears of the neighborhood.

Collect 800 full trash bags per month.

We remove litter from tree pits, support tree health with regular watering, pruning, and fertilizing, and inform the City when trees needed to be replaced.

Horticultural and Landscaping Services

This year we expanded the program by incorporating new plantings that were added to Freeman Plaza East and Hudson Street as part of our complete renovation of the space. We also continue to support outdoor dining at our local food and beverage establishments by installing and maintaining seasonal plantings.

The BID also installs and maintains 50 planters on pedestrian islands around the Holland Tunnel and Varick Street with seasonal plantings 4 times a year to improve safety and enhance the pedestrian environment.

General Operations

Our Operations Team plays a critical role in managing our streets and serving as the ever-present eyes and ears of the neighborhood. We reported on-the-ground issues to our City agency partners and worked collaboratively to address them. We serve as a critical neighborhood partner to the NYPD by serving on the Community and Advisory Councils for the 1st and 6th Precincts.

As a result, the City was able to respond to illegal trash dumping sites and ensure the provision of outreach services to individuals experiencing homelessness, among other positive outcomes.

Team Building

We host team-building opportunities throughout the year that invite local companies to invest in our community.

As they bring employees back to the office, these collaborative activities are more important than ever because they connect workers to the neighborhood and offer them an opportunity to come together and feel connected to the community. In FY22, employees at neighborhood companies helped restore 35 of our Hudson Square Standard trees and paint their tree guards as part of Earth Day celebrations in April.

Programming

Our engaging public programming series utilizes NYC Department of Transportation’s Open Streets program to activate Little Sixth Avenue and adjacent Spring Street Park with live musical performances and an interactive art studio, known as the Draw Cart, provided by StreetLab.

This spring, we added games, a ping pong table, and programming in Freeman Plaza east and West. We teamed up with local record label Reservoir Media, the first female- founded and led, publicly-traded independent company in the U.S. to develop a custom-curated playlist for the neighborhood.

Visitors listened to these playlists live in Freeman Plaza East and West on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons during the summer and download them on Spotify to listen at home too!

These activities invite workers and residents to enjoy local streetlife and retail and explore all that Hudson Square has to offer!

Seasonal
Celebrations

Our seasonal celebrations give us the opportunity to spread cheer while also supporting local commerce.

In fall 2021 we created 5000 Halloween-themed booklets promoting seasonal specials from 14 retailers. We shared the specials on LinkNYC and the Captivate Network. Our street team joined in on the fun, handing out the booklets dressed as wizards.

During the winter, we partnered with The Door, a local nonprofit that serves NYC youth, offering comprehensive services like workforce development, health services and shelter, to make lanterns that dotted Freeman Plazas East and West and Spring Street Park through the holiday season.

We brought a seasonal favorite back—Holidays Elves walked the neighborhood brightening spirits, debating who was naughty and nice, and handing out candy. Valentine’s Day gave us the opportunity to show our retailers some love—we branded candy hearts and hand delivered them to more than 40 businesses.

But seasonal celebrations are about more than traditional holidays. Throughout the year, we put out monthly guides promoting local specials. We also highlight the amazing people working in Hudson Square and activities happening in our neighborhood.

Supporting
Our Stakeholders
Neighborhood
Events and Connections

As COVID-19 restrictions lift and more people return to Hudson Square, we are focused on bringing our community together in a meaningful and uplifting way. We take great pride in the BID’s role as a community connector.

Children’s Museum of the Arts celebrated the new Tomashi Jackson mural with a walking tour that ended in a public art program.

In FY22 we partnered with local retailer, Aveda Institute New York, and Hudson Square’s Chelsea Career and Technical Education High School.

Aveda students were able to practice their skills and earn hours towards their cosmetology certificates.

40 lucky high school students received makeovers and a day of pampering—free of cost!

In addition to giving students a well-deserved break from the challenges of the pandemic, this event created a unique and beneficial opportunity for all involved.

Aveda Institute cosmetology students working towards their state cosmetology license got required hands-on experience. Chelsea CTE photography students worked to develop their portfolios by taking pictures. Those interested in pursuing a career in cosmetology were able to observe and learn.

We regularly briefed constituents on new developments with City programs and kept them abreast of upcoming film shoots in the neighborhood.

Marketing

We promoted Hudson Square as a safe and enjoyable place to live, work and visit with regular profiles highlighting retailers, neighborhood amenities, and history. People really responded, showing pride in the neighborhood (and much love for local dogs).

In March, we got in on the fun of March Madness and created Parch Madness, an Instagram contest that gave our community a chance to vote on their favorite neighborhood cocktail. Westville’s Watermelon Weekender was the winner!

In FY22, our website and monthly newsletter engaged a broad audience with updates on resources and happenings around the neighborhood and beyond. Our website bounce rate decreased by 59.72% and the newsletter average open rate was excellent at 28-39%.

28-39%
Average newsletter
open rate

We also continued to build upon our robust social media presence, increasing Instagram impressions by 36.2%. Our work in Hudson Square captured the attention of the New York City media, covered in more than 40 TV, print, and online stories.

36.2%
More Instagram
impressions
Planning
for the Future

On the heels of completing our first 10-year plan, we are enthusiastically beginning our second one, which builds on what we’ve accomplished

and focuses on seamlessly connecting Hudson Square into our surrounding neighborhoods and Hudson River Park. We’re planning a neighborhood that people will walk into, enjoy, stay a while, and return to—time and again.

Our plan Hudson Square:
New Connections— is organized around three visionary projects

A cohesive Greenwich Street corridor, featuring shared curbside spaces and public art, that will serve as a gateway to Hudson Square from the south.

Greenwich Street Gateway

Houston Street Mobility Corridor

Reimagine Houston Street as a major east-west connector between East River Park and Hudson River Park punctuated by plants, wider sidewalks for strolling, a new bikeway, seating, lighting, and art, that will guide pedestrians across lower Manhattan.

Walk to the Water

In the short term, improved way- finding and pedestrian connections to the new crossing to the Park.

A long-term project creating an experiential pedestrian bridge which will provide much needed access to Hudson River Park from the neighborhood’s core.

There’s something fascinating about Hudson Square.
Special Thanks
  • 60 Charlton Street
  • Adoro Lei
  • Arbor Bistro
  • Arrojo
  • Children’s Museum of the Arts
  • Chop’t
  • Coco Pazzo
  • Community Board 2
  • Courtyard by Marriott
  • Getting Hungry
  • GFP Real Estate
  • Goddard Homeless Outreach
  • Google
  • Greiner-Maltz
  • Hudson Square Properties
  • Jack Resnick & Sons
  • Julie and Edward Minskoff
  • Just Salad
  • Maman King
  • Neighborhood Coordination Officers Anthony Sclafani + Richard Narcisco
  • New York Fire Museum
  • New York Genome Center
  • NYPD 1st Precinct Community Affairs
  • Peter Quinn NYC Department of Sanitation
  • Port Authority of NY & NJ
  • Sherwin Williams Co.
  • Sgt. Daniel Houlahan NYPD 6th Precinct
  • [Solidcore]
  • Stellar Management
  • Storage Mart
  • Taco Bell Cantina
  • Torch & Crown
  • Trinity Church Wall Street
Staff and Board
Staff
  • Samara Karasyk
    President and CEO
  • Suzy Changar
    Vice President Marketing and Communications
  • Corey Kunz
    Vice President Administration and Operations
  • Sean Lewin
    Operations Associate
  • Jacob McNally
    Director of Planning and Capital Projects
  • Carson Menkes
    Planning Associate
Board of Directors
  • Jeffrey Sussman
    Chair, Edward J. Minskoff Equities
  • Chris Roth
    Treasurer, Hines
  • Steve Marvin
    Secretary, Olmstead Properties
  • Andrew Foote
    Edelman
  • Amanda Gluck
    Stellar Management
  • Brett Greenberg
    Jack Resnick & Sons
  • Armando Gutierrez
    New York Public Radio
  • Patricia Klecanda
    New York Genome Center
  • Dary Kopelioff
    Resident (Owner)
  • Christopher Lee
    Port Authority of NY + NJ
  • Shih Hua Liong
    Google
  • John Maltz
    Greiner-Maltz
  • Daniel Miller
    Community Board 2
  • Phil Mouquinho
    PJ Charlton Restaurant
  • Sujohn Sarkar
    Trinity Church Wall Street
  • Rhonda Singer
    GFP Real Estate
  • Cass Smith
    Cass Calder Smith Architecture + Interiors
  • Ofer Zer
    Oxford Properties Group
Elected Officials
  • The Honorable Eric Adams
    Mayor of New York City
  • The Honorable Mark D. Levine
    Manhattan Borough President
  • The Honorable Brad Lander
    Comptroller of New York City
  • The Honorable Erik Bottcher
    Councilmember, District 3
About the BID

Since its formation in 2009, the Hudson Square Business Improvement District (BID) has overseen the transformation of Manhattan’s former Printing District into a 21st-century creative hub with redeveloped streetscapes, inviting green spaces, abundant public art, vibrant retail and dining, and a growing residential community.

Thanks for reading!