One of Bed-Stuy’s crown jewels, Restoration Plaza on Fulton Street, is getting ready to show itself off again after a five-year, $10 million renovation.
“We hope to have the plaza open for outdoor seating around June 1,” said Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation Chief Operating Officer Dyrnest Sinckler. “At that time, the steps and windows in the building will be complete and Applebee’s will put on a whole new face-lift on their store complete with new signage, awnings and outdoor seating.”
The redesign, launched in 2006 with $8 million in funding through Council member Albert Vann and the New York City Council, and an additional $2.5 million in funding through Borough President Marty Markowitz and Mayor Bloomberg for the renovation of Billie Holiday Theatre, will boast a more airy, open and pedestrian-friendly design.
The redesign included the demolition of the façade to make room for expanded pedestrian access and street-level views to the inner courtyard, upgraded lighting and signage.
Upon final completion, it will include a video projection screen, an outdoor dining area, and an interactive and educational “Walk of Fame” honoring Restoration’s founders and other community activists.
Future plans include the incorporation of animated water features, an outdoor lawn, and an indoor/outdoor pavilion that will accommodate events for upwards of 600 people.
Besides Applebee’s and the Billie Holiday Theatre, current tenants include Foodtown, Duane Reade and Chase Bank. The complex also includes a small radio station and ample room for meetings, forums and educational space. Sinckler said they already have nine figures for the initial “Walk of Fame.”
“It will honor individuals providing for the face of change in the building of Restoration Plaza and setting a model for the community and nation insofar as community organizations and development, and creating a healthy environment in restoring communities,” he said.
Sinckler would not reveal any of the initial names and wanted to keep it as a surprise.
“We will hold off on that for the official announcement around September,” he said.