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River Ring
Photograph: Courtesy James Corner Field Operations and Bjarke Ingels Group

It's official: A beach is coming to Williamsburg

This is not a drill.

Written by
Anna Rahmanan
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River Ring, a new development set to take over River Street between North 1st and North 3rd Streets on the Williamsburg waterfront, is going to officially happen and it will bring along with it a sandy beach for Brooklynites to enjoy.

Developed by Two Trees Management, the massive project, years in the making, was just approved by the New York City Council and construction is expected to kick off by 2024.

The scope of the initiative mainly regards two mixed-use buildings designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) that will hold 1,050 housing units, plus a new YMCA and the public park that will also be the home of the new beach. 

According to plans, the 2.9-acre waterfront park will feature a circular esplanade that extends into the East River, plus an amphitheater, a boating cove, some nature trails, a play area for kids and, of course, the sandy shore. 

As for specific details about the YMCA center, here is what we know so far: the new 50,000-square-foot space will include an aquatic center where folks will be able to partake in a swim program that will offer free lessons to certain community members. 

"With the River Ring we close one of the last remaining gaps in the continuous transformation of the Williamsburg waterfront into a post-industrial urban park scape," Ingels, the founder of BIG, said in an official statement about the news. "Rather than stopping at the hard edge of the old dock, Metropolitan Avenue is split into a pedestrian loop extending all the way into the river, connecting the dots of the concrete caissons to form an urban archipelago of recreative islands while protecting a beach with tidal pools and wetlands."

The area that the project seeks to tackle is just north of Domino Park and it has actually been inaccessible to the public for over a century with the exception of a mini-golf farm that took up residence in the area this past summer. It featured 18 climate change-themed holes that sought to educate New Yorkers in addition to providing them with a fun activity to partake in. Check out some pictures of the destination right here.

Above is a rendering of the upcoming Brooklyn beach and, below, see some images highlighting other aspects of the project:

River Ring
Photograph: Courtesy James Corner Field Operations and Bjarke Ingels Group
River Ring
Photograph: Courtesy James Corner Field Operations and Bjarke Ingels Group
River Ring
Photograph: Courtesy James Corner Field Operations and Bjarke Ingels Group
River Ring
Photograph: Courtesy James Corner Field Operations and Bjarke Ingels Group
River Ring
Photograph: Courtesy James Corner Field Operations and Bjarke Ingels Group

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