The Sullivan Street Pit, also known as "Lot 48" or simply "the pit," is a large hole in the ground located in the block next to Ann Perkins' house. The pit was originally dug out by a condominium developer to host a basement. However, after going bankrupt in the middle of the construction project, the developer abandoned the project and left a giant pit sitting in the lot for over a year.
The pit story arc occupied the show's first 12 episodes ("Pilot" – "Kaboom"), and after being filled in, the empty lot continued to be a minor plot point. In the Season 5 episode "Pawnee Commons", an architect designs a complete park model for the lot, giving it the name Pawnee Commons.
Prior to Season 1
- A condominium developer digs a pit at Lot 48 to build a basement, but after going bankrupt in the middle of the construction project, the site is abandoned.
- The eyesore pit sits untouched for over a year.
- Andy Dwyer, who lives next door to the pit, falls into it on his way home while drunk and breaks both legs.
- Andy's girlfriend, Ann Perkins, attends a community outreach public forum to express her displeasure with the lack of attention given to the pit. She demands the pit be filled in.
- Leslie Knope, Deputy Director of the Parks and Recreation Department in Pawnee, agrees to do something about the pit and takes on the responsibility of turning the lot into a community park.
- Ron Swanson, Director of the Parks and Recreation Department, and Paul Iaresco, Pawnee's City Manager, agree to fast-track Leslie's park project and schedule a public forum.
- Leslie forms a pit subcommittee; the members of the subcommittee go canvassing around the local neighborhood to entice residents to attend the public forum.
- While meeting with journalist Shauna Malwae-Tweep to discuss the project, Leslie falls in the pit.
- The Pawnee Journal publishes a glowing progress report of the pit project at Lot 48.
- A social-networking website is set up by the Parks and Recreation Department for the pit project.
- Leslie begins working on getting the lot's zoning codes approved and amended by the city council.
- Andy writes a song about falling in the pit called "The Pit," which he performs with his band.
- After being rejected by Leslie, a drunken Mark Brendanawicz falls in the pit.
- Andy Dwyer secretly lives in a tent in the pit after Ann dumps him and starts seeing Mark.
- Leslie establishes a community garden in the pit, but she finds someone has planted marijuana amongst the vegetables.
- Frustrated with having to deal with government red tape regarding the pit, Leslie decides to fill in the pit herself without permission and hires a bulldozer. Unfortunately, as the dirt is being dumped in, it lands on Andy, who had moved out but came back to retrieve his headphones and fell asleep under a tarp.
- After being approached by a lawyer, Andy decides to sue the city because he naively thinks a settlement will help him win Ann back from Mark. Instead, Leslie convinces him to drop his suit on condition that the city fill the pit in immediately, because it will not only save Leslie's job but also make Ann happy.
- By the end of the episode "Kaboom," the pit is filled in and the space returns to just an empty lot.
- The Pawnee library places a planning claim for Lot 48.
- The lot hosts the 2009 Christmas Winter Wonderland.
- The previous owner of Lot 48, Norquist Properties, claims the government illegally seized the land.
- In the Parks Department's yearly budget and planning proposal, the "Master Plan", Leslie and her team officially present their plans for a new park on Lot 48. However, due to the city's huge budget deficit, the proposal has to be postponed.
- State auditors visit Pawnee and throw a wrench in the Lot 48 park plans.
- The lot hosts the Pawnee Summer Kick-Off, featuring Freddy Spaghetti.
- April Ludgate suggests a dog park be established at Lot 48. Leslie is strongly against the proposal, as she has tried to establish a regular park at the lot for four years.
- Jeremy Jamm counter proposes and suggests the city sell the lot to Paunch Burger.
- Wreston St. James of Eagleton designs a complete park model for Lot 48, calling it Pawnee Commons. As a gesture of good will, Wreston offers to design the park pro bono.
- Jeremy Jamm and Pawnee Restaurant Association spokeswoman Kathryn Pinewood prematurely arrange for construction of a new Paunch Burger branch to begin at Lot 48. To stop construction, Leslie places Wamapoke artifacts in the lot's soil.
- Leslie and Jeremy Jamm both pitch their proposals to the Planning Committee, after which the committee has one week to decide who to back. The committee initially leans toward backing Jamm due to Leslie's project being short $50,000. While Leslie's plan is clearly the better of the two, the committee can't approve an underfunded project.
- To raise $50,000, Leslie and Ben Wyatt organize a black tie gala fundraiser for Pawnee Commons. Lot 48 hosts the gala, while Paunch Burger's competitors volunteer to cater the event in support of Pawnee Commons. Overall, the gala is a success and Leslie reaches her fundraising goal.
- The city council vote yes to move the money set aside for Pawnee Commons from a discretionary fund to a lock box.
- By the end of the episode "Ann and Chris", Leslie and Ann officially break ground on Pawnee Commons, despite no go-ahead from the Department of Public Works.
- By the end of 2014, Pawnee Commons is completed.
- It is revealed that in January 2015, a new apartment complex, called Morningstar, began construction on the block next to Pawnee Commons. Consequently, Ann's old house was demolished.
- The actual pit was purposely dug for the show in an undeveloped lot located at the southeast corner of Hazeltine Avenue and Collins Street in Van Nuys, California. The house that stood in for Ann Perkins' house is located directly behind the lot at 5655 Murietta Avenue in Van Nuys. The lot was put up for sale for $5 million in 2012 and was subsequently developed into townhouses (View on Google Maps).