Pickleball is coming next to the Brooklyn Bridge in Dumbo

by TexasDigitalMagazine.com

Rendering courtesy of NYC Parks

Closed to the public for 15 years, two parking lots underneath the Brooklyn Bridge in Dumbo will transform into a pickleball hub. NYC Parks on Wednesday selected CityPickle to revitalize Anchorage Plaza, a space located on Old Fulton and Washington Streets and connected by a ramp known as “Ash Alley.” CityPickle, which currently has courts in Central Park, Long Island City, and Industry City, is expected to operate at the plaza seasonally from March through November next year. Amenities like a dog run, food trucks, public art, and seating would be available year-round, under the proposal.

Photo courtesy of NYC Parks
Rendering courtesy of NYC Parks

Brooklyn Anchorage Plaza consists of three areas:

  • The Old Fulton Street Yard, located between Old Fulton and Prospect Streets, the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, and the Brooklyn Bridge,
  • The Washington Street Yard, located between York, Prospect, and Washington Streets, the BQE, and the Brooklyn Bridge, and
  • Ash Alley, the alleyway below the Brooklyn Bridge connecting the Old Fulton and Washington Street Yards.

Twelve pickleball courts will be located on Washington Street, as well as restrooms, beach chairs, and food trucks. Old Fulton Street will feature seating, a tree nursery, a dog run, and art installations, while the corridor under the bridge will have seating and art, according to a presentation Parks gave Brooklyn Community Board 2 on Monday.

Image courtesy of NYC Parks

CityPickle will occupy the plaza for a contract spanning three to six years, and all of the components will be temporary and moveable. The contract length depends on when the city plans to rebuild sections of the deteriorating BQE, according to Streetsblog. Hours of operation and rates for the pickleball center are still being determined.

CityPickle currently operates in Central Park’s Wollman Rink, Long Island City, Union Square, and Industry City. The company debuted at Wollman Rink in the summer of 2023; after a successful season, CityPickle signed a three-year agreement with the park through 2026.

The city’s proposal garnered mixed reactions at Monday’s community meeting, with board members happy to see the space reopened to the public and others worried that community residents wouldn’t be able to access the already overcrowded area, according to Streetsblog. Other board members questioned the need for pickleball courts, a sport that has been criticized for being noisy and taking up too much space.

Rendering courtesy of NYC Parks

From 1983 to 2001, the space hosted an annual art show called “Art in the Anchorage” which was canceled due to national security concerns. The space served as a public parking lot until 2009 on the Old Fulton Street side, and since then, the city’s Department of Transportation has used it to store vehicles and construction and maintenance equipment.

In January, Parks released a request for proposals (RFP) seeking contractors to operate a seasonal outdoor activity center for up to six years at Anchorage Plaza. The RFP called for “park-appropriate” activities, including paddle ball, public art or performances, a dog run, and food and drink vendors.

The deal between the city and CityPickle is still subject to license negotiations, according to the Brooklyn Eagle. NYC Parks hopes to have the new space running by spring next year.


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