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Edward
October 15th, 2002, 01:24 PM
From Downtown Express
http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=4913018&BRD=1841&PAG=461&dept_id=1 12709&rfi=6
Park Trust releases seven plans for Pier 40
By: Lincoln Anderson July 31, 2002

Starting the public review process of proposals by developers for Pier 40, basic designs and project outlines were posted last Thursday in the pier's lobby at the end of W. Houston St. The seven proposals range from an aquarium to a sports park to a "world expo" facility.
The Hudson River Park Trust, which is building and operates the five-mile long Hudson River Park, last year sought requests for expressions of interest for developing the currently three-level, 15-acre pier.

Under the Hudson River Park Act, 50 percent of the pier's footprint, or about seven and a half acres, must be devoted to park and open space. The pier is one of the Hudson River Park's so-called commercial nodes, from which it is intended that revenue will be raised to fund the park.

A total of seven proposals were submitted, five proposals for the whole pier and three for part of the pier.

The design boards posted in the Pier 40 lobby provide the first look at the plans' visuals. Alex Dudley, Trust spokesperson, said the designs will also be posted on the Trust's Web site, www.hudsonriverpark.org, later this week. There will be ample time for public comment, Dudley said, with one or more forums to be held after the summer in September and October. Trust representatives will be on hand to explain the plans.

"We understand the community wants input and that they intend to give it," Dudley said.

A plan called "Park on the Pier," designed by architect Sebastian Knorr and backed by a developer, calls for 760,000 sq. ft. of open space and 136,000 sq. ft. of restaurant and retail space, fewer than 2,000 spaces for long-term car parking; soccer and baseball fields in the pier's courtyard and on the roof, a fitness center and track-and-field facilities, art facilities and a state-of-the-art daycare center. The design calls for the removal of the pier's walls, while leaving up the pier's structural skeleton of concrete beams. The construction cost is $92.4 million.

"The New Pier 40," submitted by Forest City Ratner, a prominent developer, includes 664,000 sq. ft. of park and open space and 450,000 sq. ft. of restaurant and retail space. The plan has a park on top, including a sports field - the park's courtyard would be roofed over - on top of a level of parking and a level of retail. There would be parking for 2,000 cars. Accessing the rooftop park would be a slope up the south side of the pier from the ground level. The construction cost is $146 million.

A third plan, "River Green," was submitted by C&K, the parking company of Ben Cohen and Meir Korman, who currently hold the operating lease for the pier. The C&K plan would keep the existing FedEx terminal on the pier by converting it to a water-delivery freight forwarding system: The freight would be delivered to the pier from Kennedy or LaGuardia airports by boat, thus making it legal under the Hudson River Park Act's requirement that commercial uses in the park be "water-dependent." Long-term parking would be retained and there would be retail space. The courtyard would be covered to create a rooftop park. The plan's cost is $118.6 million.

A fourth plan, "Oceanarium," features a 200,000 sq. ft. aquarium on the pier's west edge, topped by white sail-like canvas, looking like a galleon. This plan calls for 241,000 sq. ft. of retail space and 594,300 sq. ft. of "park landscape," in the form of apparently passive park areas, including paths and small pools. The pier's interior courtyard would be roofed over to create a rooftop park. The developers of this plan estimate the pier's annual visitorship at 2.4 million people. There would be parking for 1,720 cars. The plan includes a 95,000-sq.-ft. indoor "soccer pavilion," and an 88,000 sq. ft. movie theater. The construction cost is $265,855,000.

"World Expo 2005/Hudson Pier," another proposal, would last only three years. It would include a film center with two studios - "Houston St. Film Center" and a "Canal St. Film Center" - and three large 30,000 sq. ft. restaurant/retail spaces on the pier's south side. The plan labels the pier's central courtyard the "Great Court," the inside of which is identified as "Temporary Market Location (Union Sq.)," apparently a Greenmarket.

The "Expo" plan includes 131,000 sq. ft. of open space, less than half the seven and a half acres of open space required under the park law. Annual visitorship is predicted at 15 million. The construction budget is $186.4 million.

A partial plan is for an "Animal Shelter and Recreation Center." The 59,500-sq.-ft. facility would occupy two floors and the roof on a corner of the pier. It would include a rubble pile to train search-and-rescue dogs, explosives training area, classrooms for therapy-dog training, a canine workout area and dog and cat adoption facilities. The cost is $15 million. Last September, the pier was used to retrieve and care for pets trapped in apartments closer to ground zero.

New York University submitted a proposal for a portion of the pier, for 85,000 to 105,000 sq. ft. for continuing education programs, professional studies, libraries, its Tisch arts school and film studies. (Currently, Pier 40 has about 600,000 sq. ft. of indoor space.)

A plan just for the roof, "Sports Park at Pier 40," submitted by Pier, Park & Playground Association (P3), calls for covering the pier's courtyard with a roof on top of which there would be 58,000 sq. ft. of sports fields and picnic areas. The sports facilities would be run be a non-profit group, possibly P3, said Tobi Bergman, P3's president. At night, the fields would be rented to adult leagues to support the sports facility's operation.

A few years ago, P3 led a community planning process for the pier that resulted in a plan that included a sports complex and parking. Architect Sebastian Knorr subsequently designed a plan along the lines of this P3 design that included an automated "stacker" parking facility to consolidate the pier's long-term car parking in a smaller area. P3 also did an economic feasibility study for this plan.

Bergman said the parking stacker plan was to show what was feasible at the pier. He said P3 would be willing to work with any of three of the current plans for the full pier, those by the Knorr group, C&K or Forest City Ratner.

"A developer could do whatever they want with the downstairs area," Bergman said. "We would put this [sports complex] on the upstairs area."

Knorr's previous Pier 40 plan was approved by Community Boards 1 and 2. Knorr's latest plan is similar to that one, but P3 is not part of the development team and is not supporting Knorr's proposal over any of the others, said Bergman.

Bergman, a former Greenwich Village Little League president, said P3 favors high school-size athletic fields, which the area lacks. When Little League players reach age 12, they play their games in Central Park or elsewhere.

Bergman said, "Maybe two parents will go up and watch in Central Park. It's not the same kind of community activity and community unification as when you have your own field."

Bergman said his group favors artificial grass so the fields could be used even in rain. In general, the weight of natural grass might rule it out as an option for a rooftop field, he said.

In terms of the design process moving forward, Dudley said the Trust has "milestones we have to keep in order to keep the Pier 40 lease active and we intend to meet that." The community and the Trust recently reached an agreement on extending commercial uses on Pier 40 on condition developing a park on the pier sticks to a timetable.

Dudley said while the formal public comment period hasn't begun, people are welcome to send letters or e-mails to the Trust. For now, he said, "People should look at the plans and think about them."

Dudley said all the information about the proposals will be made public; probably people will have to come into the Trust's office to see them because it would be difficult to copy all the materials, Dudley said. Everything except proprietary information about the developments will be made public, he said.

Dudley said the reason there weren't more proposals is because the potential for development is limited, since the park doesn't allow office or residential space or hotels.

©Downtown Express 2002 *

Edward
October 15th, 2002, 01:28 PM
The Tamaroa at Pier 40 (http://www.wirednewyork.com/piers/pier40/default.htm) in May of 2000.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/piers/pier40/hudson_river_park_pier40_tamaroa_29may00.jpg (http://www.wirednewyork.com/piers/pier40/default.htm)

NYatKNIGHT
October 15th, 2002, 01:49 PM
Looking forward to whatever goes here, that Hudson River Park keeps getting better and better. I would prefer any of those recreational uses for the pier over NYU's proposal for continuing education programs, professional studies, libraries, its Tisch arts school and film studies. Big Yawn.

Did I miss it, or is there a way to get a look at these plans? It says you may have to go into the Trust's office to see them - I wonder where that is.

Jessica
October 15th, 2002, 09:10 PM
"The New Pier 40," submitted by Forest City Ratner, a prominent developer, includes 664,000 sq. ft. of park and open space and 450,000 sq. ft. of restaurant and retail space. The plan has a park on top, including a sports field - the park's courtyard would be roofed over - on top of a level of parking and a level of retail. There would be parking for 2,000 cars. Accessing the rooftop park would be a slope up the south side of the pier from the ground level.

Wow! *They have plans for all this? *Amazing! *Has my vote!

Jessica
October 15th, 2002, 09:10 PM
Anything more recent on this since July?

Edward
October 15th, 2002, 09:36 PM
DOWNTOWN EXPRESS
http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=5555795&BRD=1841&PAG=461&dept_id=1 12709&rfi=6
Maximize recreation on Pier 40, advocates say
By: Albert Amateau October 01, 2002

Soccer and Little League moms and dads joined Downtown waterfront advocates last week at a Pier 40 forum to urge the Hudson River Park Trust to favor proposals for the pier that include the maximum amount of large playing fields and indoor recreation space for youngsters and adults.
Over 50 people turned out for the meeting. There was support also for Floating the Apple, the community-based rowing and boat-building organization that currently occupies space on the 15-acre pier at the west end of Houston St. And a voice was raised in favor of a proposal to use part of the pier for an animal shelter and recreation center.

The Trust, the city-state agency building and operating the five-mile-long river front park between Chambers and 59th Sts., hopes to choose one of several proposals submitted for the redevelopment of Pier 40 by February 2003, said Connie Fishman, the Trust's vice president.

The decision will be made by the Trust board of directors in consultation with the Pier 40 Working Group, Fishman said at the Sept. 23 meeting. The Pier 40 Working Group is composed of elected officials, directors of the Trust, members of the Hudson River Park Advisory Council, Community Board 2 and Friends of Hudson River Park, a community group.

The Trust will conduct another hearing at New York Law School, 57 Worth St., on Oct. 7 when the developers who submitted the proposals are expected to attend and respond to questions, Fishman said.

Under the Hudson River Park Act, a state law, space equivalent to 50 percent of Pier 40's footprint must be devoted to park and public recreation. Nevertheless, Pier 40 is also designated as one of the commercial nodes intended to produce revenues to help maintain the entire park. An unanswered question, posed by Assemblymember Deborah Glick, concerns how much revenue the pier is expected to produce. The answer, she said, would have a determining influence on which proposal is chosen.
* * *
"There are wonderful elements in the proposals - if one could only choose some from column A and some from column B," said Glick. "But I don't know if there is any one proposal that is right."

Judy Duffy, Assistant District Manager of Community Board 1 who attended the Sept. 23 meeting, recalled later that the Downtown board's waterfront committee went on record on Sept. 25 in favor of active recreation proposals for the pier. "It's the only pier with enough square footage for playing fields and for passive recreation space," she said.

Stuart Waldman, a Village waterfront activist, urged that the financial implications of the Pier 40 development should be open to public scrutiny, "not like Chelsea Piers." The state had granted Chelsea Piers Management, which holds the prime lease on Piers 59, 60, 61 and a temporary lease on Pier 62, a two-year rent deferment in the 1990s after the company had won the public bidding process.

Carol Feinman, a former member of Community Board 2, wanted to know if the community would have any input on the selection of a developer. Fishman replied that multi-year leases like Pier 40 are subject to public debate.

Laurie Silberfeld, general counsel for the Trust, said that under the state legislation for the park, commercial office space would not be eligible for the pier, and warehouse uses are not likely unless associated with waterborne transportation. Special parking for recreational vehicles - such as campers and trailers - would also be a questionable use, she added.

Jane Ritter, mother of a son at the Middle Lab School on W. 17th St., and another son at Stuyvesant High School, said students at those schools and at the High School for the Humanities in Chelsea all need full-size playing fields. She urged that the Sports Park at Pier 40 proposal, submitted by Pier, Park and Playground (P3), be selected. The P3 proposal calls for roofing over the pier's expansive central courtyard and building 58,000 square feet of playing fields and open space on top.

Charles Kramer said that while the proposed P3 rooftop field is fine for about nine months of the year, Pier 40 also needs a large indoor playing field. Providing temporary playing fields during the Pier 40 reconstruction also needs attention, Kramer said.

Mike Derosa, head of the Greenwich Village Little League, and Mike Mirisola, a Village native and long-time advocate for youth recreation, also called for a developer who would provide large playing fields for teens and adults. David Smith, head of the Downtown United Soccer Club and active in youth recreation since 1974, said Pier 40 needs a full-size field to allow youngsters who are now teenagers to continue playing together.

Honi Klein, a Community Board 2 member and head of the Village Alliance business improvement district on Eighth St., said she was impressed with two proposals - River Green submitted by Meier Cohen and Ben Korman, current lease-holders of Pier 40, and New Pier 40, submitted by Forest City Ratner.

River Green would convert the existing Fed Ex trucking terminal located in the pier courtyard into a waterborne freight service from Kennedy and LaGuardia airports, thus conforming to the park legislation that requires that commercial uses be "water-dependent." Cohen and Korman also propose to cover the courtyard and create a roof-top park.

Forest City Ratner's New Pier 40 would include 664,000 square feet of park and open space, 450,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space and public parking for 2,000 cars. New Pier 40 is the only proposal that would provide auto access separate from pedestrian and bicycle access, by providing a separate ramp on the pier's south side to the rooftop field for park users.

©Downtown Express 2002 *

Edward
November 25th, 2002, 12:14 AM
NY TIMES
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/24/nyregion/24PIER.html

November 24, 2002
A Plan for a Big Box in the Village, but With Icing on Top
By TERRY PRISTIN


A private developer has proposed building two or three so-called big-box stores on Pier 40 in Greenwich Village, the same neighborhood that resoundingly rejected a Costco store just two years ago.

This time, however, the superstores would be accompanied by a giant carrot for the community: a 15-acre sports park that would occupy the top level of the huge pier. The stores would take up 450,000 square feet on the lowest level, hidden from view, according to the developer, Forest City Ratner.

Forest City's plan is one of four proposals for Pier 40 that are being weighed by the Hudson River Park Trust, the public benefit corporation that is building a five-mile park. The project will stretch from Battery Park to 59th Street and will include 13 piers with public parks and a waterfront esplanade.

All of the proposals for Pier 40, at the foot of West Houston Street, were required to incorporate a park as well as commercial development. As the biggest pier in Hudson River Park, Pier 40 is expected to provide the park's largest green space as well as a significant chunk of its operating revenues. A decision is expected in February.

Sponsors of the other plans refrained from proposing large-scale commercial development. One developer, C&K Properties, the current manager of Pier 40, would create Federal Express's first maritime operation, allowing packages to be transported to Newark Liberty International Airport by water instead of 18-wheel trucks.

Another proposal, by TEC-PMC Associates, of Los Angeles, would remove the pier walls and roof, leaving a pergola-like structure with a number of smaller stores. The fourth proposal is for a large aquarium, but community leaders have opposed it on the ground that it would take business away from the Coney Island Aquarium.

Completed in 1962, Pier 40 currently houses parking for trucks, buses and about 2,000 private cars as well as a company that rents out props and an acting school for children. A soccer field is atop the structure.

Village leaders say they remain adamantly opposed to big-box development.

"I don't think anybody's in favor of having a big-box store there," said Arthur Z. Schwartz, the chairman of the waterfront committee of Community Board 2, which represents the Village. Arthur Strickler, the board's district manager, said big-box development would generate too much traffic at times when park use was at its heaviest and would put small neighborhood stores at risk. In 2000, community opposition forced Costco to abandon plans to open a store on the former site of the 14th Street Armory and to sell property it had acquired for two other stores.

Still, the Forest City proposal has not provoked the intense outcry that Costco faced — not yet, anyway. Judy Duffy, the assistant district manager of Community Board 1, which represents the neighborhood just south of Pier 40, said the tone of the discussion had changed. "It's not the Village it was six years ago," she said. "We're all asking a lot of questions."

The Hudson River Park Trust has not released any financial data from the proposals, but has told the Pier 40 Working Group, an advisory group made up of community leaders, that the Forest City Ratner plan would be the most lucrative. Ms. Duffy said that the developer's experience in building such large projects as the Metro Tech Center, an office complex in Downtown Brooklyn, also worked in its favor. "There's a certain amount of confidence that Forest City Ratner has deep pockets and can bring this baby home," she said.

The proposal by Forest City Ratner, which is the partner with The New York Times Company in the development of The Times's new headquarters, does not spell out which retailers would lease space at the pier, although Costco, Ikea and Fairway supermarkets are cited as potential tenants.

Costco and other national big-box retailers have been eager to break into Manhattan. "We are very interested in doing something there," said Jeffrey H. Brotman, the chairman of Costco, referring to Pier 40. In 1999, the City Council approved plans for a shopping center along Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive that would include a Costco and a Home Depot, but the development has been stalled because of financing and legal hurdles.

Mr. Schwartz of Board 2 said that Forest City Ratner might be able to lower its development costs and avoid having to lease space to superstores. But Michele deMilly, a spokeswoman for the developer, said the stores were needed to make the project viable. She said Forest City would go ahead with the project only if the community was behind it.

Whichever plan is adopted, one thing is certain: The 2,000 car owners who park at the pier at the exceptionally low rate of about $200 a month will continue to be accommodated. Mr. Schwartz said that 90 percent of the car owners came from the neighborhood and constituted what he described as a "powerful lobby."

Edward
February 5th, 2003, 08:10 PM
The Villager
http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?BRD=1840&dept_id=505431&newsid=6868366&PA G=461&rfi=9
C&K adds developer to Pier 40 plan; but aquarium is gaining support.

By: Lincoln Anderson January 29, 2003

*
After failing to land a FedEx ferry system as part of plan to redevelop Pier 40, C&K Properties announced Monday they have partnered with the Durst Organization, one of New York City's most prominent real estate owners and developers, and are hurriedly devising a new plan. *
As part of its proposal to develop Pier 40 in the Hudson River Park at Houston St., C&K Properties, owned and operated by Meir Cohen and Ben Korman, hoped to convince FedEx to build a small fleet of boats to service the pier. However, two weeks ago, FedEx announced the plan was not economically feasible.

Meanwhile, time is running out before the legally mandated Feb. 15 deadline for the Hudson River Park Trust to pick a developer for the 15-acre pier.

"We're trying to come up with a revised plan by the end of this week," Korman said. "The Durst Organization brings additional resources and a wealth of experience to our redevelopment plans for Pier 40. We believe that Douglas Durst is a 'green developer,' environmentally good."

In a joint Jan. 27 press release with C&K, Douglas Durst, co-president of the Durst Organization, said, "C&K has a great reputation for working cooperatively with the community and various government agencies on the West Side over the past decade. We look forward to helping them ensure that Pier 40 is an asset to the Hudson River Park and the adjacent neighborhoods."

Douglas Durst is active in the Hudson River Park as president of Friends of Hudson River Park, an advocacy group for the park. Korman is treasurer and a board member of Friends of Hudson River Park. Korman said he's always known Durst to be a top developer, but also got to know him through the Friends group.

The Durst Organization owns over 7.5 million sq. ft. of New York City office building space. A leader in the "green" development movement, Durst's Four Times Sq., a 1.6 million-sq.-ft. office tower built in the mid-1990s, is considered one of the world's most energy efficient office buildings.

Durst also is the financial backer of New York Water Taxi, a water taxi service launched last fall and headed by Tom Fox, former president of the Hudson River Park Conservancy, the Trust's predecessor.

Korman made a general presentation to the Pier 40 Working Group last Tuesday regarding C&K's new partnership with Durst and some of ideas they're considering for Pier 40. Korman said he didn't discuss anything definite and that nothing's being ruled in or ruled out at this point.

However, Arthur Schwartz, a member of the Pier 40 Working Group - a group of residents and waterfront and park activists reviewing the plans for Pier 40 - said it seemed Korman was implying there would be one big-box tenant, "a Home Depot-like store."

According to Schwartz, while Korman didn't mention it specifically, the plan's anchor tenant has to be Home Depot, or a similar type of competitor hardware chain because "there's nothing else" that fits what Korman described.

"He said a large store that wouldn't require any change in zoning," Schwartz said. Hardware stores are the only kind of large retail over 20,000 sq. ft. that would be allowed on the pier without rezoning. Other types of stores would be allowed without rezoning, but only if they are under 20,000 sq. ft.

But Korman said, "It could be that [Schwartz] speculated Home Depot. I did not say it. I said that it will comply with the city's waterfront zoning and the Hudson River Park Act, so that it doesn't have to go through a tiring ULURP [uniform land-use review procedure].... To be honest, I have no clue what we are going to come up with on Friday."

Korman didn't tell the Working Group that the developer they were teaming up with was Durst, but Schwartz said they knew who it had to be when Korman said it was a major developer heavily involved with Hudson River Park.

"We guessed it right away," Schwartz said.

As to why they felt they needed to bring in Durst, Korman said, "We could do it by ourselves.... [But] I think a lot of it has to deal with the magnitude of this kind of project." He cited Durst's experience in developing large projects.

Asked if there was still time for the Trust to review the new plan by C&K and Durst, Alex Dudley, the Trust's spokesperson, said, "We are still on course to meet our Feb. 15 deadline. If we have time to look at a plan from them we will. We have not seen a plan from them yet, but we've heard they have something."

Bruce Ratner, head of Forest City Ratner, another major local developer that has proposed a big-box retail plan for the pier, is head of the City Parks Foundation, so like Durst, he is also a park supporter. Ratner's plan includes three big-box stores of 150,000 sq. ft. each - IKEA, Costco and Fairway have been mentioned as possible tenants.

The Ratner plan would roof over the pier's inner courtyard to create a rooftop park with sports fields. Schwartz said that from what he picked up, C&K's latest plan would not roof over the pier's courtyard, and would use the park's courtyard for the park and any sports fields while the roof would have gardens; since not roofing over the courtyard would be cheaper to build, the C&K plan would require less retail store space to support its cost than the Ratner plan.

Under the Hudson River Park Act, space equal to 50 percent of the pier's footprint must be devoted to open park use.

There are also two other developers' plans still in the running, "Oceanarium" - a large aquarium - and a proposal by a group led by architect Sebastian Knorr that would strip off the pier's sides and include many smaller stores. Knorr is reportedly trying to increase the size of his retail component, however, to compete with Ratner.

Word is that "Oceanarium," once considered a long shot, is now very much in the running and could well end up the winner. This development seems to have resulted from Community Board 2's resolution against big-box retail stores on Pier 40, which was specifically aimed at the Forest City Ratner proposal, but which now could also apply to C&K's new plan if it indeed includes a Home Depot-like store.

When asked her thoughts on the latest news on C&K, Madelyn Wils, a member of the Pier 40 Working Group and the Trust's board of directors and chairperson of Community Board 1, sounded as if Board 2's resolution had quite an impact and would even negate C&K's rumored "modified big-box plan."

"I would assume if Community Board 2 supported a resolution against big-box stores, I assume it wasn't just against Ratner," Wils said. "I think that Community Board 2 made a very good argument for no big-box stores, particularly in the area of transportation [impact]."

Meanwhile, Schwartz said he'd heard from Wils that several board members of the Trust, including Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff and the city and state Parks commissioners, are leaning toward the aquarium as a destination-type attraction for the park. The Trust's board will make the final decision on or around Feb. 15, though the Working Group will weigh in earlier with its own opinion.

Wils said she hadn't polled enough Trust board members to know if the aquarium plan is now favored. But she said she thinks "Oceanarium" sounds like the best use for the park among the four proposals, and is consistent with the Hudson River Park Act, since it is a water-dependent use.

"I think you certainly could consider that a water use, yes," Wils said of the aquarium. "Just from a personal point of view, I like cultural uses and water uses. I like 'Oceanarium.' It relates to water - certainly more than Home Depot. [And] in Lower Manhattan, we tend to prefer cultural and recreational uses. Home Depot and IKEA don't fall under that."

But Wils added she isn't endorsing any plan: "I'm definitely not asking for anything here," she said.

Before Board 2's anti-big-box resolution, Wils had sounded somewhat interested in Ratner's big-box retail plan. But she maintains it was only Schwartz saying she was in favor of Ratner's plan.

"I said if you want a big, open park on the top, then [Ratner] had the answer," Wils clarified. "But that didn't mean I was advocating for a big-box mall. Ratner made it very clear that they are not interested in modifying their proposal."

While Ratner seems unwilling to reduce the scope of its retail, Wils said the "Oceanarium" group seems more flexible.

"I think they pretty well have shown they can accommodate what the community's interests are," she said.

However, Schwartz said if "Oceanarium" is selected, the aquarium plan's current lack of rooftop park and sports field space "would be a problem" and that "hopefully the Trust board won't do that." Schwartz said the "Oceanarium" plan originally called for an "asphalt" roof surface with "paths." He said the aquarium plan has now allocated a corner of the pier's rooftop for park space and athletic fields, but that the aquarium's layout still makes it impossible to configure good field space. If the aquarium is redesigned, there may be a way to get more outdoor park space, he said.

Hearing of Wils' qualified endorsement of the aquarium, Schwartz said, "I can tell you, 'Oceanarium' will be very unpopular in the Village - maybe not in Tribeca. Maybe they can build it on Pier 25 [in Tribeca]."

One advantage of "Oceanarium" over Ratner though is that many of the projected three million annual visitors it would attract would come by bus, Schwartz said. Ratner's big-box stores on the other hand would attract a projected 7 million annual auto trips to or from the pier, according to an estimate by Brian Ketcham, an environmental engineer specializing in big-box impact.

Dudley, the Trust's spokesperson, noted that both the aquarium and retail plans are legal under the Park Act, though the big-box retail would require rezoning. Illegal uses under the Park Act include hotels, residential housing, casinos, riverboat gambling, manufacturing, motorized aircraft facilities or incompatible municipal uses, like garbage trucks.

Dudley said he couldn't answer questions about whether the aquarium plan has become the frontrunner. Although some Working Group members are speaking openly about the process, it's supposed to be "contained," Dudley noted.

"The only decision that counts is the decision the Trust board will make on Feb. 15," Dudley said. "Everything else is at this point is speculative."

Schwartz said that the Working Group met on Monday in an informal meeting and decided that, due to concern over the aquarium gaining popularity, they will present a position paper to the Trust at the Trust's Thurs., Jan. 30, board of directors meeting. Schwartz said "everyone was very excited" about the group's making a statement. However, he said there's a "reason why" he cannot give any hints as to what the Working Group's recommendations for Pier 40 will be, but that it will all become clear by next week.

ZippyTheChimp
February 14th, 2003, 08:42 AM
Latest on Pier 40

from Downtown Express

http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=7029264&BRD=1841&PAG=461&dept_id=1 12709&rfi=6

Village group favors big box plan for Pier 40

By: Lincoln Anderson February 12, 2003

With less than a week left before the deadline for the Hudson River Park Trust to pick a redevelopment plan for Pier 40, on Monday the Pier 40 Working Group endorsed the River Green plan by C&K Properties and the Durst Organization.A hint was seen at the Trust's Jan. 30 board of directors meeting, when Assemblymember Deborah Glick, on behalf of the Working Group, asked for an extension of the Feb. 15 deadline, saying a "community-friendly developer, like C&K," should be considered for the sprawling W. Houston St. pier. The extension request was ostensibly to give C&K some time: Two weeks before, FedEx had abandoned a waterborne delivery plan that C&K hoped would be its main commercial tenant. C&K quickly partnered with developer Douglas Durst and submitted a new plan to the Trust on Feb. 4.Alex Dudley, the Trust's spokesperson, said he didn't know if the deadline would be extended.

Ben Korman, of C&K Properties, said they sent their revised plan to the Trust, and "are waiting like everyone else." Korman said Tobi Bergman, president of Pier Park & Playground Association, a youth sports advocacy group, worked closely with their architect to devise a new plan for rooftop ballfields in the revised proposal.

"We have an understanding with P3 and together we worked on enlarging the ballfields," Korman said.
Korman said their new plan calls for a single 120,000-sq.-ft. big-box retail store. He wouldn't say what type, but that it is "as of right," not requiring any changes to the city's waterfront zoning or the pier's Hudson Sq.-area manufacturing zoning. Korman said they have a retail tenant in mind but can't announce who it is until they have a signed agreement with the tenant. The store would get a 30-year lease, the same-length lease the developer will get for the whole pier. Park watchers suspect it's a large hardware store, like a Home Depot, since that's the only type of large store that wouldn't need rezoning.

Korman said they also have back-up tenants, to avoid what happened when FedEx pulled out of the waterborne delivery system.

C&K's plan also includes 200,000 sq. ft. of TV and film production studios and a TV and film museum. In general, it resembles the previous plan except one big-box store replaces the waterborne FedEx system as the anchor commercial tenant.

Arthur Schwartz, chairperson of Community Board 2's waterfront committee, said under their revised plan, C&K will roof over half the pier's courtyard to allow for creation of full-size sports fields.

The amount of space for viewing gardens on the roof - part of C&K's original proposal - was reduced to allow for larger athletic fields.

"The gardens will be designed with consultation with the community," Korman said. The gardens will have different themes, he said, but won't be open for people to garden in.

"It's not like the East Village-type gardens," Korman noted.

Both Schwartz, a leading member of the Working Group, and Bergman, who, though not a member of the group, took on a large role in recent weeks in reshaping the ballfield component of C&K's proposal, expect the Trust will make the designation Feb. 15, and will pick C&K.

"Unless the Trust wants to go against the community, they'll pick C&K," Schwartz predicted. "It's not just C&K, it's C&K/Durst," he stressed. "I think Durst's addition made it much more plausible. With Durst, you know you're not going to run out of money and lose financial backing."

Bergman said that having one big-box store in the C&K plan is far more acceptable than three big-box stores called for in a plan by Forest City Ratner.

"If C&K is a gorilla, Ratner is a monster," Bergman said.

In its Feb. 10 statement, the Working Group gave several reasons why it endorsed the C&K plan.

The group felt C&K's plan recognizes the uniqueness of the 15-acre pier's large footprint and takes into account the community's need for athletic fields for local youth organizations. Second, the plan dedicates substantial open space to passive recreation, including the entire perimeter walkway and area with best water views. Third, the group said, C&K's plan doesn't overburden Pier 40 with commercial activity that would negatively impact the park, includes "more appropriately scaled attractions" and retains the current number of long-term parking spaces, about 2,000, allocated for community use.

Also, although it includes one large-scale retail use of 120,000 sq. ft. in its revised plan, it is less than one-third of the 450,000 sq. ft. of big-box commercial space in the Forest City Ratner plan and one-half the 286,000 sq. ft. of retail space in the Oceanarium aquarium proposal.

"The impacts of one large-scale retailer are certainly less offensive to the community than three and will not have the same crippling traffic impacts. The River Green proposal represents a fair compromise," the Working Group said.

The Working Group said C&K/Durst have "demonstrated creativity and flexibility in its proposal and responsiveness to the community's needs and concerns regarding development of the pier." As a result, the group said, "River Green is the only proposal that will be able to gain broad support."

While noting that the commercial uses in the C&K plan far exceed the guidelines in the Working Group's "Blueprint for Pier 40" position statement, the Working Group accepts them as a "compromise," though stressing that they should be no larger.

The Working Group also gave reasons for why it did not endorse the three other competing plans.

Regarding the Oceanarium project, the group said the combination of a 200,000 sq. ft. aquarium, 286,000 sq. ft. of retail space and 88,000 sq. ft. of theater space "will bring excessive traffic and congestion to the park and adjoining neighborhoods, while creating a mall-like atmosphere." The group also expressed concern about the impact of Oceanarium on the Coney Island aquarium. And they objected to the loss of 1,000 long-term parking spaces called for in the Oceanarium plan.

As for the New Pier 40 plan by Forest City Ratner, with three big-box stores, such as IKEA, Costco and Fairway, the group opposes it because it rejects such a large amount of big-box commercial retail in the park, feeling it would not be park-compatible and "would elicit direct, vehement and immediate community opposition."

Finally, the group said it opposes the Park on the Pier development, designed by architect Sebastian Knorr, because the plan is ill-defined and the developer lacks experience. "Limited concrete information was presented regarding both the design of the plan and the commercial activity being considered," the group said.

The Working Group's members include representatives of the elected officials who represent the Pier 40 site and from the Hudson River Park Trust Advisory Council, Community Board 2, Friends of Hudson River Park and The Federation to Preserve the Greenwich Village Waterfront.

Schwartz said the Working Group's position statement on Pier 40 that Glick read to the Trust's board last month was a watershed moment, possibly marking the end of conflict over the Greenwich Village waterfront, which even influenced local Democratic club politics. Different factions, like the Federation, all came together in the end.

"It represents a real change in the political wars in the community," Schwartz said. "It's also a testament to the hours and hours of meetings and discussions and e-mails by the Working Group's members. We all united to stop the big-box stuff. We all united to stop the Oceanarium - though it's not guaranteed that it's stopped."

The Working Group passed a resolution against Oceanarium on Feb. 3.

©Downtown Express 2003 *

billyblancoNYC
February 14th, 2003, 12:12 PM
I would like to see more of the studios, less retail, and am not sure about the museum - don't we have museums dedicated to film and tv (Museum of the Moving Image, Museum of Television and Radio, among others). *Who knows, it might be a nice museum.

It would be better the improve the CI aquarium, though. To have 2 is crazy and the aquarium should be used as a CI centerpiece.

I guess we'll see, hopefully soon.

ZippyTheChimp
May 9th, 2003, 06:38 PM
from The Downtown Express

Two Pier 40 Developers Propose Bigger Fields

By Lincoln Anderson

One thing was abundantly clear at last Monday night’s public hearing on two development proposals for Pier 40, as clear as the black and white patches on a soccer ball or the laces on a baseball: the developers had heard the message loud and clear that youth sports leagues want large ball fields on the W. Houston St. pier. Both Park on the Pier Developers and the Chermayeff, Sollogub and Poole groups presented significantly revised plans at the meeting, co-sponsored by Community Board 2 and the Hudson River Park Trust and run by Board 2.

About 150 people turned out to hear the presentations at the Manhattan Developmental Center at 75 Morton St.

The most striking changes were that whereas in previous plans, both development groups did not fill in the pier’s central courtyard, in their new plans both cover over the courtyard on both the second and third floors, creating a park on 100 percent of the pier’s rooftop. In each plan, most of the rooftop is devoted to a complex of sports fields, which would allow teens to play regulation baseball games.

Fields, retail, parking

The first to present was Park on the Pier Developers, a group comprising three principals, Bob Fagan, Abe Lesser and Louis Stahl. The group came with a new architect, John Schimenti, who has stepped in because the group’s previous architect, Sebastian Knorr, is reportedly involved in some other big projects. Schimenti has designed many New York City movie theaters, including the Angelika on Houston St.

As Fagan described it, their plan, a $130 million project, will include on the pier’s ground level, 30,000 sq. ft. of indoor recreation space and 250,000 sq. ft. of retail space. This retail space could but doesn’t have to include a 120,000-sq.-ft. Home Depot-type store, Fagan said.

“The most reliable sources of income are going to create the most fervent opposition, because people don’t want big box,” Fagan said, though noting there was support for C&K/Durst’s plan with one big-box store in the last round of planning.

“As far as the anchor tenant, we’re looking at a Home Depot, like other people are talking about,” Fagan said. Fagan said despite the weak retail market, there has been no lack of interest in the big-box space. “We have more companies than we can accommodate interested in the site,” he said.

There would be two other retail spaces of from anywhere from 20,000 to 30,000 sq. ft. to 50,000 to 60,000 sq. ft. There would also be a 46,000-sq.-ft. banquet hall within the 250,000 sq. ft. of retail space. The plan also calls for smaller attractions: sports bars, a pizzeria or a microbrewery.

Fagan said they hope to have on the first floor a 60,000-sq.-ft. greenmarket four to five days a week, which they think would become comparable to the Union Sq. Greenmarket within five years. Fagan said that on off days, the greenmarket space could be used as artists’ space. The finger pier might have a Hudson River fisheries museum.

On the second level, they would keep 1,800 spots for long-term parking, with 600 other parking spots devoted to short-term parking for the Home Depot and other retail stores.

An audience member expressed skepticism that 600 parking spots would satisfy a Home Depot. But Fagan said, “Those were the numbers they gave us.”

The roof would include a full-size soccer field, full-size baseball field and a softball field, possibly with squash or tennis courts around the perimeter. Fagan said either the Trust or a “professional operator” would operate the sports fields.

“We don’t know right now,” he said. “It’s the Trust’s call.”

Architect Schimenti said that grass would be more suitable for the passive areas, while an artificial grass surface would be better for the soccer field, for example, since grass would wear down from use.

To allow sunlight to get to lower levels, large notches would be cut in the edges of the roof and there would be a light well in the middle of the roof.

The previous plan they proposed cost less at $90 million. Fagan said the additional $40 million was because of the roofing over of the courtyard.

The group of Fagan, Lesser and Stahl own the Downtown Athletic Club and have renovated buildings for the Department of Education.

Fields, aquarium, parking

Peter Chermayeff, a principal of Chermayeff, Sollogub and Poole, the Boston-based international aquarium design firm, described his group’s revised plans with a slideshow and Power Point presentation.

“We are hearing a lot of strong opinion. You are not light in the articulation department,” Chermayeff told the crowd. “This community really needs sports facilities. We’ve heard that loud and clear.”

No longer is the project called Pier 40 Oceanarium. Now it is called Hudson Place – An Environmental and Sports Center, reflecting that it is as much sports facility as oceanarium. The construction cost remains the same: $265 million.

In the revised plan, the pier’s courtyard would be roofed over and the roof primarily devoted to sports fields. The goal of the new plan is “maximum park and recreation space,” Chermayeff said. He noted that their plan includes a baseball field with a 400-ft. fence – Major League proportions.

The artistic white “sails” that were suspended over the oceanarium in the previous design have been retained, but are now over the baseball field area. Soccer fields, located on the east side of the pier’s roof, will be covered with some sort of translucent mesh material.

At two-and-a-half acres, an 800-ft.-long strip along the western edge of the pier’s rooftop, about 14-20 percent of the roof space, will be devoted to passive recreation.

The sports fields would not be free to use but would be available at a “low cost,” he said. Under Chermayeff’s plan, Andres Gazzolo, a former semi-pro soccer player from Argentina who runs a children’s soccer program in Mansfield, Mass., would oversee the fields’ programming.

In addition to increased sports fields space, Chermayeff would join the Babe Ruth birthplace museum in Baltimore and Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center in New Jersey to create small sports museum spaces at Pier 40.

But from his presentation, it was clear that the oceanarium is Chermayeff’s passion. Instead of rising up above the pier on its western edge as in the earlier design, the oceanarium is now fully under the roof of the pier, though still on the pier’s western edge.

With huge windows, the tanks would be four stories tall and wide to give the sense of looking into a vast ocean and accommodate the showpiece — a whale shark.

“There’s nothing like having a whale shark go right by you at the window,” Chermayeff noted. “So impressive, people tend to go silent….”

A Pier 40 aquarium in the Village/Hudson Sq., at 200,000 sq. ft., would be the second-largest aquarium in the world, after Osaka’s — one of six major aquariums Chermayeff’s group has built — which draws 3 million visitors a year. Chermayeff projects 2.5 million annual visitors to a Pier 40 oceanarium.

Chermayeff assured the audience that although the oceanarium will draw lots of people it is “not scary, but it is in fact an economic driver,” capable of generating well over $100 million a year for the area.

In the revised plan, Chermayeff reduced both the amount of retail and office space in their proposal by a third; the aquarium stayed the same size; long-term parking spaces increased from 1,700 to 2,800, with up to 650 spots for short-term parking for visitors to the pier. The car parking would be on the ground floor.

Rather than hurting the Coney Island aquarium as many fear, Chermayeff said the Pier 40 oceanarium could help it through cross-marketing and ticket packages. But in response to a question, he acknowledged that the Wildlife Conservation Society, which operates the New York Coney Aquarium in Coney Island, said “no thank you” to such a connection.

Buck Moorhead, from Jane St., was among several who objected to the idea of commercial ball fields. He said he’s been waiting so long for a park on Pier 40 that although he once was interested in getting active recreation space on the pier, now he’s ready for passive recreation.

“To not be able to walk out there on that huge, huge space, like Central Park would be a big loss,” Moorhead said. He also didn’t like the plan to cover the fields with sails or other materials, saying he’d like to feel rain fall just like on any other field.

Chermayeff said there would be no charge to watch people playing sports on the pier.

Stu Waldman said it’s not inconceivable the aquarium could draw 4 million visitors a year, most from the suburbs who “will be circling around the neighborhood looking for parking.”

Tobi Bergman, a leading advocate for ball fields on the roof of Pier 40, and whose group, Pier, Park and Playground Association, noted that under the Hudson River Park Act the 50 percent of the pier’s footprint that is required to be open/park space must be either free or for use with a nominal fee.

Two more plans

Ben Korman and Meier Cohen of C&K Properties were in the audience. They were scheduled present their plan for the pier May 5, along with the other remaining development group, Forest City Ratner. On May 14, the C.B. 2 committee will discuss all four plans for Pier 40 at 75 Morton St. at 6:30 p.m.

Korman, who proposed Home Depot as the anchor tenant, indicated that he has also made some changes. “I’m enjoying the process,” he said. “You’re going to be surprised next week.”

Chermayeff, Sollogub and Poole’s new Pier 40 design sports a full rooftop park with sports fields under white sails, and an aquarium underneath.
http://www.downtownexpress.com/DE_WEB_02/pier40.jpg

ZippyTheChimp
May 9th, 2003, 06:50 PM
The revised plan for Pier 40 by C&K/Durst includes 100 percent coverage of the pier’s 15-acre footprint with park and open recreation space. Soccer fields would be recessed on the pier’s second floor and baseball fields would be located on the roof, which would be ringed by 15 gardens, some containing art installations. The pier’s second floor would have eight to 10 spaces for arts and cultural institutions.
http://www.thevillager.com/villager_2/roof.jpg

http://www.thevillager.com/villager_2/pier.jpg

Gulcrapek
May 9th, 2003, 08:40 PM
The NY Aquarium at Coney Island will be out of business.

ZippyTheChimp
May 11th, 2003, 10:03 AM
Editorial from The Villager

Only a financially realistic plan at Pier 40 can work


Monday’s presentation by C&K Properties/Durst Organization of their revised redevelopment proposal for Pier 40 concluded another round of public hearings on the competing plans for the pier.

By seemingly abandoning a proposal for a 120,000-sq.-ft., big-box Home Depot-type hardware store as the pier’s anchor commercial tenant, the developers demonstrated an effort to respond to the objections of many in the community, as well as officials at the Hudson River Park Trust, to big-box retail in the park.

In C&K/Durst’s new $115 million plan, screws and hammers have been replaced by performances, paintings and video workshops.

The pier would have the equivalent of 100 percent of its footprint covered by a public park and sports fields. But — and here’s the hitch — the developers would not pay the estimated $30 million cost of building this park and would seek outside funds.

Clearly, the developers, who originally proposed a first-of-its-kind waterborne FedEx delivery system for the pier, have again taken the minimum impact route, judging there was too much opposition to a big-box retail store in the park for any Pier 40 plan including one to work.

Yet, their new arts proposal obviously does not generate anywhere near the money of a big-box store, hence the need for outside funding.

However, in tight economic times, it’s questionable if $30 million can or will be found in any reasonable timeframe. The developers suggest the city or state governments may offer funding and that the private sector could be tapped through fundraising groups such as Friends of Hudson River Park.

There was a suggestion a conservancy be set up to fundraise for the park. But that takes time, and this is the low-density Village, not the Upper East Side and the Central Park S. area with its Fortune 500 companies that finance the Central Park Conservancy.

Meanwhile, in addition to having increased the sports field space in its latest plan, the oceanarium group now pledges that most of the baseball fields and soccer fields on the pier’s roof in their plan would be free. This is a positive move, addressing an obstacle to community support. Peter Chermayeff’s group has a proven track record of developing successful aquariums. On the other hand, C&K’s early FedEx ferries plan sunk and their new one looks financial “iffy.”

An argument against the oceanarium is the estimated 2.5 million annual visitors it would draw. A Home Depot, originally supported by Friends of Hudson River Park and the Pier 40 Working Group, would have drawn the same number of car trips (2.5 million) to or from the pier. Why is traffic O.K. heading by car (and it would almost always be by car) to a Home Depot but not by foot or subway or car to an aquarium?

Whether the oceanarium can overcome fears of its traffic impact and the opposition of the Coney Island aquarium and Brooklyn remains to be seen.

There’s still time for a compelling Pier 40 plan to emerge and gain support — but only a realistic, financially sound one can succeed.

--------------------

Pier 40 is 15 acres. CB2 meeting on May 14

NYatKNIGHT
May 12th, 2003, 02:43 PM
Why don't they make more use of the water taxis in these locations to allow an alternative to driving. Like the Jets stadium, cut way down on available parking and in time people will figure it out that this mode of transportation is the way to go.

I'd rather see just about anything other than Home Depot as the financial anchor of this great new park's showcase pier. I may have to go to this meeting......

ZippyTheChimp
May 12th, 2003, 03:33 PM
I wouldn't want the CI Aquarium to go out of business, but the thought of a Home Depot on pier 40. Coney can help the Aquarium by looking to what made it a destination in the past. The great natural resource is there, the subways are there, the Brooklyn Cyclones are sold out. All that's needed is a vision and the will to do it. It's been too long.

Water Taxis will be a feature on many of the park's piers, but let's face it, you drive to Home Depot. Big SUVs to haul
4x8 sheetrock. The park needs income, but I hope another plan is chosen.

ZippyTheChimp
May 21st, 2003, 08:44 AM
http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_04/pierplan.html

Pier plan endorsed

C.B. 2 committee endorses plan for Pier 40

By Lincoln Anderson

*
After hearing community input, followed by a lengthy deliberation among themselves, Community Board 2’s waterfront committee last Wednesday night endorsed C&K Properties/Durst Organization’s redevelopment plan for Pier 40.
Called River Green, the plan includes baseball fields and gardens on the pier’s roof; soccer fields, an arts and cultural center and TV and film studios on its second level; and car parking on the ground floor.

C&K/Durst is the same development group Board 2’s former waterfront committee endorsed in late February before Aubrey Lees, the board’s chairperson, intervened and removed eight committee members and reformed the committee.

Board 2 will vote on the waterfront committee’s recommendation at its full board meeting this Thursday, at New York University School of Law, 40 Washington Sq. S., Room 110, 6:30 p.m.

As part of a four-month deadline extension approved in February, three of four of the developers competing for the pier project revised their plans; the fourth developer, Forest City Ratner, dropped out. C&K/Durst changed its anchor tenant from a big-box Home Depot store to an arts/cultural center; the developers of Oceanarium retained their idea of building the world’s second-largest aquarium on Pier 40 but increased sports uses on the pier’s roof, changing them to noncommercial and adding small sports museums; Park and on the Pier group added a Home Depot big-box store.

The developers presented their new plans to the community on April 28 and May 5.

The Hudson River Park Trust, the state-city organization overseeing the five-mile-long park of which Pier 40 is a key section, faces a June 15 deadline to pick a developer for the four-and-a-half-block-long W. Houston St. pier, or pick none and opt for an interim-use plan. The Trust will consider C.B. 2’s resolution before making a decision.

Under the Hudson River Park Act, the equivalent of at least 50 percent of the pier’s 15-acre footprint must be for park or other open use.

At last Wednesday’s waterfront committee meeting, committee chairperson, Don MacPherson, first gave local groups and individuals a chance to give their input “and vent their spleen,” as he put it, on the plans and the process.

Tobi Bergman, president of Pier, Park and Playground Association, a Village-based youth sports advocacy group, and a member of the previous waterfront committee, said P3 could work with any of the three remaining developers to get sports fields on the pier’s roof. However, he said, River Green’s proposal that the $30 million park component of their $115 million plan be funded by someone else was “unacceptable” and he also expressed concern about the possibility a big-box Home Depot store could still be included in the River Green plan.

Bergman urged the committee to make a pick, noting, “It would not make sense for the community to put in so much work over so many months and then not make a pick.”

Arthur Schwartz, the committee’s former chairperson until his removal by Lees, also urged the committee to make a selection to send a message to the Trust that the community is for something being done on the pier.

“I think the board has to recognize that there is a major chance the Trust will do nothing,” he said. “That would be a major loss to the community.” Schwartz said Oceanarium’s accommodations to free sports uses on the pier were “heartening” but that the traffic impact from millions of people (he said 4 million a year would be a realistic number) visiting the aquarium would be too great.

Afterward, Schwartz said he’s heard the Trust is already moving forward with an interim plan for tennis bubbles on the pier’s roof. Chris Martin, the Trust’s spokesperson did not return calls for comment.

Noting the hugeness of the project and of its potential impact on Greenwich Village, Stu Waldman of the Federation to Preserve the Greenwich Village Waterfront advocated an interim plan and not picking any developer. He feared C&K/Durst would revive their plan for a big-box store.

“We’re talking about the single largest development this community has ever seen,” Waldman said.

Waldman recalled he backed the Home Depot before when it seemed there was no alternative as the previous deadline had loomed.

“I’m embarrassed to say I said it, but that’s what can happen in this process,” he said.

Jessie McNab, a member of the West Village Committee and a Wesbeth activist, objected that in all the revised plans for the rooftop park youth sports fields have been increased.

“One thousand children will get three-quarters of the space and the 20,000 to 40,000 adults will get one-quarter of the space. That’s not exactly fair,” she said of the third-floor roof area. There needs to be space for “old fogies and middle people,” she said, adding, “let’s stick with the plan we have in front of us — parking.”

Some members of the waterfront committee proposed backing none of the plans, but MacPherson stressed he felt it was important for the committee to make a recommendation.

After they had gone around the table, it was clear about two-thirds of the committee supported C&K/Durst. A resolution was then hashed out in support of the River Green project but with some conditions including a requirement that C& K not switch back to its big box plan.

When a show of hands was requested, 10 supported C&K/Durst, four supported Oceanarium and one supported Park on the Pier. According to Board 2’s bylaws, votes of public members and appointed members are given equal weight.

David Reck, the committee’s vice chairperson, said he was for “none of the above.” Although he called Oceanarium “gorgeous” and felt it would be “marvelous to go in,” he said it was a “nonstarter” because of opposition from the Wildlife Conservation Society, which runs the Coney Island aquarium; he called Park on the Pier “not exciting;” and was concerned about the unfunded $30 million park in C&K/Durst’s plan.

Jim Smith, Lawrence Goldberg and MacPherson said they preferred the Oceanarium. because it’s “beautiful” and the “most creative,” adding that he’d rather walk over on a Sunday and visit the Oceanarium than buy floor tiles at a Home Depot.

Mark Rosenwasser was one of the members for River Green (C&K/Durst), saying that as someone in real estate, he often goes with his gut feelings and that he felt Korman’s plan was most in line with what the community wants. “Ultimately, it’s going to come down to trust,” he said. “I trust him.”

In a new development, Korman told Downtown Express last Friday that they have ruled out a big-box store for their plan. When he was presenting C&K/Durst’s revised plan to the community on May 5, Korman had hedged in his answer when asked if a big-box store was an option if the arts/cultural plan didn’t work out. But now Korman says there will be no 120,000-sq.-ft. Home Depot or any store of such size.

“I want to clarify, we have no idea of going back to any kind of hardware with big-box retail,” he said. “If the Trust says this [arts/cultural center plan] is not going to work, we’ll have to go back to the drawing board. The big box is off. We will not bring with big-box retail again — or any other traffic-generating destination uses..”
C&K/Durst still may consider adding another commercial tenant to help generate revenue for the park; Korman mentioned a relocated Flower Market as a possibility.

Korman said there are two ways they can address the need for generating revenue for the park: convince the Trust to reduce or even eliminate the need or reduce the cost of their project. Also, he feels the gardens would naturally lend themselves to corporate sponsorship.

Cohen and Korman have run the parking garage and other uses, such as FedEx, on the pier for the last several years under a lease from the Trust, generating $4.5 million a year for the Trust.

NYatKNIGHT
May 21st, 2003, 10:42 AM
So it's still up in the air I guess. All they did was "vent their spleens".

NYatKNIGHT
May 29th, 2003, 11:47 AM
Posted by NYguy in another thread

(NY Times)

Three Proposals, and Big Decisions, Figure in Pier 40's Future
By DAVID W. DUNLAP

WITH none of the fanfare and little of the scrutiny attending plans for ground zero, a decision is to be made soon about a parcel that is almost as large and almost as important to the future of Lower Manhattan.

At stake is Pier 40 on the Hudson River, at the foot of Houston Street, a three-level leviathan that opened 40 years ago to serve the Holland America Line. Covering 15 acres, only one acre less than the World Trade Center site, it is really more like a peninsula than a pier.

Also at stake is the tenuous balance between citywide and neighborhood needs along the ribbonlike Hudson River Park being constructed from Battery Place to 59th Street. Would-be developers of Pier 40 say they are trying to plan a complex that would draw enough people to generate revenue but not so many as to overwhelm — and alienate — communities whose support they need.

Three competing proposals are before the board of the Hudson River Park Trust, which is charged with planning, designing, building, operating and maintaining the park. The board has a deadline of June 15 to choose among:

River Green
a proposal by C & K Properties and the Durst Organization, both of Manhattan, to create a complex of 8 to 10 small museums and cultural institutions, television and film studios, shops and restaurants. Ball fields and small thematic gardens would fill the rooftop. The design, by Reichen & Robert of Paris, would preserve the old cargo-handling gantries.

Hudson Oceanarium
a proposal by Jacoby Development of Atlanta and IDEA of Boston, to create an aquarium, shops, offices and four theaters. Ball fields, parkland and an all-weather soccer pavilion would fill the rooftop. Chermayeff, Sollogub & Poole, a Boston architectural firm, has designed a forest of masts up to 180 feet high with expanses of netting to provide shade and evoke sailing ships.

Park on the Pie
a proposal by Robert Fagan, Abe Leser and Louis Stahl of Brooklyn for a home improvement superstore, smaller shops, restaurants and a farmers' market. Ball fields would fill the rooftop, though it could also be parkland. The architect is John Schimenti of Lynbrook, N.Y.

A fourth proposal, by Forest City Ratner Companies, has been withdrawn.

The designated developer would lease Pier 40 for 30 years. All three teams plan to reuse the pier's existing superstructure, a sprawling square doughnut about 40 feet tall with sides nearly 800 feet long. They would gain extra floor area by filling in what is now a four-acre hole in the doughnut.

They would all use the roof to satisfy a requirement in state law that the amount of "passive and active public open space" on Pier 40 be no less than the equivalent of half of its 15-acre footprint.

Each proposal includes a great deal of parking — no fewer than 2,000 spaces — recognizing that for many neighbors, the scarcity of parking is as critical as the scarcity of parkland. About 2,000 vehicles are now parked at Pier 40, which has been operated since 1997 by Meir Cohen and Ben Korman of C & K Properties under a lease that runs through the end of this year.

Last week, by a vote of 29 to 2, Community Board 2 in Greenwich Village recommended C & K and Durst as the long-term developers, provided, among other conditions, that they do not include a superstore, as they briefly proposed to do earlier this year.

The board's action is not binding on the Hudson River Park Trust, which is conducting its own evaluation of all three plans.

"We're giving them all equal weight and assessing the community's needs in making our decisions," Christopher Martin, vice president of the trust for marketing and public affairs, said yesterday.

Though it operates quietly, the 13-member board of the Hudson River Park Trust includes some well-known government officials, business and civic leaders and political contributors. Five members are appointed by the governor, five by the mayor and three by the Manhattan borough president.

Charles E. Dorkey III, a managing partner in the New York office of the Torys law firm, was recently named chairman by Gov. George E. Pataki. The vice chairman, appointed by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, is Daniel L. Doctoroff, deputy mayor for economic development and rebuilding.

Other members are Adrian Benepe, Bernadette Castro, Erin M. Crotty, Franz S. Leichter, Georgette Mosbacher, Julie S. Nadel, Theodore Roosevelt IV, Joseph B. Rose, Henry J. Stern, Diana Taylor and Madelyn Wils.

New Yorkers may be forgiven for having lost track of Pier 40's future, since so many plans have been advanced over the years: 1,700 apartments, a new home for the flower market that was traditionally housed in the West 20's, a setting for a branch of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

Besides being used as a parking lot, the pier shed serves as a storage, distribution and sorting center. C & K has installed a soccer field on the roof and opened the walkway around the pier shed to the public.

One vestige of its romantic past is a 12-by-20-foot mural by Frank Nix showing the four vessels that sailed under the name Rotterdam and a map of Europe with Holland America's ports of call and a miscellany of national symbols: windmill, harp, Eiffel Tower and, for Belgium, the Atomium structure built in 1958, the same year that work began on Pier 40 and jetliners began crossing the Atlantic, dooming the pier as a passenger terminal even before it opened.

billyblancoNYC
June 10th, 2003, 04:31 PM
Bastards...

Trust delays Pier 40 decision indefinitely

By Lincoln Anderson




Downtown Express photo by Lincoln Anderson
Pier 40’s parking lot

Bringing months of speculation to an end, last evening the Hudson River Park Trust issued a faxed statement regarding Pier 40 in which Robert Balachandran, the Trust’s president, said the Trust will not pick a developer at the moment but instead do an interim plan on the Lower West Side pier until a more favorable economic climate occurs.

“After an extensive and thorough review of the proposals and their subsequent modifications that were submitted in response to the request for expressions of interest issued by the Hudson River Park Trust for the redevelopment of Pier 40, the Trust board has decided not to move forward with the selection of any of the proposed developers at this time,” Balachandran said in the statement issued at the end of the day June 9.

“Given the magnitude of the decision to dedicate Pier 40 for a period of as long as 30 years, and considering the inability of each proposal to successfully address all of the Trust’s development goals, as well as those of the city and state, the Trust has determined that it should wait for a more favorable economic climate in which to carry out such an important project,” Balachandran said.

“As the Trust continues to review its long-term options for Pier 40, it will develop a plan for interim recreational space to bring Pier 40 in compliance with all Hudson River Park Act mandates, while also continuing to receive the income necessary to operate and maintain the park, including offering residential parking. The Trust’s interim park development will include recreational playing fields to the maximum extent feasible.”

Balachandran did not say when the interim park will be built.

Arthur Schwartz, former head of Community Board 2’s waterfront committee, said he was told that a nonpublic board meeting was held by the Trust June 9 at which they held the vote. Schwartz said he believes that the whole turmoil on Board 2 where conflicts of interest were alleged on the waterfront committee, which led to his being deposed as chairperson, was fomented by the Trust and sapped momentum and leverage from the community in the process.

“While we were listening to proposals, they were snookering everybody,” Schwartz said. “So we’re going to have to have a fight. I think it’s going to mean local organizing and I think it’s going to mean litigation. I already have some theories.”

Trust officials could not be reached for comment.

Schwartz said, assuming he gets plaintiffs for the case, he’ll probably base the suit on the language of the extender amendment under which its says the Trust “shall designate” a developer by the deadline; the amendment doesn’t just say the Trust must make its “best effort,” Schwartz noted.

Schwartz reiterated a rumor he has said before that he has heard from sources regarding the Trust’s interim plan for the pier: that the Trust plans to put tennis bubbles on the pier’s roof and move the parking from the roof downstairs to the pier’s ground-level courtyard.

Schwartz has a good track record litigating on Pier 40. In 1997, he was one of the attorneys on a successful community lawsuit on behalf of the Greenwich Village Little League and Downtown United Soccer Club to get a youth ballfield on the pier’s roof.

“No more papers,” Governor Pataki had said in mock distress as Schwartz was bringing his statement to read at an event on the pier marking the lawsuit’s settlement. But it seems now there will be more papers.

In a process that started before Sept. 11, 2001, the Trust began looking for a private developer for the 15-acre pier. Initially, there were four main proposals: a plan for a full rooftop park over three big-box stores by Forest City Ratner; Pier 40 Oceanarium, a plan for the world’s second-largest aquarium; C&K Properties’ proposal for a waterborne FedEx system, which collapsed in negotiations and was replaced by a plan for a Home Depot big-box store after C&K partnered with Durst Organization; and another plan including many small retail stores.

During the four-month deadline extension, Ratner dropped out, C&K replaced the Home Depot with an arts complex and Oceanarium roofed over the pier for mostly free sports fields.

Community Board’s 2 waterfront committee, in two different incarnations, endorsed C&K/Durst as the developers for Pier 40, and Board 2’s full board last month approved the committee’s resolution endorsing C&K/Durst.

Local park activists and Assemblymember Deborah Glick fought to amend the Hudson River Park Act to include deadlines for Pier 40’s development. As the first deadline, Feb. 15, 2003, loomed, the Trust, Glick and park activists decided to extend the deadline for picking a developer four months to June 15.

As a result of not picking a developer by the deadline, the Trust will forego a sixth-month extension of current commercial uses on the pier that are nonconforming under the Hudson River Park Act, such as the Police Dept. barrier unit, FedEx and Academy Bus. These uses will have to vacate the pier by the end of this year. Long-term car parking will be allowed to continue on the pier. Currently, the pier generates $4.5 million a year for the Trust, with C&K Properties running the pier under a master lease which is month-to-month.

Kris
June 12th, 2003, 08:35 AM
June 12, 2003

Park Trust Favors More Playing Fields for Pier 40

By DAVID W. DUNLAP

Three ambitious redevelopment proposals for Pier 40, an almost peninsula-size structure at the foot of Houston Street, were rejected Monday by the board of the Hudson River Park Trust, which announced that it would instead take over operation of the pier and build more playing fields.

One plan, endorsed by the Greenwich Village community board, called for 8 to 10 small cultural institutions, studios, shops and restaurants. Another proposed an aquarium, shops, offices and theaters. And the third involved a home-improvement superstore, restaurants and farmers' market.

But the trust was not persuaded by any of their financial underpinnings. Robert P. Balachandran, the president, said in a statement, "Given the magnitude of the decision to dedicate Pier 40 for a period as long as 30 years, and considering the inability of each proposal to successfully address all of the trust's development goals, as well as those of the city and state, the trust has determined that it should wait for a more favorable economic climate in which to carry out such an important project."

Covering 15 acres — almost as much area as the World Trade Center site — Pier 40 will be the most dominant single feature in the ribbonlike Hudson River Park, now under construction between Battery Place and 59th Street.

The trust, which is in charge of developing and operating the park, will build playing fields to the "maximum extent feasible" on Pier 40, Mr. Balachandran said, and continue to offer long-term parking.

Under state law, the equivalent of half the pier's 15-acre footprint must be dedicated to public open space. There are currently batting cages and a soccer field on the roof of the 800-foot-square, three-level structure, which was built 40 years ago for the Holland America Line. The walkway around the pier has also been opened to the public by the current operators, C & K Properties, whose lease expires at the end of the year.

C & K and the Durst Organization proposed the cultural complex. The aquarium plan was by Jacoby Development of Atlanta and Idea Inc. of Boston. The superstore proposal came from Robert Fagan, Abe Leser and Louis Stahl of Brooklyn.

Ben Korman of C & K said yesterday that he was "very disappointed" by the decision but that he respected the board's deliberations.

However, Peter Chermayeff, the president of Idea, said the rejection came "without even the courtesy of a meeting or the review of material that we had been asked to provide." The developers' consultants were preparing supplementary information that would have buttressed their proposal, he said.

News that the trust had postponed indefinitely the long-term planning of Pier 40 came as a "disappointment, to say the least," said Donald C. MacPherson, chairman of the waterfront committee of Community Board 2 in Greenwich Village.

"It's very unfortunate that we will not get the benefit of the fruits of the labor of many people," he said. "Now it's going to be quite a number of years before we see anything done."


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

ZippyTheChimp
June 12th, 2003, 10:18 AM
Disappointing, but maybe the right decision. The pier will continue to provide revenue for the park, which is under financial pressure. The pile field just north of pier 40 (pier 42?) was pulled out of the Greenwich Village segment, and the pier 26 design was shortened by 150 ft - both to save money.

NYatKNIGHT
June 12th, 2003, 10:58 AM
I hope there are some restaurants with outdoor seating on Pier 40. Dining on the waterfront is so nice and almost non-existent in this city of islands.

TLOZ Link5
June 12th, 2003, 07:20 PM
Didn't the article say that half of the site would be used for outdoor recreation? *I'm sure that there'd still be some space left to make a nice restaurant or whatnot.

Edward
July 8th, 2003, 11:35 PM
Pier 40 (http://www.wirednewyork.com/piers/pier40/default.htm), AOL Time Warner Center on the left, ESB on the right. 8 July 2003.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/piers/pier40/pier40_esb_hudson_8july03.jpg (http://www.wirednewyork.com/piers/pier40/default.htm)

ZippyTheChimp
January 9th, 2004, 05:22 PM
From The Villager http://www.thevillager.com/

http://www.thevillager.com/villager_36/bpcover.jpg
Last weekend, FedEx trucks were still parked in the courtyard of Pier 40 at W. Houston St., in which construction of a 3.2-acre sports field is planned. Under the Hudson River Park Act, FedEx, buses and other commercial uses were supposed to vacate the pier by Jan. 1, 2004.



PIER PRESSURE: Activist files Pier 40 lawsuit

by Albert Amateau

Arthur Schwartz, a Greenwich Village park and waterfront activist, served papers on the Hudson River Park Trust last week in a lawsuit seeking to force the Trust to designate a permanent developer for Pier 40 and to stop any action to install interim uses on the 14-acre pier, including expanded parking and construction of an athletic field.

The often-delayed redevelopment of Pier 40 for mixed commercial and recreation use has long been the source of controversy among park advocates, elected officials and the Trust, the state-city agency planning and building the five-mile riverfront park between the Battery and 59th St.

The suit by Schwartz, the Village’s male Democratic district leader and former Community Board 2 Waterfront Committee chairperson, was filed on behalf of the West Village Community Alliance for Parks and Playgrounds, Inc., a park advocacy group he organized in 1993, originally to rehabilitate Bleecker Playground.

The suit charges that the Trust violated state legislation by failing to designate and negotiate with a developer as planned last June. The action also charges the Trust with violating the Open Meetings Laws in connection with the decision.

Chris Martin, spokesperson for the Trust, said the agency had received papers pertaining to the suit on Dec. 29 but would not comment on it this week. “We don’t ordinarily comment on pending lawsuits, but we might issue a statement later,” he said. The suit requires the Trust to appear in court on Feb. 3, when a judge will be assigned and a hearing date for February will be set.

Some neighborhood park advocates, although critical of the Trust’s failure to proceed with the permanent redevelopment of the mammoth W. Houston St. pier, found fault with Schwartz’s suit, saying they supported an interim plan that could provide an artificial turf playing field by the summer of this year.

Tobi Bergman, head of Pier Park and Playground Association, the nonprofit group that currently runs recreation on Pier 40 as a tenant of the Trust, said his group, along with the Greenwich Village Little League and the Downtown United Soccer Club, was in favor of an interim playing field in the courtyard of Pier 40. “We also support moving forward with permanent development of the pier, but for now we’re in favor of the Trust proposal,” Bergman said.

State Assemblymember Deborah Glick, long a critic of the Trust, was also leery of Schwartz’s case. Glick acknowledged that Schwartz’s 1997 lawsuit against the state Department of Transportation had won Governor Pataki’s agreement to build a youth athletic field on the southeast corner of the pier’s rooftop and also to provide an indoor field and other space for community use on the pier. But she said on Jan. 5 that a settlement of the current suit could make Schwartz the only person sitting across the table from the Trust.

Nevertheless, Glick said the Trust should not be allowed to put off Pier 40’s permanent development indefinitely.

Last month, Charles Dorkey III, chairperson of the Trust board of directors, told an Assembly committee that the Trust intended to engage a marketing survey firm to determine how best to redevelop Pier 40 and to suggest possible changes in the Hudson River Park’s legislation to facilitate the pier’s development.

“I’m not eager to make major changes, but I’m willing to look at narrow changes,” said Glick, adding, “I’m not opposed to waiting a few months to see what development possibilities there might be as long as they’re compatible with the park.”

The Trust last year rejected proposals from three potential developers after inviting them to submit amended plans. The Trust said the proposals failed to meet the Trust’s development goals and that it would be better to wait until the economy improved to undertake the pier’s redevelopment.

At the same time, the Trust announced plans for interim use of the pier. Space for 800 to 900 more cars in addition to the present 2,000 parking spaces on the pier and construction of a $5 million temporary, 3.2-acre playing field were also part of the interim plan. The interim parking plan for Pier 40 calls for a contract with an initial term of four years with three one-year extensions.

Originally, Schwartz had planned to file the suit on behalf of Friends of Hudson River Park, but the Friends decided to hold off when Dorkey allegedly promised that the Trust would move expeditiously to either pick a developer or reissue a request for proposals for developers for the pier.

Yet, in case the Trust did not follow through on its alleged promise and to allow him to potentially activate the suit later, Schwartz made sure to file the lawsuit in State Supreme Court last October, just before the statute of limitations was set to expire. He then had 120 days in which to activate the case. Saying he wanted to “let it run” a bit, he held off serving papers on the Trust until Mon. Dec. 29.

“They [the Trust] had agreed to start the Pier 40 process expeditiously, but instead they have an interim plan for seven to 10 years. I don’t think they’ve done anything to make the situation better,” Schwartz said. “If they had done something, the suit would have stayed in my computer,” he said.

“I’m not a Lone Ranger in this suit,” said Schwartz, adding that though no one initially knew he had served the Trust with papers, they do now. He said he would have had more plaintiffs if he’d sued in October. As for his playgrounds group, he said it includes “dues-paying members.”

Schwartz seeks a court order directing the Trust to select one or more developers and negotiate a Pier 40 lease. An alternative remedy, the suit says, would be to order the Trust to issue a new request for proposals and “expeditiously” carry forward the process of selecting a developer and negotiating a lease.

But Stuart Waldman, president of the Federation to Preserve the Greenwich Village Waterfront and Great Port, said he feared that if Schwartz won the suit, the result could be worse than it is now.

Waldman noted that the Trust rejected proposals for a big-box store and an oceanarium — planned as the world’s second-largest aquarium — that many community activists found unacceptable. “If he wins, there’s nothing to stop the Trust from getting the same proposals or worse and designating whomever they want,” said Waldman.

“The major issue is the Trust’s control of the process,” Waldman said, “We have to find a way to do something about that.”

As to Glick’s fear that he’d be the “only one at the table,” Schwartz said if the case reaches negotiations before a judge or with the Trust, he’d bring in all the local elected officials and “anyone from the community who wants to work on this.”

Schwartz added that the lawsuit could also force the termination of the new parking permit issued by the Trust to Standard Parking, which took over management of the parking operation at the pier as of Jan. 1, 2004.

Schwartz noted he was also the attorney who brought suit in 1998 on behalf of then-Councilmember Tom Duane and Assemblymember Richard Gottfried to remove a restaurant, Aquamarine, from W. 26th St. in the park, after it overstayed its lease.

One activist wondered if Schwartz, in filing the suit, was just trying to put some pressure on the Trust. He also suggested that without support of the youth leagues, the suit might not stand much chance of winning.

But Schwartz said the lawsuit is not half-hearted.

“I don’t file lawsuits that aren’t serious,” he said, adding that, for example, in addition to not picking a developer for Pier 40, the Trust hasn’t been giving 60-day notification before making major changes to the park plan. “I want them to function within the guidelines set up within the law,” he said.


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The Villager | 487 Greenwich St., Suite 6A | New York, NY 10013

Derek2k3
January 10th, 2004, 08:36 PM
I admire this Schwartz guy. Unlike others in the community who are settling with the interim proposal that may last for a decade or more, he is making sure the grander proposal is built.

I'm not conviced that an increase in traffic is a good reason why the Oceanarium proposal shouldn't be built. It was the grandest proposal- no doubt. So grand it would attract multitudes of visitors and tourists, but of course these residents couldn't stand the increase in traffic so something less visionary must be built. It is this kind of thinking is why nothing grand and inspiring on the large scale ever goes up in New york anymore.
Fortunately, we already have an aquarium so I'm not too upset on this one.

http://csp-architects.com/images/pier40-high.jpg
CSP Architects http://csp-architects.com
Renderin by Visarc http://www.visarc.com/

BrooklynRider
January 12th, 2004, 11:35 AM
But the original RFP was issued at a time when we were in economic chaos in the city. I think the construction cycle has bottomed out and is on the upswing. I hope they will be going out with new RFP's soon. The pier should be redeveloped before West Street becomes a premier residential blvd - NIMBY's will kill the better, grander proposals for sure.

billyblancoNYC
February 26th, 2004, 02:34 AM
I like these...


7 proposals submitted for Pier 57
http://www.thevillager.com/villager_43/7proposalssubmitted.html


By Albert Amateau


The Hudson River Park Trust last week presented the seven development teams that propose to transform Pier 57, the former city bus depot on the Chelsea waterfront, into a cultural destination in the 5-mile-long riverfront park currently under construction.


The seven schemes for the pier between 15th and 16th Sts., which is the third-largest site in the park after Pier 40 and the Gansevoort Peninsula, were broadly inclusive — featuring performance spaces, maritime museums, historic ships, restaurants, cabarets, auction houses, retail shops, television studios, floating swimming pools and more.


The Trust called for proposals last September, set a Jan. 20 deadline and hopes to select a development team by June of this year.


“Over the next several months we will also meet with a group made up of members of Community Board 4 and the Hudson River Park Advisory Council to receive input directly from the nearby neighborhoods about the future of Pier 57,” the Trust announcement said.


The Advisory Council, which advises the Trust board of directors, includes elected officials, members of Community Boards 1, 2, and 4 — whose districts include the Hudson River Park — park advocates and Trust directors.


The broad development goals stated in September for the 300,000-sq.-ft. pier were, “quality park-enhancing uses for a combination of cultural, educational and maritime recreation noncommercial and commercial uses.”


The disclosure of the seven respondents came barely a month after the Jan. 20 deadline for submissions and gratified park advocates.


“That’s a pretty good record compared to Pier 40,” said Ross Graham, co-chairperson of the board of directors of Friends of Hudson River Park, a park advocacy group. She referred to the delays and eventual collapse of the process to select a developer for Pier 40 at Houston St. The 15-acre Pier 40 is currently being proposed for interim uses — including a 400-ft.-by-400-ft. sports field, strip of rooftop open space and long-term parking — pending the resumption of the developer selection.


Graham had high praise for Connie Fishman, former vice president of the Trust who became the Trust’s president at the end of December. “All of us at Friends of Hudson River Park are pleased at what the Trust has been doing lately,” Graham said. “There’s a sense of all of us working together.”


None of the principals in the seven teams would elaborate on their proposals, citing a confidentiality agreement with the Trust.


Original Ventures, Inc., proposed a Hudson River Performing Arts Center, including restaurants, a broadcast studio, performance spaces, a maritime museum, a nonprofit arts incubator, exhibition space, catering and events space, historic vessels, a marina and a floating swimming pool. Michael Kramer, a former member of Community Board 4 and a Chelsea resident, is a partner in the team.


RW Consultants and MJ Properties propose to form Pier 57 Development Corp. to create tradeshows, an auction house, catering, ballroom and event space, restaurants and retail, a maritime museum and marina, a greenhouse and a co-generation energy facility.


LCOR Development Services and Pier 57 Preservation Trust propose to establish “Discover Pier 57,” featuring a Cousteau Society Visitor and Ocean Center for marine exhibits and education, a maritime museum, a destination cinema, historic vessels and dinner cruises, events and catering space, retail, galleries, restaurants and mini storage. John Doswell, a Community Board 4 member and dock master of Pier 63 Maritime — a public dock on a barge at W. 23rd St. — is a member of the LCOR team. LCOR is the developer of major real estate projects in New York and Washington, D.C.


Another group, Pier 57 Maritime — a team of R2 Electric and John Krevey, owner and operator of Pier 63 Maritime — proposed open space and public recreation, charter boats and accessory parking, historic vessels, artists studios, offices for nonprofit groups, food and beverage cafes and snack bars, catering and events, kayak and canoe storage, boat building and a small boat marina. Krevey, the principal in the team, currently operates Pier 63 Maritime where the decommissioned lightship Frying Pan and fireboat John R. Harvey are berthed. Doswell is not associated with Krevy in this proposal.


U.S. Four, Inc., of the Pier 57 Development Corp. proposes a restaurant and cabaret, catering and event space, a theater, artists’ studios, commercial gallery, performance arts education, television sound stages and a public outdoor gallery.


Chelsea Piers Management for Pier 57 proposes a tennis and aquatics center, art galleries and arts education, a dance center, historic ships, two marinas, one for yachts and the other for small boats, marine supplies and services, dinner cruises, restaurants and retail, a film/TV production facility, accessory parking, emergency management center and a co-generation energy facility. Chelsea Piers Management runs the sports and entertainment complex on the Chelsea Piers 59, 60, 61 and 62.


The Witkoff Group, Cipriani and Plaza Construction propose to develop “Leonardo at Pier 57,” an international center for Italian art, crafts, culture, design, commerce and retail, including a museum, gallery, photography studios, a promotion bureau, marina, marine supplies, catering and events space, a swimming pool and accessory parking.

NYatKNIGHT
November 23rd, 2004, 12:47 PM
From Downtown Express:

http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_80/pier.gif

Downtown Express photo by Jennifer Bodrow

Most of the artificial-turf surface for a new, interim sports field has been rolled out on Pier 40’s inner courtyard. New lights for nighttime use have also been installed. The strips of FieldTurf still need to be sewed together and a mix of sand and rubber pellets still needs to be poured onto it to provide give and cushioning. There won’t be any locker rooms built on the pier at the end of W. Houston St., but bathrooms will be available for clothes changing. The sports facility is slated for an early-January opening, with a gala ribbon-cutting ceremony slated for spring. Permits have been distributed for use by local youth and adult leagues until the spring season, when new permits will be issued.

projectsnyc
August 1st, 2006, 07:37 AM
SoHo Politics

A resident's perspective on local politics in downtown Manhattan. SOHO JOURNAL

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Investigation
Just when you thought that Community Board #2 couldn't get more complicated, enter the Department of Investigation. In a rare showing of equanimity, neither mentioned nor shared with the Full Board, the Chair of Community Board #2 and its Executive Committee apparently discussed a subpoena issued for all documents related to the Waterfront Committee and its deliberations during 2003 under the tutelage of Arthur Schwartz.

While Schwartz is currently the Chair of Parks, Waterfront and Open Space -- a title that seems to convey the impression that he's calling the shots on most of the external world in CB2's territory -- he was only the Chair of Waterfront in 2003, before he was summarily removed during the "Saturday Night Massacre" by Board Chair Aubrey Lees.

Her actions were spurred on by rumors of inside deals and financial coziness. In fact, the entire Waterfront Committee was disbanded as was the Pier 40 Working Group.

The theory at that time speculated that there was too much "friendship" between the developer, the Chair, and members of the Waterfront Committee who were charged with making recommendations to the Hudson River Park Trust (HRPT) as to which selection was preferred by the community after extensive review. The Korman/Durst plan seemed to have the inside track and was ultimately selected by the community anyway but was then rejected by the Trust. Schwartz actually sued the Trust over its rejection of the Korman plan but later withdrew the lawsuit.

What bothered some people was the fact that Korman was already the operator of the parking concession (a $5 million dollar per year operation), was friendly with Schwartz and needed support from Community Board #2 to get the nod from the Trust. Durst, the financial partner of the Pier 40 development team was a member of Friends of Hudson River Park (FOHRP), a respected watchdog group that supports the waterfront and its development and Schwartz was also a member of the FOHRP Board. For some, there just seemed to be too many interlocking interests.

So, why is all of this being resurrected again now?

The Korman/Durst plan was rejected by the HRPT and since that time some beautiful new ball fields have been installed at Pier 40 at a cost of $5 million dollars. This was agreed upon by the community after extensive hearings at Community Board #2, after Schwartz's ouster and prior to the election of the current Chair, Maria Derr.

Derr and Schwartz share a law office and were mutual supporters in the Board Chair elections. And, since Schwartz is now the high mucky-muck of everything in the Board #2's external universe, including Parks, Waterfront and Open Space, he is once again poised to be in the position to make the decision regarding Pier 40.

And, guess what was just issued?

That's right rangers, the new RFP for Pier 40. The classy moniker for the HRPT's announcement that it is now again ready to receive proposals for the development of the pier. This is a bid request for a 14 acre property in lower Manhattan. Modest estimates would place this puppy in the $250 million dollar category with no problem. There's a lot of room for fuzzy thinking in those numbers.

As Yogi Berra once said, "It's Deja Vue all over again."

With the shenanigans that have lately been going on at Board #2 with the Nightlife crew who took over the Board leadership and looking to shore up its connections at the Chamber of Commerce and the Nightlife Association -- following the money is something that members of the community are a little leery about. And, with the serious effort made by the current Board leadership at character assassination -- including using the talents of PR undercover operative Allen Roskoff -- it's not surprising that the issue has once again reared its ugly head. Anonymous letters, smears against David Reck (Derr's opposition candidate in the election), and attacks heaped upon community activists - make a cogent argument for some disgruntled downtown resident to want an investigation to be initiated.

The financial report on Treasurer Roscia Sanz and Chair Maria Derr's watch has been the subject of much consternation and has caused such a stir that records have been requested by the Borough President's office as a result of their being too little, too late provided to the Full Board. The sums in that matter were in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The Pier 40 RFP, controlled now by the same people, involves hundreds of millions of dollars. Somebody is uncomfortable about the situation.

Stay tuned.

projectsnyc
September 29th, 2006, 07:41 PM
Volume 76, Number 19 | September 27 - October 3, 2006
THE VILLAGER

Lame-duck G.O.P. Trust in final push to redevelop huge Pier 40
By Lincoln Anderson

The Hudson River Park Trust is moving ahead with a new effort to redevelop Pier 40 at W. Houston St. The Trust on Aug. 31 issued a new request for proposals, or R.F.P., for a “master developer” for the sprawling 14-acre pier, and one can only assume that the authority is serious in its intent.

As opposed to the drawn-out process that ended up melting down three years ago without a developer being selected, the Trust appears ready to move fast — very fast — this time. The new R.F.P. sets a deadline of Nov. 17 of this year for submission of responses, after which the Trust then intends to “select a conditionally designed developer within 90 days,” according to the R.F.P.

However, Chris Martin, the Trust’s spokesperson, when asked if a Pier 40 master developer would indeed be picked within 90 days of Nov. 17 — in other words, by the end of this year or early next year — indicated nothing’s definite.

“We’re not really sure of the timeframe at this point,” he said on Tuesday. “But we do have a submission date of Nov. 17.”

Adding to the questions about the R.F.P. is the timing of its release: On Jan. 1 there will likely be a new Democratic governor, who will have the power to replace five of the Trust’s 13 board members — including its chairperson, Trip Dorkey — who were appointed by outgoing Republican Governor George Pataki.

Three years ago, the finalists to redevelop Pier 40 included a plan for an oceanarium and mall, as well as a plan for a big-box store with rooftop gardens and art gallery spaces. Both proposals included sports fields. But the community opposed both the oceanarium and big-box store because of the auto traffic they would have attracted. And the Trust’s board of directors didn’t want a big-box store in the park.

The new R.F.P. notes that the Trust “considers ‘big box’ retail development at Pier 40 as incompatible with park uses.” In addition, the R.F.P. says the Trust considers as “goals of paramount importance for reuse of Pier 40” the willingness to “preserve or enhance the recreational uses” at the pier and to accommodate 1,800 public parking spaces for long-term use by area residents. Yet the developers are allowed to submit plans showing alternate schemes under which the amount of parking spaces could be reduced over time; but any replacement use or uses must generate at least $5 million in annual revenue for the Trust, as does the parking current operation. (Spokesperson Martin said Pier 40 currently accounts for slightly more than 40 percent of the 5-mile-long park’s operating budget.)

The pier currently has 2,000 parking spaces. The pier’s sports fields include the spacious 3.5-acre artificial-turf field in the pier’s courtyard, added last year. Together with a smaller rooftop sports field, the field space meets the requirement under the Hudson River Park Act of 1998 that 50 percent of the pier’s footprint be set aside for noncommercial park space.

Developers are required to submit at least one scheme showing retention of the existing playing fields and parking. Plans may also include roofing over the pier’s courtyard and putting the fields on top. The Trust would continue to operate the ball fields.

The chosen developer would also be responsible for any expenses associated with the upkeep and maintenance of the pier, which has not been renovated in the 45 years since its construction.

The master lease is being offered for a term of not more than 30 years, with the option, however, that it could also possibly be for up to 49 years.

A pre-bid meeting and tour for interested developers was held at the pier earlier this month on Sept. 15. Citing the process’s confidentiality agreement, Martin said he couldn’t divulge who may have attended.

Arthur Schwartz, chairperson of the Community Board 2 Parks and Waterfront Committee, expressed concern that scant opportunity for public comment and input seems to be included in this latest R.F.P. process. Three years ago, there were a series of Board 2-sponsored public hearings attended by hundreds about the proposals then on the table.

“I’m upset about how little room they left for public input on the R.F.P.,” Schwartz said, “because they only released the draft R.F.P. on Aug. 1.” Schwartz said he was able to show the draft to the Hudson River Park Advisory Council, but really wanted to present it to C.B. 2 to get more input.

“I asked Connie Fishman if we could have a public meeting on it, and she said, ‘No, I want to get it [the R.F.P.] out,’ ” Schwartz said, referring to the Trust’s president. “I hope the process of choosing a developer involves a lot more community input than there’s been,” he said. “And if it takes more than 90 days, so be it.”

According to Schwartz, Fishman is pushing the R.F.P. because the pier, which is built on steel and concrete pilings — needs $30 million in repairs. However, Schwartz feels this money should come from government sources.

“To give Pier 40 away to a developer because you need to make $30 million in repairs in a $400 million park is ludicrous,” said Schwartz. “We’d be much better off funding the park through some capital budget allocation, like they do with the rest of the park, and let H.R.P.T. keep running the parking and the fields.

“I think Connie has a commitment to public input, but I’m not so sure all the board members do,” Schwartz said with concern.

As for the Trust’s willingness to allow the parking to be replaced with another equally lucrative use, Schwartz warned, “They would have riots if they got rid of the parking.”

Schwartz said a Pier 40 Working Group will be set up, as was done three years ago, drawing its members from the Advisory Council.

But Martin said the Trust is making an effort to include the community’s input.

“Public input is always a component, and we’re interested in what the public has to say,” he said. “That’s indicated in the preclusion of big-box stores on Pier 40, because the public has indicated that they do not want big-box stores on the pier.
The fields are obviously important and we’re specifically requesting that at least one option [submitted by each developer] keep the fields.”
Martin said the main reason for issuing the R.F.P. is that the pier’s infrastructure needs significant investment. He didn’t confirm that $30 million worth of repairs is what is needed, but he also noted that he couldn’t say that that figure hasn’t been cited either.
“I don’t know the exact amount,” he said, “but it definitely needs investment in the infrastructure, for sure, to keep the pier up and running. And whatever comes in response from the R.F.P., that’s definitely part of it.”
Martin noted, for example, that within the last year the Trust spent $1 million to replace part of the pier’s roof because it was leaking. He said the Trust wants to focus on building the park, programming activities and “mowing lawns” — not maintaining infrastructure.

ZippyTheChimp
December 1st, 2006, 07:08 AM
Cirque tries to swing Pier 40 deal

By Lincoln Anderson

Not too long ago, when people spoke about swingers on the Lower West Side waterfront, they were probably referring to the gay cruising scene on the crumbling former shipping piers. But a new proposal to redevelop Pier 40 at Houston St., if successful, would bring a new kind of swinger to the waterfront — namely tights-clad trapeze artists with Cirque du Soleil, speaking a strange gibberish called Cirquish, no less.

Or, if another proposal is picked, the swingers might be basketball players — hanging from basketball hoops after throwing down rim-rattling dunks.

The deadline for the Hudson River Park Trust’s request for proposals for developers for Pier 40 recently passed, and a handful of proposals were submitted.

“We are currently in receipt of four responses to the Pier 40 R.F.P., and the Trust has just begun its initial review of them,” Christopher Martin, the Trust’s spokesperson, said on Tuesday. “We are committed to working closely with the Advisory Council’s [Pier 40] Working Group throughout the review process and expect our first meeting with the Working Group to take place soon.... We have also committed to posting brief summaries of the proposals on our Web site, and these will be posted shortly.”

Martin would not provide specifics on the proposals or who submitted them. However, Arthur Schwartz and Tobi Bergman, two local Hudson River Park activists, said they had heard there were four responses and that one was by Cirque du Soleil, partnering with The Related Companies, and the other by a sports group seeking to enhance the pier’s current sports uses.

Under the Hudson River Park Act of 1998, 50 percent of the sprawling 14-acre pier’s footprint must be devoted to public park use. The rest of the pier is permitted to be developed commercially to provide revenue for the 5-mile-long park, which is intended to be self-supporting. The long-term car parking on the pier currently generates about $5 million annually for the park.

Bergman, president of the Pier Park and Playground Association, or P3, and a member of Community Board 2, said he’d heard that the Cirque du Soleil/Related Companies plan would entail completely taking down the pier’s existing two-story “doughnut” shed structure in order to construct a new permanent theater. Under this plan, the pier’s existing, heavily used youth sports fields — currently located in the pier’s ground-level courtyard — presumably would be relocated to the structure’s rooftop.

Bergman said P3 supports the sports-centric plan, which he said he has been told would add eight high school-regulation-size basketball courts, three swimming pools (including one outdoor pool) and summer camp uses. The basketball courts would operate similarly to Basketball City, but not be run by Basketball City, he said. Due to the R.F.P. process’s proprietary nature, Bergman said he was not comfortable divulging the name of this development team — but he said P3 was not involved in the proposal.

“We like it because it would bring more of the uses that we like now,” Bergman explained.

Bergman further said he feels the construction of a new Cirque du Soleil theater from the ground — or, rather, pier — up, would negatively impact the pier’s current youth sports and parking uses because the whole pier would have to be cleared for possibly up to a few years. The parkers certainly would not be pleased, he was sure. On the other hand, he said, the sports proposal would have “incremental development,” allowing existing uses to keep functioning at spots on the pier.

Also, the P3 president said, Cirque du Soleil would undoubtedly be a traffic nightmare, since the nearest subway station is four blocks away at W. Houston and Varick Sts. The car traffic flowing to Pier 40 each evening for the Cirque show would just exacerbate the current rush-hour and evening traffic bottlenecks, he predicted.

“I think it’s a couple of thousand seats, and it’s year-round,” he said of the proposed theater. “Look at West and Canal Sts. now — it’s a complete mess.”

Also, Bergman was against removing the pier’s shed because, he said, it provides some shade for the sports fields as well as blocking the wind from off the Hudson. Contrarily, rooftop sports fields would be boiling hot in summer, while in cooler weather in the fall, baseball players would have a hard time trying to catch fly balls caught up in the wind currents.

Pier 40 currently has a small field on the southeast section of its roof.

Bergman said he’d also heard the Whitney Museum had been interested in Pier 40, but that now appears to be moot, since the Whitney now has a tentative deal with the city to build a new museum on the High Line at Gansevoort St.

Schwartz, chairperson of the Hudson River Park Trust Advisory Council, said he was told that the Trust wants to spend four months looking over the R.F.P. submissions.

A Pier 40 Cirque du Soleil theater would not be Related Companies’ first waterfront project. One of the city’s most active developers, Related recently got its feet wet in Hudson River Park by partnering with the Witkoff Organization to redevelop Pier 57 at W. 15th St. into a banquet hall after Cipriani dropped out of the partnership. Jeff Blau, Related’s president, did not return a call by press time regarding the Pier 40 proposal.

On Tuesday, Julie Nadel, a member of the Trust’s board of directors, said she had not heard about the four R.F.P. proposals.

“Board members have not been briefed on the proposals,” she said. “I think they’re sitting on it at the staff level.”

The Trust’s 13-member board is appointed by the governor, mayor and borough president — the governor and mayor have five appointments each, the B.P., three. The board hires the Trust’s staff, but the board ultimately would make the decision on which Pier 40 proposal to pick, if any.

An incentive for the Trust’s picking a developer for a 30-year or possibly even 49-year long-term lease is that Pier 40 needs repairs. Under the R.F.P.’s conditions, any developer chosen would have to pay for the pier’s repairs and ongoing maintenance.

Cirque du Soleil (Circus of the Sun), based in Montreal, Quebec, was founded in 1984 by two former street performers. It used to perform in Battery Park City for its New York visits when more of the neighborhood was undeveloped.

It has touring and resident troupes, with its main resident troupe currently based in Las Vegas. Performances combine acrobtics, circus, opera and ballet, and feature contortionists, jugglers, clowns, trapeze artists and rock music. No animals are used. All music is live. In many performances, spoken parts are done in Cirquish, an imaginary gibberish.


Downtown Express is published by
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ablarc
December 1st, 2006, 07:19 AM
Yay, Cirque! Shuttle bus to subway?

projectsnyc
December 1st, 2006, 07:47 AM
Will it be Related vs. Vornado? The sports proposal and maybe the Therapeutic Riding Center as the fourth and least likely?

Does anyone know what Vornado is proposing?

I don't think that Related has formally joined the Witkoff team at Pier 57 (isn't it time for the Trust to take back the conditional designation...or are they waiting for the new Governor to step in?) They certainly haven't been approved by the Board of Directors of HRPT in any public meeting.

Extending the staff consideration by four months clearly puts the decision in the hands of the new administration, and seems like a last-ditch effort for current staffers to keep their jobs.

lofter1
December 1st, 2006, 09:50 AM
As much as I'd like to see the Cirque gang establish a permanent performance space in Manhattan it seems that the more-likely-than-not bad traffic situation at Pier 40 will be very problematic ...

Related should go back to the drawing board for their building at 42nd / 10th Avenue and figure out a way to make that one work so that it includes the previously discussed Cirque theater (sans the non-allowable zoning bonus that Related was seeking for that site).

lofter1
December 29th, 2006, 08:42 AM
What’s up on the waterfront?


Cirque, youth group float Pier 40 plans


http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_190/pier.gif
The Related Companies plan for Pier 40 includes a

Performing Arts Center for Cirque du Soleil.


downtownexpress.com (http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_190/cirqueyouthgroup.html)
By Lincoln Anderson
Volume 19 Issue 33
Dec. 29, 2006 - Jan. 4, 2007


A glitzy “Downtown Lincoln Center” on the Hudson — with stilt-walking Cirque du Soleil performers clomping over soccer fields adding festive atmosphere to the Tribeca Film Festival’s new maritime home — or a teeming sports, day-camp and academic complex devoted to building healthy young bodies and minds, are the two competing redevelopment proposals for Pier 40.



The Pier 40 Working Group got its first look at the proposals for the 14-acre W. Houston St. site last week. It turns out that what were believed to have been four legitimate submissions are in fact only two, with the other two being “not serious,” according to Arthur Schwartz, the working group’s chairperson.


http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_190/pier2.gif
A rendering of Pier 40 – The People’s Pier, a proposal featuring

sports and educational uses and a summer day camp.


The pair of competing proposals couldn’t be more different. One — a joint venture of The Related Companies, Cirque du Soleil and the Tribeca Film Festival — calls for turning Pier 40 into the Pier 40 Performing Arts Center, or Pier 40 PAC. Drawing a projected 2.7 million visitors a year, it would have a high impact on the Hudson River Park and surrounding neighborhood.


Dubbed Pier 40 – The People’s Pier, the other proposal — by Urban Dove and CampGroup — would augment the pier’s already substantial sports facilities, while adding space for high school and college academic programs. As opposed to the PAC, it would presumably draw fewer people to the area and park.


In September, the Hudson River Park Trust issued a request for proposals from developers for the pier, with a Nov. 17 deadline. A similar R.F.P. process for the pier two years ago was a failure, ending without any developer being chosen. But the Trust, the state-city authority that operates and is building the 5-mile-long waterfront park, is giving it another try because it wants the pier to generate more revenue for the park, which is intended to be self-sustaining. (The parking operation on the pier currently generates $5 million annually for the Trust.) Also, the 44-year-old pier needs a renovation, which the Pier 40 master-lease holder would have to finance, as well as funding the pier’s upkeep over the term of the lease, which would be from 30 to 49 years.


Two years ago, some of the R.F.P. submissions included big-box stores, which sparked massive opposition among neighboring residents. In response, the Trust’s latest R.F.P. specifically stated that big-box stores would not be permitted, which might explain why there were fewer proposals this time.


Arts, fields and ice rink


Pier 40 PAC is the more ambitious proposal in terms of the sheer amount of construction involved and its price tag — $626 million — which is more than the estimated cost of the entire park itself.


According to the submission by The Related Companies, Pier 40 PAC “will become the premier destination spot for evening activity in Downtown Manhattan, delivering an exciting combination of entertainment activities, bustling with activity…. Practically, 600,000 square feet of continuous development site is near impossible to assemble in New York City. The opportunity here is powerful,” the proposal states.


The PAC plan includes an 84,000-square-foot Cirque du Soleil theater — home to 75 acrobats and dancers — as well as a winter ice rink of unknown size, a 10,000-square-foot Cirque du Soleil restaurant, 30,000-square-foot Cirque nightclub, a V.I.P. lounge and 9,000-square-foot Cirque CD’s shop.


Also part of the complex would be a 60,000-square-foot multiplex movie theater programmed by the Tribeca Film Festival, which would be a screening venue for the festival, while showing art films and independent films the rest of the year. Additionally, the Cirque theaters would be used for four weeks each year as a screening venue for the film festival.


During the film festival, the actual Cirque shows in the theater would go on hiatus, but the Cirque performers would still be busy; the buskers, acrobats and dancers would “spill out onto the environment,” enlivening the pier, the proposal notes.


A 45,000-square-foot music hall for live performances is another component of the PAC proposal.


And a 40,000-square-foot grand ballroom/event space would be suitable, the proposal notes, for “after-parties for the Grammy Awards, the MTV Music Awards and the VH1 Diva Awards” or even spillover for events from the Auto Show at the Javits Center.


Plans also call for a 15,000-square-foot space called the “Beach Club,” but there is no description of what exactly it would be.


There would also be 37,000 square feet of small-scale “destination” and “specialty” retail, 58,000 square feet of restaurant space and a 50-slip marina.


The PAC plan calls for demolishing the southern half of the pier’s two-story “doughnut”-shaped pier shed structure. This southern side of the pier would feature a plaza, bordered by four restaurants. In the summer the plaza would be used by a farmers’ market, and in winter would be converted to an ice-skating rink to attract visitors to the pier during the cold weather.


The northern side of the pier shed would be left standing, and the Cirque du Soleil theater would be built on top of it at the pier’s northwest corner. Meanwhile, the pier’s western edge would see a new, glass-enclosed Winter Garden with public restrooms.


In Pier 40 PAC, the pier’s central, 8-acre courtyard would be filled in with new construction for the complex, and the heavily used artificial-turf sports fields currently located there would be rebuilt on 227,000 square feet of space on the roof on the pier’s northern edge — with, the proposal notes, a “softer substructure” for the fields, making them safer and better.


As for preserving other existing uses on the pier, there is provision for about 1,850 parking spaces in the proposal ( a small drop in the current number), as well as space for the Trust’s administrative offices. The Performing Arts Center project would take three years to complete, and Related feels that by installing ramps into the courtyard, about 800 parking spaces could still function during the renovation. But the sports fields would apparently be out of commission.


Accommodation would also be made on the pier for the park’s Trapeze School, currently located in Tribeca.


http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_190/pier3.gif
A rendering of how Pier 40’s south side would be transformed in the

Pier 40 Performing Arts Center plan; four restaurants, at right,
would border a plaza sporting a farmers’ market, at left,
in warm weather and an ice-skating rink in winter.


Schools, more fields, more parking


On the other hand, the Pier 40 – The People’s Park plan is less an overhaul of the pier than a preservation of the existing structure.


The proposal’s main development partners are CampGroup — owned by Benerofe Properties — and Urban Dove, a local nonprofit group helping students through athletics and other programs. The People’s Pier plan is geared more toward the surrounding community, rather than transforming the pier into a major destination.


“The People’s Pier is not just a name,” Mark Benerofe of Benerofe Properties wrote in his cover letter on their Pier 40 R.F.P. submission. “It symbolizes a belief that this extraordinary property belongs to the residents of the city that surrounds it.”


The emphasis in this proposal is athletics and education, as well as maintaining the community’s long-term pier parking. The pier’s existing sports fields would be kept where they are now in the central courtyard, where they would continue to be better sheltered from the elements than were they moved to the rooftop, the proposal states.


In total, the plan would create 33 percent more open space than required under the Hudson River Park Act, which mandates that the equivalent of 50 percent of the pier’s footprint be set aside for public open space, while the rest of the pier is allowed to be developed commercially.


With so much open space, the submission notes, “The People’s Pier will be able to host major national and regional sporting events that will showcase the city and its waterfront.” The Special Olympics New York wrote a letter of interest in the plan, noting the pier “could be a centerpiece facility” for their national or international games.


http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_190/pier4.gif
Rendering of the PAC proposal.


The pier’s 300,000 square feet of existing recreation space would be preserved under the Benerofe/Urban Dove plan, while 85,000 square feet of new artificial-turf fields would be added on the pier shed’s southern rooftop.


In addition, there would be eight new indoor multi-use courts, locker rooms and related offices created in 75,000 square feet of space under a new rooftop structure to be built atop Pier 40’s northern edge; this facility would be the new home to Urban Dove’s Net Gain program, under which Urban Dove provides basketball court time for students from schools that lack courts. Urban Dove had been providing this service at Basketball City at Pier 63 for 450 students from 18 public high schools. However, in September, the Trust forced Basketball City to vacate the W. 23rd St. pier to allow construction of a park there.


Sizeable swimming pools — 4½ feet deep, two indoor, totaling 23,000 square feet, and one 24,000-square-foot outdoor pool — would be built under the People’s plan.


CampGroup would build an additional 100,000 square feet of facilities, and run a “high-quality day camp” from mid-June to mid-August each year.


The plan calls for increasing the amount of car parking spaces by about 500 to 2,584. Both plans include parking stackers to use space more efficiently.


The People’s Pier proposal also calls for a 75,000-square-foot New York City public school and an 80,000-square-foot university or college complex, both to be located — like the new basketball courts — within the new rooftop shed on the pier’s north side. Letters of interest have been sent to the project team from several schools.


Nate Dudley, principal of New York Harbor School — which focuses on marine science and marine technology — wrote that Pier 40 would be a good spot for a middle school to feed the Harbor School high school planned for Governors Island.


“Pier 40 is an ideal location for our first feeder middle school, and is a place that our current students already use for their maritime activities,” Dudley noted.


Akiva Kobre, Touro College senior vice president, wrote that the school has undergraduate and graduate programs focusing on health and obesity that would benefit from being located at Pier 40.


“We believe the location, the amount of space available and the synergies that exist with your other tenants makes Pier 40 an ideal location for use and our students,” Kobre wrote.


Eduardo N. del Valle, City University of New York interim vice chancellor, wrote that Pier 40 “is a unique and exciting piece of property with great potential for the type of development you [The People’s Pier] are proposing.”


Additionally, under the People’s plan, the pier’s southern promenade would be widened 10 feet, by cutting back the pier shed, and would have some commercial amenities, including a cafe on the finger pier.


Offices for the Trust, a facility for the Trapeze School and a marina would also be included.


As part of CampGroup’s proposal, a pedestrian bridge spanning the West Side Highway and connecting to Pier 40 would be requested from the state Department of Transportation.


The plan is supported by The Pier Park & Playground Association, a nonprofit group based at Pier 40 that advocates for increased youth athletic opportunities on the Lower West Side. In a phone interview, Tobi Bergman, P3’s president, said the increase in existing athletic uses and the plan’s low impact are attractive. On the other hand, the Pier 40 PAC could lead to a radical transformation of the area, he contended.


“It would turn the Village into Times Square and Broadway,” Bergman said of the arts center plan. “This represents the same kind of threat to the neighborhood that the Trump condo-hotel tower [under construction at Spring and Varick Sts.] represents — to really transform the Village in a way it’s never been transformed before. It’s not just a park issue. People will start seeing what kind of other entertainment uses can come in. I want to know how they’re going to get 2.7 million people there” and not have a negative effect on the neighborhood, he said.


Schwartz of the Pier 40 Working Group said most of the group’s 18 members withheld comment on the proposals at their meeting last week, wanting to read the voluminous plans.


Noting that the Hudson River Park Act restricts the types of uses on Pier 40, Schwartz noted that the two latest proposals represent “two extremes.”


“It’s a tough project,” he said, “because you can’t have big-box retail, you can’t have commercial offices, you can’t have residential, you can’t have hotels — and where are developers putting their money these days?”


Schwartz predicted there will be “a lot of opposition” to the arts center. And he acknowledged the importance of sports to the park.


“The reason the Hudson River Park got built is because the Downtown youth sports leagues got mobilized” to push for the passage of the Hudson River Park Act in 1998, he said.


Yet, Schwartz said the working group is also reserving the right not to endorse either plan.


“For me, leaving it alone remains a distinct possibility,” he said.


By contrast, Bergman said P3 strongly hopes the Trust does decide to pick the CampGroup plan, since the pier needs the renovation.


“The pier is too valuable” not to renovate it, Bergman said. “I would like to see the pier and the existing structure improved. The facility’s functioning very well now, but it needs an upgrade.” Bergman contended the Trust would be “embarrassed” if this second Pier 40 R.F.P. process also fails, and that the Trust doesn’t want that to happen.


The Trust set a 90-day timeline for picking a developer following the Nov. 17 R.F.P. submission deadline. But it seems unlikely that schedule will be met, since the administration change in Albany, with Democrat Eliot Spitzer taking over as governor from Republican George Pataki on Jan. 1, will complicate the process. The Trust’s board of directors — on which Spitzer has five appointees, including the chairperson — is likely to be be shaken up. Carol Ash, Spitzer’s new State Parks Department commissioner, has already replaced her predecessor, Bernadette Castro, on the Trust board.


“It’ll affect it a lot,” Schwartz said of the administration change. “I expect there will be five new trustees and a new chairperson. I would think it would slow it down. Spitzer has hundreds of agency positions to fill,” he said, noting the Trust’s board is probably not the new governor’s top priority.


Asked about the R.F.P. process and where it stands, Chris Martin, the Trust’s spokesperson, said, “Pier 40’s redevelopment is important, as its infrastructure is in need of repair and would require a substantial capital investment by the Trust to execute.” He didn’t comment on when a decision might be made.

© 2006 Community Media, LLC

lofter1
December 29th, 2006, 08:55 AM
The Related / Cirque de Soleil Plan seems not to adequately address the parking & transportation issues that such a huge project would create. There is hardly any good public transporation access to this site.

Clearly the Related / Cirque proposal would generate far more money than the UrbanDove proposal (which might give it an edge in the eyes of some) -- but the "People's Park" idea seems more in line with what is needed for & desired by the community.

The Related / Cirque proposal would be more appropriate for the auto impound pier opposite the Javits Convention Center. With the construction of the 7 Subway extension in that area there would be access to the very high volume uses outlined in this plan via public transportation.

antinimby
December 29th, 2006, 10:23 AM
I disagree.

The traffic claim is always overblown.

Whenever I drive on West St. outside of rush hour, it is never that clogged.

I'm always surprised actually of how free flowing the traffic is even in the middle of the day during the work week.

After nightfall, it is almost empty.

Nevertheless, the Related Cirque Soleil proposal has a snowball's chance in hell of getting approved in that area but I would still to like to see it than the People Park proposal.

I think it is more interesting.

Derek2k3
December 29th, 2006, 12:37 PM
Of course the less ambitious, self-serving plan will be chosen. After hearing these same transportation arguments ad nauseam, I wonder, when will these residents push for light-rail along West Street? Never. They're selfish and simply don't want an influx of visitors, new residents, or construction near their homes. If a rail link were proposed along with Related's proposal surely we'd hear complain about construction, noise, and bass habitat destruction.

Instead we have to settle for this oversized floating daycare center.

lofter1
December 29th, 2006, 01:00 PM
You're both being pretty snide in your responses ...

The Related / Cirque plan offers less parking than the UrbanDove plan, yet calls for uses that clearly would bring in more people at concentrated times.

Light Rail along the west side (or encircling Manhattan as I've often discussed) would be a brilliant addition, but that was never on the table for the community to dis-approve -- DOT wanted a Hiway and that is what we got.

The Related / Cirque Plan also removes existing uses for an extended period of time -- something that the UrbanDove plan minimizes.

If anyone thinks that needed athletic facilities available to the community equate to "day care" then I don't even know where to begin a discussion.

MidtownGuy
December 29th, 2006, 02:00 PM
The community, the community. Oh boy.
Pier 40 is a huge opportunity to do something special, to realize a grand vision. I think it's a big mistake to take a development opportunity this unique, and turn it into a neighborhood amenity that will be useless to most New Yorkers. Hudson River Park is linear, and that means that New Yorkers using it tend to enjoy it in a linear fashion, in other words I think of it not as a sequence of parks catering to the closest adjacent neighborhood across the highway, but rather as a park where it's length is explored, either on blades, bike, or feet, stopping to spend time wherever points of interest inspire lingering. Pier 40 should invite use by all of us, not just the wealthy residents across the street. And being the largest pier it should be a sort of anchor. A farmer's market, opportunities for a restaurant meal on the water, a plaza to stroll, Cirque, these are INTERESTING to me.

So, we're not going to allow a grand vision that adds a major point of interest to downtown because of traffic concerns? And it's situated right on a multi-lane highway that isn't really crowded at night when performances would be taking place? For most uses, plenty of people would be walking there from the train anyway, just like they do now when they visit one of the other numerous attractions along the river. The renderings of the PAC plan are exciting and I already want to visit. I would bring out-of-towners there, and then we would explore some of the HRP.
The other plan looks like some kind of scary institution, very uninviting and out of context with the aesthetic of the park.

I pray the PAC plan wins, though anything with real gusto like this will have a hard time getting passed in 2007 NYC. NIMBY strikes again.
I guess we're worlds apart on this one Lofter, old pal.

lofter1
December 29th, 2006, 02:39 PM
OK, and meanwhile what are your suggestions for the three years that the PAC will take the soccer, baseball and other existing and well used athletic fields out of play?

And where do you come up with the idea that these facilities are used by "just the wealthy residents across the street"? I doubt the Olsen Twins play ball over there ...

lofter1
December 29th, 2006, 02:45 PM
btw, talking about things for "just the wealthy", tickets for Cirque de Soleil aren't so cheap. Here are individual ticket prices for "Delirium", their concert show that recently played NYC:

LOGE (200 OR UPPER LEVEL)
US $39.50 - US $112.50

FLOOR SEATING/RESERVED
US $112.50

CLUB (100 OR LOWER LEVEL)
US $72.00 - US $112.50

MidtownGuy
December 29th, 2006, 04:55 PM
We both know the children who benefit from that will be the children of well-to-do area residents. Nobody else can afford condos over there, or the expensive day care and summer camp programs that they're likely to offer. Will these programs be offered to everyone for rates affordable to someone who can't live in Soho or the West Village?? I doubt it. And I'm not saying they necessarily should be. I'm saying I want Pier 40 to be useful to everyone even if they don't have children. I'm saying that a walk through a farmer's market, occasional circus visit or time spent in that attractive plaza are likely to be much more widely enjoyed by all of us New Yorkers than an overblown community center that will mostly serve the immediate vicinity.
The prices for Cirque are beside the point. I can afford to take someone to the circus once a year easier than I can afford daily day care or summer camp progams. The two things are apples and oranges.

ablarc
December 29th, 2006, 05:31 PM
The Related / Cirque plan offers less parking than the UrbanDove plan, yet calls for uses that clearly would bring in more people at concentrated times.
Hey, it's a city. How much parking does Carnegie Hall offer?

Cirque plan: exciting. Something for every New Yorker and every visitor.

The other plan: boring. For only the few who will use it.

Extend the 7 line.

ZippyTheChimp
December 29th, 2006, 06:08 PM
The prices for Cirque are beside the point.Not when you make wealth an issue.

We both know the children who benefit from that will be the children of well-to-do area residents.The children of IPN also use the pier.


Hey, it's a city. How much parking does Carnegie Hall offer?Sits over subways.


The other plan: boring. For only the few who will use it.As are all the playgrounds, the ballfields, tennis courts, Lasker pool/rink, etc in Central Park.

Lofter is right. This would be better suited near the Javits Center.

ablarc
December 29th, 2006, 06:18 PM
Lofter is right. This would be better suited near the Javits Center.
Better still, extend the 7 line. I know, I know ... when pigs fly. This isn't China.

ZippyTheChimp
December 29th, 2006, 06:24 PM
And it isn't Charlotte.

ablarc
December 29th, 2006, 06:30 PM
And it isn't Charlotte.
In Charlotte they'd make them put in a humungous parking lot. ;)

For the Cirque project it would extend to 6th Avenue. :p



http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?p=2537724#post2537724

.

ManhattanKnight
December 29th, 2006, 06:56 PM
Better still, extend the 7 line.

Better yet for Mayor LaGuardia to have refrained from destroying the 9th Avenue El and its Houston Street station 2 short blocks from Pier 40. The next stop uptown, at Christopher Street:

http://images.nycsubway.org/i52000/img_52508.jpg
http://images.nycsubway.org/i8000/img_8299.jpg

ablarc
December 29th, 2006, 07:02 PM
^ Well, I dunno. You really think els are a good idea?

ManhattanKnight
December 29th, 2006, 07:09 PM
^I favor anything that lowers housing costs in the West Village. Also, fashions do change -- witness the neighborhood's other El, the NY Central High Line (visible in the first picture just below the Swiss chalet-style station). Interestingly, perhaps, 60 years ago, the City wanted to raze every building shown in the second photo ("blighted") and replace them with a large housing project. Instead, most of them were converted to apartments a couple of decades later.

MidtownGuy
December 29th, 2006, 07:45 PM
Not when you make wealth an issue.
The prices for a cirque visit ARE beside the point because they are two totally different kinds of expenses. Wealth was not directly my "issue", but rather assuring widespread access for many income levels.
I bet you I could find a non-wealthy person who could afford to visit Cirque once a year(like myself). They could certainly afford an apple at the farmer's market, right? I could not, however, afford the fees charged for a year of day care or summer camp. Get it?? Apples and oranges. I mentioned wealth, but not in the sense that you managed to misunderstand it.
Repeat: They are two totally different kinds of expenses. One circus admittance is not the issue. There are other uses there besides the circus. How did we get stuck on that??
Day care: thousands per year??
Once a year circus visit: a hundred and some change, right? No comparison.
Day care draws repeated use by the same limited number of people. A PAC would be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.


As are all the playgrounds, the ballfields, tennis courts, Lasker pool/rink, etc in Central Park.

Everyone uses those. They are out in the open, not cordoned off inside of a complex that charges admission or requires one to bear children. Again, you have drawn an invalid comparison.

ablarc
December 29th, 2006, 08:02 PM
^I favor anything that lowers housing costs in the West Village.
Well, the El would definitely do that! :p

lofter1
December 29th, 2006, 09:25 PM
MidtownGuy: I get the impression that as soon as you finished reading about the Cirque proposal and came upon the 2nd half of the article describing the alternative plan your eyes glazed over and you didn't read the rest of what was written. Clearly the 2nd plan is NOT limited to those in the immediate area:


... this facility would be the new home to Urban Dove’s Net Gain program, under which Urban Dove provides basketball court time for students from schools that lack courts. Urban Dove had been providing this service at Basketball City at Pier 63 for 450 students from 18 public high schools.
Also:


“The People’s Pier will be able to host major national and regional sporting events that will showcase the city and its waterfront.”
Regarding the extension of the #7 line ...

It currently is planned to end at 11th Avenue near 34th Street.

According to wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7_Subway_Extension) there is a possible future extension of the #7 line as far south as 23rd St.:



Future extension southward

The 7 subway extension will have service tracks that extend to near 23rd Street (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/23rd_Street_%28Manhattan%29). These tracks will be used for moving and storing trains. This track segment opens up the possibility that the line could be extended further south to 23rd Street and 11th Avenue (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/11th_Avenue_%28Manhattan%29) to a possible future station to serve the Chelsea (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chelsea%2C_Manhattan) section of Manhattan and Chelsea Piers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chelsea_Piers), which has become a popular recreation facility.

So ... Unless you want to dig up and rebuild the West Side Hiway the #7 Line hits an endpoint at 23rd. An alternative would be to run it east under 23rd to 10th Avenue and then down 10th to 14th Street and then south under Washington Street. But that would run into all sorts of costs / trouble ....

A better plan would be to run a light rail along 10th Avenue from West 72nd Street south through the west side, connecting to Washington Street where it would continue on through the Village and Tribeca to the WTC.

BrooklynRider
December 29th, 2006, 09:58 PM
I wish a plan would be proposed that offered something that everyone could enjoy that to some degree went against the overall "promenade /esplanade" design. HRP is turning into a long and increasingly boring walk, that offers very little to New York City residents (notice I did NOT say "community" residents) beyond its granite sidewalks. The best things that the park offers are often temporary, like the "Snow & Ashes" exhibit. It seems to be following a path of exclusionary development. I think a park designed to run the perimeter of an island that is also bound by a major highway needs concessions. Hell, build a Nathan's there and give us cheap eats and outdoor seating. I find the plans frustrating for their lack of simplicity and continued focus on serving a narrow segment of residents. They can start redevelopment there by bringing back the River Project.

MidtownGuy
December 29th, 2006, 10:35 PM
provides basketball court time for students from schools that lack courts

no no, my eyes didn't glaze over. I read that part, and was nonplussed because, again, this falls under my "need to bear a child to get a benefit" provision. I want it for everyone, not just cheeeeldren. Not a bunch of sports courts and fields, which are exclusionary in my view if they are intended for children or organized groups; I am for an exciting development that you don't need to be on a schedule or a sports roster to enjoy, and that is useful to all ages. A compelling urban space that invites spontaneous enjoyment for all ages.
I'm with Brooklynrider- it isn't difficult or complicated...

HRP is turning into a long and increasingly boring walk,
the PAC plan has restaurants, a Farmer's Market, a plaza, and a circus atmosphere that will act as a pleasant anchor to help counter that impression.
The other plan- A big grey building with organized sports activities behind closed doors adds nothing to the typical visitor's experience of this park. Just like that big blight Chelsea Piers.

antinimby
December 29th, 2006, 11:54 PM
If anyone thinks that needed athletic facilities available to the community equate to "day care" then I don't even know where to begin a discussion.From the article you posted:

CampGroup would build an additional 100,000 square feet of facilities, and run a “high-quality day camp” from mid-June to mid-August each year.Imagine all the SUV-toting soccer moms dropping off their brats. Oi.

Btw, I think the "People's Park" sounds corny as hell, along the same lines as the People's Republic of China or the Freedom Tower.

lofter1
December 30th, 2006, 01:07 AM
"Day care" does not equate with "day camp".

Day care pertains to infants and toddlers.

ZippyTheChimp
December 30th, 2006, 01:23 AM
I bet you I could find a non-wealthy person who could afford to visit Cirque once a year(like myself)Which is why I mentioned IPN. You painted a picture of very rich West Village residents vs an egalitarian PAC. Both are inaccurate.

I'm not sure I like the sports proposal; I was just dismayed by the knee-jerk reactions to it, as if a sports field was proposed for the MSG site. The pier is park land, not an ordinary development site, but that's the way Related sees it

From the proposal:

Practically, 600,000 square feet of continuous development site is near impossible to assemble in New York City. The opportunity here is powerful,” The PAC is overblown and expensive, costing more than the entire park. I understand the desire for the HRPT to find income to fund the park, but at $626 million, the PAC is going to be busy funding itself. This will be an expensive and exclusionary venue.

And denigrating comments such as

a floating daycare centerignore the fact that the Pier 40 group, by pushing public awareness of the waterfront, was instrumental in starting the movement that led to the HRP.

ablarc
December 30th, 2006, 07:58 AM
"Day care" does not equate with "day camp".
Close enough.

MidtownGuy
December 30th, 2006, 09:42 AM
You painted a picture of very rich West Village residents vs an egalitarian PAC. Both are inaccurate.

How so? "very rich" is your wording, but anyway are you contending that the people living in those fancy buildings going up along the West Side Highway near Pier 40 are something other than well-off? Most people I know could not afford to live there, and most people I know either have no children of day care age or can not afford to enroll their children in fancy day programs if they do. Every one of my friends can afford a pair of rollerblades, bike, or possess 2 feet to pass through a farmer's market or plaza, or get a bite in a restaurant. What is so unclear to you? This is not a "picture" I am "painting", this is me trying to get you to understand that there is a difference between the types of people who will be able to get use out of it. I did not say PAC was egalitarian. I said that an occasional circus visit is more possible for less-than-wealthy folks than fancy day care, a recurring expense, and that a visit to a farmer's market or plaza is actually free.

Please refrain from mischaracterizing my posts or making proclamations about my innacuracy. If you need to, you might try reading a post again to get what someone really meant, or ask for clarification rather than filling in the blanks yourself.

ZippyTheChimp
December 30th, 2006, 10:32 AM
IPN is Independence Plaza North. It is a Mitchell-Lama complex. The demographic is not rich. The people who use Pier 40 are not solely West Village residents who live in multi-million dollar condos. A co-worker of mine had her two sons enrolled in sports programs at Pier 40. She is not rich.


Every one of my friends can afford a pair of rollerblades, bike, or possess 2 feet to pass through a farmer's market or plaza, or get a bite in a restaurant.The pier would be accessible to all park users, and would have a restaurant. There will also be a restaurant on pier 26, a quarter mile south. Ironically, the farmers market would be more restricted to the immediate area residents than the sports complex.

An occasional circus visit does not equate to park related use; what you have is a destination venue that can be located anywhere. Cirque has been shopping itself all over town.


not just cheeeeldrenWhat's that about?


The traffic claim is always overblown.

Whenever I drive on West St. outside of rush hour, it is never that clogged.How about in five years, when tour buses to the WTC memorial get rolling?

Besides comparing these two plans, another question that should be asked is if the PAC is better suited to another location.

Pier 76 seems better suited for it. It would compliment the new convention center; it could be connected by a pedestrian overpass, which would help solve the problem of the Javits blocking river access. The #7 will be nearby, and there is a new ferry facility next door.

MidtownGuy
December 30th, 2006, 11:15 AM
IPN is Independence Plaza North. It is a Mitchell-Lama complex. The demographic is not rich

An island in a sea of wealth. Trying to recharacterize Tribeca and the West Village as non-wealthy because of IPN doesn't ring true.


A co-worker of mine had her two sons enrolled in sports programs at Pier 40.

Anecdotal evidence that is unconvincing, but illustrative of my point about parents and their young children monopolizing that humungous pier.


The pier would be accessible to all park users, and would have a restaurant.

Sure, they just won't be exciting enough to live up to the potential of the site.


Ironically, the farmers market would be more restricted to the immediate area residents than the sports complex

I disagree. I respectfully submit that many people from outside the neighborhood would love to nibble on some inexpensive natural fruits or snacks between park activities. Others might spontaneously throw a bag of tomatoes or loaf of organic bread in their backpack while blading or biking back to their apartment, who knows. A farmer's market has a different draw than a grocery store.


An occasional circus visit does not equate to park related use
Other parks have zoos, carousels, museums, etc. so I'm not sure I accept that.


cheeeeldren
reference to a comedian who does a character with a southern baptist accent who's always misguidedly talking about the "cheeeldrun" and what should be done with/for/about them. No biggee if you're not familiar with it.


Besides comparing these two plans, another question that should be asked is if the PAC is better suited to another location.

That's the problem with having only two plans, it means that if your question is answered in the affirmative, we're stuck with the other plan not because of it's merit, but by default.

ZippyTheChimp
December 30th, 2006, 11:41 AM
An island in a sea of wealth. Trying to recharacterize Tribeca and the West Village as non-wealthy because of IPN doesn't ring true.

Anecdotal evidence notwithstanding, I've been living in the area a long time, and am very familair with it. You have no evidence at all.


I disagree. I respectfully submit that many people from outside the neighborhood would love to nibble on some inexpensive natural fruits or snacks between park activities.A farmer's market can be easiliy incorporated into any plan. It is not at all keyed to a $628 million project.


Sure, they just won't be exciting enough to live up to the potential of the siteI don't think the yardstick should necessarily be the level of exitement.


That's the problem with having only two plans, it means that if your question is answered in the affirmative, we're stuck with the other plan not because of it's merit, but by default.Well, we agree here.

But while I'm not happy with the sports plan as presented, I would reject the PAC just based on logistics.

MidtownGuy
December 30th, 2006, 05:51 PM
Anecdotal evidence notwithstanding, I've been living in the area a long time, and am very familair with it. You have no evidence at all.

Zippy, your wrong. Plenty of evidence to that effect is all over the place. And I think you know that. I can easily find evidence that Tribeca and the West Village are wealthy areas. For you to claim otherwise is exasperatingly disingenuous.

Independence Plaza North is located in 10013. Well, will you lookee here:

FORBES Most Expensive ZIP Codes 2005
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/142/338918285_ddcaa20b8d_o.png


You have no evidence at all.
Hmmm, seems that exact zip code is listed as number 12...in the whole nation! Unless something drastic happened since 2005 that I am unaware of,
my evidence now blows your little anecdote to smithereens.:p

MidtownGuy
December 30th, 2006, 06:00 PM
I'm not sure I like the sports proposal; I was just dismayed by the knee-jerk reactions to it,

Evidently, one man's "knee-jerk" is another man's "heart-felt". It may not be your reaction or opinion, but that doesn't make it reflexive or unthinking.

infoshare
December 30th, 2006, 07:22 PM
After reading this thread I found some information about pier 40 (http://www.fohrp.org/fohrp2.php?screen=40main)and some history on the Hudson River Park (http://www.fohrp.org/pdf/Spring2006.pdf).

lofter1
December 30th, 2006, 08:16 PM
Pier 40 is actually in ZIP CODE area 10014 (http://www.forbes.com/lists/2006/7/ZIP10014.html) :

#491 10014

http://images.forbes.com/media/lists/7/2006/10014.gif

2005 Median Sales Price: $665,000
2005 Median Household Income: $75,508
2005 Population: 32,191
Population Change since 1990: -1%
Median Resident Age: 38.1
Average Household Size: 1.6

MidtownGuy
December 30th, 2006, 09:17 PM
Yes lofter, the reason for the information on 10013 was Independence Plaza North being cited as an example of the non-wealthy demographic, which I said was an "island in a sea of wealth". Go back and check the posts if it's not clear. IPN is in zip code 10013.
As for 10014... it is 491 out of approximately 43,000 zip codes in the US. Not bad.

MidtownGuy
December 30th, 2006, 09:33 PM
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/124/339145788_c1ff7d53d4_b.jpg

If you look at this map, Pier 40, the fattest pier, is clearly situated at a point very close to the border of 10013 and 10014. Actually, it's so close to the border that the location clearly shows it as being nearly equidistant from most points in the western parts of those two zip codes.

ZippyTheChimp
December 31st, 2006, 09:25 AM
Zippy, your wrong. Plenty of evidence to that effect is all over the place. And I think you know that. I can easily find evidence that Tribeca and the West Village are wealthy areas. For you to claim otherwise is exasperatingly disingenuous.Your "evidence" tells nothing of the cross section of people that use pier 40. Sorry you went to all that trouble.


I bet you I could find a non-wealthy person who could afford to visit Cirque once a year(like myself).Cirque would be a high-end destination facility. It is not park dependent. It could be anywhere...

Practically, 600,000 square feet of continuous development site is near impossible to assemble in New York City. The opportunity here is powerful,” the proposal states.Actually, they are mistaken.

The perfect place for the PAC is Governors Island. Unlike pier 40, the island needs a facility to draw visitors, and financial investment ($628 million).

Would you have a problem with a yearly circus visit to Governors Island?

The PAC is a land-grab, ameliorated by buskers serenading the multitude.

ablarc
December 31st, 2006, 09:51 AM
May be a land-grab, but there's a big give-back. To me, enjoying the product outweighs moralizing about the process.

MidtownGuy
December 31st, 2006, 10:47 AM
Your "evidence" tells nothing of the cross section of people that use pier 40. Sorry you went to all that trouble.

Trouble? Hardly, it's information that's everywhere, and that's why your portrayal of 10014 as some kind of midddle class area couldn't be left uncontested. You're sorry because you were shown to be wrong in your disingenuous assertion about the overall wealth of the area. I made a statement, specifically that IPN is an "island in a sea of wealth", you refuted it, and I submitted the evidence for that specific statement.
Pretty simple stuff, so don't fret about "all my trouble".


The perfect place for the PAC is Governors Island. Unlike pier 40, the island needs a facility to draw visitors, and financial investment ($628 million).

I would not have a problem with that, as long as what goes on Pier 40 is developed in a way that encourages use by a wide cross-section of people. I still contend that the Per40 Group's plan does not.


The PAC is a land-grab,
And the sky is blue. Aren't you used to that by now? At least the result here is attractive, useful, and yes, exciting (substitute intriguing if you don't like the word excitement so much.)

ZippyTheChimp
December 31st, 2006, 11:23 AM
Trouble? Hardly, it's information that's everywhere, and that's why you're portrayal of 10014 as some kind of midddle class area couldn't be left uncontested.Where did I state that? I stated that IPN residents also use the pier; I was talking about the pier, not the average income of postal zones.


You're sorry because you were shown to be wrong in your disingenuous assertion about the overall wealth of the area.
Thank you for presuming to know what I am sorry for, and that my responses are not serious.


I made a statement, specifically that IPN is an "island in a sea of wealth", you refuted it, and I submitted the evidence for that specific statement.No, I didn't. When I stated that the demographic is not rich, it is obvious that I was referring to IPN. IPN residents use the pier. Not all pier users are rich.

Attempts to characterize the choice as a battle between rich local residents vs...

Well, who? Almost rich? Somehow, I can't get a handle on a family from Queens blowing $600 for a night at the circus.

Stuff like this polarizes debates, and makes it impossible to discuss the pros and cons of any project.

ablarc
December 31st, 2006, 11:40 AM
^ Why on this forum do so many perfectly viable discussions devolve into rich vs. poor catfights?

Marx would be gratified.

ZippyTheChimp
December 31st, 2006, 11:43 AM
Because that's the way it is outside the forum.

ablarc
December 31st, 2006, 11:52 AM
Because that's the way it is outside the forum.
As I said, Marx would be gratified.

Vindicated by history.

I guess he was better as historian than economist.

pianoman11686
December 31st, 2006, 05:48 PM
Oh, brother.

ablarc
December 31st, 2006, 05:55 PM
Oh, brother.
Curiosity sez: "What you referrin' to, bo'?"

pianoman11686
January 1st, 2007, 11:29 PM
My curiosity asks: what does the apostrophe after "bo" refer to? :D

But anyway, "oh, brother" was just a general reaction to reading the past few pages of the thread all at once. Needless to say, I got annoyed after a while. Your question captured it pretty well, actually: instead of talking about the real issue (Which plan is better?), we ended up talking about rich vs. poor.

Zippy offered: "that's how it is outside the forum" as an excuse. But WiredNY isn't the real world. In the real world, we're not all anonymous in discussion, and we're not all (mostly) architecture/real estate/New York buffs.

For once, the NIMBY's would be laughing their heads off, with good justification.

ablarc
January 2nd, 2007, 07:01 AM
My curiosity asks: what does the apostrophe after "bo" refer to? :D
Place holder for "Y" --or "why".

pianoman11686
January 2nd, 2007, 11:27 AM
^Never seen it done that way before. Must be a Southern thing. ;)

MidtownGuy
January 2nd, 2007, 11:36 AM
Why on this forum do so many perfectly viable discussions devolve into rich vs. poor catfights?
Good question, but not applicable to what happened in the last few pages.
My posts have not promoted making it a development for either rich OR poor, but rather an attraction that would draw a wide variety of New Yorkers. That was consistently my opinion. Please reread if that was lost on any of you.
In the course of the discussion, I felt some of Zippy's statements were extremely misleading. A characterization of the area as not wealthy (or at least a statement that could reasonably be interpreted thus, he says he was referring only to IPN but that wasn't as obvious to the reader as it may have been to him), was not going to go unchallenged. His calling negative opinions about the People's Plan "knee-jerk" didn't help.

It's frustrating when I write my opinion in perfectly clear English and it's still misconstrued. Again, if you'll identify my statements where I advocated use by rich vs. poor, or poor vs. rich, I'd be greatful so I could clarify.While trying, you may discover that I was actually promoting use by a wide swath of New Yorkers. Hardly a polarizing position. My point was that I was against a neighborhood amenity and in favor of a destination development.

Pianoman, if it was annoying for you to read, imagine how annoying it is for me to have my words twisted around.

MidtownGuy
January 2nd, 2007, 11:54 AM
Let's bring this back to the merits of each plan. Here is
a breakdown of each:

PAC plan
winter ice rink
4 restaurants
large attractive plaza
multiplex movie theater programmed by the Tribeca Film Festival
showing art films and independent films the rest of the year
nightclub
music hall for live performances
ballroom/event space
small-scale “destination” and “specialty” retail
farmers’ market
glass-enclosed Winter Garden with public restrooms
marina
trapeze School
artificial-turf sports field rebuilt


OTHER PLAN
eight new indoor multi-use courts
locker rooms
related offices
3 pools
more parking
a middle school
cafe
trapeze School

lofter1
January 2nd, 2007, 01:14 PM
I've been trying to find the complete proposals for these two plans but they don't seem to have been posted.

Some history on the Pier 40 RFP (http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_170/trustgetsready.html)

More info from the article (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showpost.php?p=137941&postcount=37) on the two proposals:

PAC Plan

" ... a projected 2.7 million visitors a year."

"price tag — $626 million — which is more than the estimated cost of the entire park itself."

"provision for about 1,850 parking spaces in the proposal (a small drop in the current number)." (NOTE: Existing Parking (http://www.pier40parking.com/) = ~ 2,000 spaces)

" ... the heavily used artificial-turf sports fields currently located there would be rebuilt on 227,000 square feet of space on the roof ... "

"The Performing Arts Center project would take three years to complete, and Related feels that by installing ramps into the courtyard, about 800 parking spaces could still function during the renovation. But the sports fields would apparently be out of commission."

OTHER PLAN

Budget and length of construction for this Plan not included in the article.

"The pier’s existing sports fields would be kept where they are now in the central courtyard, where they would continue to be better sheltered from the elements than were they moved to the rooftop."

" ... the plan would create 33 percent more open space than required under the Hudson River Park Act."

" ... increasing the amount of car parking spaces by about 500 to 2,584."

" ... the pier’s southern promenade would be widened 10 feet."

" ... a pedestrian bridge spanning the West Side Highway and connecting to Pier 40."

ZippyTheChimp
January 2nd, 2007, 03:24 PM
Amazing how I was extremely misleading, and how I misconstrued statements.

Yes, it's always about me, me, me.


Pier 40 should invite use by all of us, not just the wealthy residents across the street.


The children of IPN also use the pier.


I think I'll take a leave from this rancorous debate.

MidtownGuy
January 2nd, 2007, 04:13 PM
Thanks.

pianoman11686
January 2nd, 2007, 04:37 PM
Midtown, the posts were annoying only because they progressed nowhere, and kept skirting the real issues. I've been involved in my fair share of those back-and-forths too. I guess for once I took notice of how silly things can get. Suffice it to say that the argument digressed, as all too many of them do on this forum.

Zip: I think what Midtown is trying to say is not at all unreasonable. The more ambitious plan invites broader use, while the recreation-centered one will be rather one-dimensional. Given the rarity of developable land that is so large and so well-located, I think I have to agree with Midtown and vote for Related's plan.

lofter1
January 21st, 2007, 08:58 PM
From hudsonriverpark.com (http://www.hudsonriverpark.com/development/pier40dev.htm) ...

SEE RENDERINGS:

Pier 40 - The People's Pier (http://www.hudsonriverpark.com/pdfs/development/ThePeoplesPier.pdf) (http://www.hudsonriverpark.com/pdfs/development/ThePeoplesPier.pdf)http://www.hudsonriverpark.com/art/pdf.gif (http://www.hudsonriverpark.com/pdfs/development/ThePeoplesPier.pdf)

submitted by CampGroup LLC in partnership with The Urban Dove
Pier 40 Performing Arts Center (http://www.hudsonriverpark.com/pdfs/development/PerformingArtsCenter.pdf)http://www.hudsonriverpark.com/art/pdf.gif

submitted by The Related Companies, L.P.

antinimby
January 21st, 2007, 09:38 PM
Let's post the renderings here.

Performing Arts Center:

http://img246.imageshack.us/img246/8089/pac6jd.jpg

http://img253.imageshack.us/img253/95/pac12xf.jpg

http://img253.imageshack.us/img253/263/pac20jd.jpg

http://img253.imageshack.us/img253/1748/pac35vx.jpg

http://img253.imageshack.us/img253/514/pac41hm.jpg

antinimby
January 21st, 2007, 09:50 PM
The People's Pier:

http://img246.imageshack.us/img246/9116/peoples8jt.jpg

http://img180.imageshack.us/img180/1897/peoples14nv.jpg

http://img253.imageshack.us/img253/47/peoples27yu.jpg

http://img253.imageshack.us/img253/9913/peoples36pf.jpg

http://img253.imageshack.us/img253/7523/peoples47ns.jpg

ablarc
January 21st, 2007, 11:13 PM
Not hard to pick the winner.

CBTwo
January 22nd, 2007, 06:29 PM
I agree. The people's pier is the way to go.

londonlawyer
January 22nd, 2007, 06:47 PM
Let's post the renderings here.

Performing Arts Center:

http://img246.imageshack.us/img246/8089/pac6jd.jpg

http://img253.imageshack.us/img253/95/pac12xf.jpg

http://img253.imageshack.us/img253/263/pac20jd.jpg

http://img253.imageshack.us/img253/1748/pac35vx.jpg

http://img253.imageshack.us/img253/514/pac41hm.jpg

This is awesome!!

ASchwarz
January 22nd, 2007, 06:49 PM
The performing arts center is the obvious choice, but given the level of West Village NIMBYism and provincial thinking, I'm afraid the local crazies will fight for the soccer field.

infoshare
January 22nd, 2007, 06:50 PM
I agree with Aschwarz and ABlarc,,,,,,,,the winner is obvious.

p.s. CBtwo, which post is it you agree with?

londonlawyer
January 22nd, 2007, 06:53 PM
The performing arts center is the obvious choice, but given the level of West Village NIMBYism and provincial thinking, I'm afraid the local crazies will fight for the soccer field.

They can play on top of the waste treatment plant in the 160's. This peforming arts center is too good to pass up. Also, play fields should not occupy prime waterfront property.

antinimby
January 22nd, 2007, 07:11 PM
I agree with Aschwarz and ABlarc,,,,,,,,the winner is obvious.
p.s. CBtwo, which post is it you agree with?ablarc and ASchwarz are for PAC.

As stated earlier, count me in as a PAC supporter also.

CBtwo on the other hand is for People's Pier.

Fact is, the PAC has no chance, I don't think.

People in that area generally have very conservative tastes, and the PAC is too glitzy and exactly the type of thing these people don't like.

Oh well...

CBTwo
January 22nd, 2007, 07:14 PM
Like a performing arts center that will fail probably within the first six months is a great solution? Especially when one has to dodge the ever present garbage trucks coming and going from down the street. This location isn't exactly the easiest place to get to do you realize?

And does anyone really think that the final scheme will look anything like the renderings? If you do then you must believe in Tinker Bell and her magic dust.

londonlawyer
January 22nd, 2007, 07:22 PM
I think that a new NYC Opera House should be built on one of these piers.

antinimby
January 22nd, 2007, 07:29 PM
^ Well, according to CBTwo, nothing of that sort should be on the piers because it will fail within the first six months.

CBTwo
January 22nd, 2007, 08:22 PM
I thought this whole exercise of finding new tenants for Pier 40 had to do with getting more money to support the HRP, not lose more money, or spend more money in fantasy land.

I would love to see a poor man's "Lincoln Center" in my neighborhood but it doesn't make sense with what's around it. Across the street you have the multi block long St. John's Building, hardly an anchor for a glitzy development. Where, from and how are the people going to access this complex? And why would they want to go there? To buy some organically grown tomatoes? Fine in the late summer months. What do you do in the dead of winter when you put out a box of your freshly baked cookies only to turn around and find they are floating in the river due to the hurricane force that upturned your table and sent it and its contents on a "bon voyage?"

Can any one tell me how the Metropolitan Opera is dispersing their excess profits from the last four seasons? Are they endowing a chair for Oberlin College or are they channeling those profits back into making the Museum of Opera a broader experience for all?

Other than that there shouldn't be a problem with competing venues as it's obvious New Yorkers, and might I say people from New Jersey and other outlying areas also, love opera as witnessed by the supporter below.

http://newsfromrussia.com/science/2006/01/06/70835.html

This ain't Sidney honey. Utzon's original estimate 7 million, final cost 102 million. Oops! A slight cost over run, but it is a nice opera house. The taxpayers can afford it.

CBTwo
January 22nd, 2007, 11:53 PM
Aschwartz mentions, "The performing arts center is the obvious choice, but given the level of West Village NIMBYism and provincial thinking, I'm afraid the local crazies will fight for the soccer field."

I believe New York City already has a performing arts center, it's called Lincoln Center. If Ashwartz wasn't aware of it, Lincoln Center is on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, between West 62nd and 65th Streets and Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues. There are all kinds of performances going on there year around, dance, opera, ballet, orchestral performances, you name it. It's there. Here's a link.

ttp://www.lincolncenter.org/

Why might I ask, "Would another performing arts center on the waterfront make the performances better?"

On another note I personally don't like the way the soccer hooligans have taken over the Pier 40 complex, but such is life. At least the complex is being used by the communities around the facility, from Chelsea down to the Battery. Where else would all the poor little kiddies from DUSC, all dressed up in their cute little soccer uniforms go to play? The streets of Tribeca, or that smelly playground up in the 160's?

pianoman11686
January 23rd, 2007, 12:06 AM
Are you suggesting New York, a city of 8 million people, needs only one major performing arts center?

I vote for Related's plan. And as for your doubts about its long-term sustainability: why don't you let the people that are putting up the 600-some-odd million dollars worry about that.

lofter1
January 23rd, 2007, 01:47 AM
Anyone notice that the Related rendering shows a BIG new building on top of the St. John's Center building, opposite Pier 40 on West Street ...

http://img246.imageshack.us/img246/8089/pac6jd.jpg

Such a large addition to the St. John's building is possible ...


A number of years ago CBS floated an idea to build television production studios on the top of the St. John's Center building -- a proposal which (although it never panned out) would have doubled the height of that building ...
Guiding Light (http://www.soap-news.com/gl/glppg8.htm)'s future home will be at Hudson River Studios. The studios are going to be built on top of the St. John's Building shown below.
Construction is scheduled to begin in September 1998. GL is scheduled to begin filming there in January 2000.
The addition to the building will be 320,000 square feet, doubling the height of the existing building. There will be five studios total, two of them being used for Guiding Light and As The World Turns. The two shows will use 40% of the total studio space.
The studios will have 35-foot-high ceilings. Cars will be able to drive around on the fourth floor to film car scenes. Two freight elevators will be built to bring up cars, equipment, and other props.
The building will have not only production studios, but post-production edit suites, a set construction shop, dressing rooms, stoarge space, and production offices. There will also be a cafe, terrace, children's play area, and a gym.
The St. John's Building is on the border of Soho and Greenwich Village in New York City, New York.
The St. John's Center, looking west on Houston Street:


http://soap-news.com/gl/p/stj.jpg

St. John's Center West Street side:

http://soap-news.com/gl/p/stj2.jpg




Mayor Giuliani (http://www.nyc.gov/html/om/html/98b/pr326-98.html) had a press release about that ^^^ in July 1998:

MAYOR GIULIANI ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR HUDSON RIVER STUDIOS


$120 Million High-Tech Television And Film Production Studios Will Be Largest In Manhattan

Friday, July 10, 1998

Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani today unveiled plans for Hudson River Studios (HRS), a new privately developed television and film complex, to be built atop St. John's Center building at 340 West Street in SoHo.

With five studios ranging in size from 12,500 to 18,300 square-feet and costing $120 million, HRS will be the largest television and film production/post-production complex in Manhattan – and the only facility in Manhattan equipped with digital and high definition television technology.


realdeal.net (http://www.therealdeal.net/issues/April_2005/1112815984.php) reported this in 2005:
West Street rail terminal may go for $600M
The former New York Railroad terminal, St. John's Center, is on the market for redevelopment at a price that could reach $600 million. The 1.2-million-square-foot, four-story warehouse at 340 West St. has some of the largest floor plates in the city, and current tenants include Merrill Lynch and RCN.

lofter1
January 23rd, 2007, 02:06 AM
From Real Deal (http://www.therealdeal.net/issues/MAY_2006/1146522015.php) , May 2006:

The St. John's Center at 550 Washington Street has 810,000 square feet available, but it is occupied by Merrill Lynch until next year.

And from cponline.com (http://www.cpnonline.com/cpn/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1001847382), January 2006:

Historic New York City Office to be Marketed by Newmark Knight Frank

Newmark Knight Frank has been appointed exclusive leasing agent for the St. John's Center at 340 West Street, an historic 1.3 million-square-foot property on Manhattan's West Side. The office was once a major distribution center occupied by the New York Central Railroad. Newmark Knight Frank has been hired to market a block of 870,000 square feet of office space coming on line shortly. The building will be renamed "550 Washington Street @ St. John’s Center" to take advantage of the neighborhood's emergence.

CBTwo
January 23rd, 2007, 12:09 PM
Reason for and history of Saint John's building.

http://mikes.railhistory.railfan.net/r030.html

The old Hudson Terminal and Hudson Square was located at Saint John's Park that was located below Canal Street.

Ninjahedge
January 23rd, 2007, 01:38 PM
I did not read your link CB2, but I believe taht teh project was scrapped for a number of reasons, some being:

-Cost
-Vibration requirements for filming studio.
-Open space (framing) requirements difficult to integrate with existing supporting framework/layout.
-Lack of interest.

There was a study done a while back, but nothing came of it.

CBTwo
January 23rd, 2007, 03:53 PM
Oh Well. I guess I won't be throwing back a few with the stars of Guiding Light and as the World Turns at the Ear Inn after all.

But on a positive note I read somewhere that WCBS is moving their radio studios to 345 Hudson. And also the radio station for New York City (what's its name?) is moving into where Spectra photo was on Varick Street. WOW! Hudson Square is going to be the broadcast capital of the world in about thirty or forty years. Cool.

I searched and I searched but I can't find the article where it said they are moving.

Perhaps rather than call it Hudson Square it should be called Trinity Square given the amount of buildings and land they own in the area. See the following.

http://www.trinityrealestate.org/buildings.html

Derek2k3
February 23rd, 2007, 09:30 PM
I think this is the main problem with community involvement in New York. Individuals thinking solely of what's best for their community (themselves and their possesions) rather than weighing in what's also beneficial for the city. The transient population of Manhattan, who come here for work and leisure, is far greater than the people who actually live here, why should they be ignored?

If community planning/community boards existed upon the city's conception we'd be a city of brownstones. Nothing ever out of context than what already exists.




The Villager
Editorial

Pier 40: Which plan is best for the community?

http://www.thevillager.com/villager_199/editorial.html

In 2003, the effort to redevelop Pier 40 at the end of W. Houston St. into a park and commercial complex crashed. Before that happened, however, four years ago, hundreds of engaged Villagers packed public forums at which the development groups presented their plans.

In the end, opposition to the world’s largest oceanarium and to any kind of big-box stores, even in return for sports fields for local youth leagues, doomed the process, and the Hudson River Park Trust — citing “economic conditions” — didn’t pick any of the developers. Instead, under an interim plan for the enormous 14-acre pier, its inner courtyard was carpeted with an artificial-grass surface. Young athletes embraced the pier’s new, expanded sports facilities, which have become a focal point in many local families’ lives.

Meanwhile, the Trust, the state-city authority that is building and operates the park, last year issued another request for proposals for Pier 40.

The Trust wants the pier to generate more revenue for the park, although the Trust has never done the overall planning necessary to say how much more it needs, or what percentage of the overall park revenues Pier 40 should generate. The pier’s parking operation currently generates $5 million annually for the Trust.

This time, only two realistic plans were submitted, The People’s Pier and Pier 40 Performing Arts Center, or PAC. So far, though, the community doesn’t seem to be paying much attention to the goings-on.

Pier 40 PAC clearly would have the greater impact. It’s budgeted at $626 million, more than the whole, 5-mile Hudson River Park from Chambers St. to 59th St. Spearheaded by The Related Companies, it includes an 84,000-square-foot Cirque du Soleil theater and 60,000-square-foot independent movie theater that would be the Tribeca Film Festival’s base and would draw 2.7 annual visitors.

The plan would include some sports fields, relocated to the pier’s roof.

The more modest People’s Pier keeps with the pier’s present uses of developing young people, physically, and — with new educational facilities added in the People’s Pier plan — intellectually. This plan would keep the pier’s 300,000 square feet of recreation space, adding 85,000 square feet of fields, plus 500 parking spaces.

The People’s Pier’s impact seems low. But Pier 40 PAC — with a 42-story Trump Soho condo-hotel currently rising just blocks away — threatens to spark a change that will radically alter this neighborhood forever, turning it into, well, Las Vegas on the Hudson. We’re talking mega-size entertainment venues and glitz in a heretofore-small venue Village environment.

We know that, with Governor Spitzer’s election, this is a transitional period for the Trust’s 13-member board, on which Spitzer has five appointments.

Still, it behooves Downtowners to start mobilizing on this issue. We hear there may be a public hearing in as soon as six weeks on Pier 40. If Related’s plan is eventually picked, we’re in for major changes in our way of life here.

CBTwo
February 25th, 2007, 01:52 PM
Community boards serve a purpose and that is to insure that the character of a community remains somewhat consistent and provide a forum for individuals that are affected locally by "planning" by others within and outside the community.

In regards to the Pier 40 project as suggested by the PAC plan it seems, with the total demolition of the exisiting structure and construction of all the new structures on Pier 40, a more intelligent decision would be to build another new pier to support that project. How they could ever phase the construction part of PAC with the continued use of the athletic and parking situation at Pier 40 is something I doubt could be handled succesfully without major setbacks and disruptions to those two successful functions.

And it's not a matter of NIMBY. They could build the PAC pier next to Pier 40 as far as I'm concerned.

ablarc
February 25th, 2007, 07:11 PM
I think this is the main problem with community involvement in New York. Individuals thinking solely of what's best for their community (themselves and their possesions) rather than weighing in what's also beneficial for the city. The transient population of Manhattan, who come here for work and leisure, is far greater than the people who actually live here, why should they be ignored?

If community planning/community boards existed upon the city's conception we'd be a city of brownstones. Nothing ever out of context than what already exists.



... Pier 40 PAC — with a 42-story Trump Soho condo-hotel currently rising just blocks away — threatens to spark a change that will radically alter this neighborhood forever, turning it into, well, Las Vegas on the Hudson. We’re talking mega-size entertainment venues and glitz in a heretofore-small venue Village environment.

If Related’s plan is eventually picked, we’re in for major changes in our way of life here.
It's a dynamic universe ...

... Right?

CBTwo
March 1st, 2007, 05:23 PM
What is the great idea for the Gansevoort pier after it's stripped of the DSNY buildings? Another bring your child along to go fly a kite, sit on the grass and become one with the universe experience? Why don't they use that pier to generate the dollars they need to support the park? Like maybe the PAC idea they are trying to float down at Pier 40? The Gansevoort Pier area already has the glitz foundation in the Meat Packing District to draw the tourists.

What a great idea! Huh? Duh?

I've should have been a city planner rather than an industrial designer, it requires less thought, and the pay is better.

projectsnyc
March 3rd, 2007, 10:38 AM
Gansevoort Peninsula is the largest expanse of solid earth (albeit landfill from long ago) that is available for active recreational purposes to the Hudson River Park Trust...there is so much more that can be programmed 365/24 inboard in a park setting than out on a slender pier at the mercy of the weather...think before you write.

unless not unlike General McArthur(Sp?), DSNY returns in the guise of truck to barge marine transfer rendering it unsafe and unhealthy once again.

P.S. Pier 57 should be back in play sometime soon.

CBTwo
March 3rd, 2007, 08:49 PM
I don't understand your statement about "the largest expanse of solid earth (albeit landfill from long ago) that is available for active recreational purposes". Do you mean like stock car racing events or something that uses heavy impact on terra firma like those "Iron Man" competitions one sees on TV? Pier 40 which happens to be a "pier" on man made footings already is used for "active recreational purposes." I doubt there is any player on those fields that thinks they are playing on anything that is not firm, albeit not terra.

THINK BEFORE YOU WRITE! "there is so much more that can be programmed 365/24 inboard in a park setting than out on a slender pier at the mercy of the weather...think before you write."

I live two blocks from the river and, IF ONE CONSIDERS PIER 40 A WIND BREAK!, four blocks. There are buildings between me and the river and I can guarantee you that the wind coming off the river is not going to be abated because you are not on a slender pier. THINK BEFORE YOU WRITE!

The only useful 365/24 events going on at the piers (unless you consider the tow pound) is the parking on Pier 40. THINK BEFORE YOU WRITE!

projectsnyc
March 3rd, 2007, 09:04 PM
I guess the think before...pissed you off. Gansevoort is a peninsula not a pier on solid ground. the parkies and the designers are anxious to add to the park and this is the largest and best and last good opportunity. if you attended the many charettes and community forums you would understand the opportunity that presents itself sans DSNY.

why FOHRP makes deals with the City and DSNY and HRPT just to get back a SWMP is beyond me...it begs for a global solution that is both park-friendly,
doesn't dump on a micro-neighborhood, etc. (as we cover in a different forum).

Ninjahedge
March 5th, 2007, 09:32 AM
Piers make so-so parks.

You can't DO anything on them.

You play frisbee or soccer or softball on them and you stand a good chance of losing your ball/disk, or an even better chance of hitting a sunbather (who dominate any open space in the metro and surrounding area!).

Hybrid usage might be good for some of these areas, but the things that would be the most liked (restaurants, cafes, etc) would also be havens for vermin .... like Republicans (JK).

Seriously though, they would attract rats. But it would still be great to have a coffee by the waterside on a fall evening!

CBTwo
March 29th, 2007, 04:13 PM
If piers make so-so parks, why doesn't the city put them to good use like garbage transfer and storage depots?

CBTwo
March 30th, 2007, 06:56 PM
| March 28 - April 3, 2007

Talking Point

Cirque du No Way! Pier 40 PAC impact is too great
By Tobi Bergman

The Pier 40 Performing Arts Center, or PAC for short, is a proposal to transform the 15-acre pier at W. Houston St. into a mammoth entertainment complex with more than 10,000 seats. The PAC would waste the open space resource that is Pier 40. It would dominate the Village section of the Hudson River Park and overwhelm the popular greenway with crossing traffic. It would change the character of the West Village and encourage similar development at old manufacturing properties on the east side of West St., stretching to Spring St., where Trump is building a 45-story “condo hotel.” People are calling it The Village Vegas.

The PAC is a big money proposal offered by The Related Companies, a high-powered developer, so people may think it’s a done deal. Not so. It is a high-risk venture with many moving parts. It has environmental impacts with no plausible mitigation. Earlier plans for a permanent home for Cirque du Soleil, also embedded in large-scale development proposed by Related, were defeated by community opposition at W. 42nd St. and South St. Seaport. Here, the PAC faces broad and determined opposition, and the Hudson River Park Trust is presented with a serious, well-supported alternative.

Pier 40 is a park. Children from thousands of families and dozens of schools love to play in the safe and clean environment of the beautiful 5-acre courtyard fields. Families choose not to leave the city because of the sense of community they find at Pier 40. The PAC proposes to compensate the loss of this very special oasis with fields on a parking garage roof, shadeless and scorching in summer, windblown and freezing from late fall through early spring, surrounded by a huge tourist attraction. The PAC proposes to demolish a successful, vibrant and essential resource and replace it with a dozen buildings up to 160 feet tall. It would include an 1,800-seat permanent home for Cirque du Soleil, an 1,800-seat “state-of-the-art performance space,” a 12-screen cinema with 2,000 seats, a banquet hall for 3,500 guests — “attracting a variety of programs across all three meal times” — six huge gourmet restaurants, plus clubs and 40,000 square feet of “destination” shopping.

These things don’t belong in a park and they don’t belong next to an already congested highway a half-mile from public transportation. The PAC is out of sync in a city that is awakening to the need for sustainable growth. It would add five new entry/exit lanes at Clarkson St. to the four existing lanes at W. Houston St., endangering cyclists, runners and strollers and sending thousands of cars onto small Village streets when the shows end late at night. Waterside open space at the PAC would provide the “campus environment” for a $700 million global-culture complex. Outdoor dining would “populate the areas with sounds and life.” The proposed “greenmarket” would more likely offer panini to tourists than farm-fresh eggs to our neighbors. Many long-term parking spaces would be replaced by daily parking for PAC staff and visitors.

Yes, Pier 40 needs repairs, but we need to protect every bit of the precious parkland we have in our park-starved neighborhoods. The pier is not collapsing or unsafe. It is a solid structure and it can be preserved without selling our park, threatening the historic fabric of residential and business life in the West Village or shutting out current users during years of disruptive construction.

A more sensible way to improve the pier is offered by The People’s Pier, the other proposal under consideration by the Hudson River Park Trust. It is a well-considered project that preserves the good things the community has at Pier 40 now, including the fields in the courtyard and all the long-term parking. It repairs the pier without tearing it down, and doesn’t close the fields or parking for construction. New uses this plan brings are low-impact enhancements to educational and recreational resources for young people in our city. Meanwhile, this proposal continues to provide the income the Trust needs for park maintenance and operations.

At a public hearing on May 3, our community will have an opportunity to come together and express an overwhelming consensus that we want to preserve and improve the neighborhood and park we love. Save the date!


Bergman is president, Pier Park & Playground Association, or P3, a Downtown nonprofit group dedicated to advancing opportunities for children to play sports. P3 is currently based on Pier 40.

lofter1
March 31st, 2007, 01:38 AM
Cirque de Soleil should have a theater built near the WTC site. Transportation / access is there. Crowds will be there. It will help to create the 24-hour neighborhood which has been discussed. Perhaps the Gehry Performing Center should be rethought to encompass both the Joyce Theater (dance) and the Cirque.

ablarc
March 31st, 2007, 12:11 PM
This project could transform a stretch of the Hudson into Sydney Harbor.

Exciting.

MidtownGuy
March 31st, 2007, 01:45 PM
I agree, I'd really like to see this go ahead.
Tobi Bergman is way out of line with some of his comments.
Grand plans like this are just what NY needs.
Look at the renderings...we could actually get something exciting.
The largest pier on the Hudson and P3 wants to monopolize it for kids kicking soccer balls around. Sweet Baby Jesus, help us.

ablarc
March 31st, 2007, 03:26 PM
Grand plans like this are just what NY needs.

Grand plans are what made New York.

They stir the soul.

Even Tobi's soul.

Just feels the need to be a wet rag, I guess.

CBTwo
April 1st, 2007, 09:12 PM
Tobi has the right view on this regarding the who and how are they going to get there. The closest and only subway (IRT 1/9 local) to the venue is located four long cross town blocks away, not a fun walk in the months from November through March.

If they do not take the subway, then they will arrive by some type of motorized vehicle, a tourist bus (probably not, and where do you idle the bus for the return trip?), a cab, or worse yet a private car at a variety of times. Hopefully not at the same time the commuters are outbound at the Holland Tunnel. Where are they suppose to park the private cars, on Pier 40, or in one of the local non-existent parking lots? Don't forget sanitation wants to eliminate the closest already overcrowded parking garage (Clarkson and Greenwich) for a salt storage facility.

I have no problem with the idea of an entertainment pier, I had no problem with the big box approach to the pier. I have a problem of trying to do too much that doesn't sync with the reality of the location.

By the time they demolish and build a new complex with all the inherent scheduling problems in coordinating and maintaining existing parking tenants and playing fields (which I know will be beyond the ability of even the most well intentioned planners) it is probably more efficient and cost effective to build a new pier in a location that is geared toward a tourist trade and has better public transportation access. I'm sure Chelsea Piers would do better if it had easier access to public transport. You just can't get to there from here.

Also I doubt if the pier restaurants could exist during the winter months. And how many people are going to walk over there to buy a half dozen locally laid organic eggs and a head of bib lettuce in January? It's just too Siberian over there in those months. How many people go to Coney island during the winter?

Great! Another Sydney Harbor with an original cost estimate for the opera house alone at $7 million, only to end up costing $102 million. Oops! That would mean if the PAC project would start tomorrow with their $700 million guesstimate and following the exciting lead of Sydney the end project should come in around $10.2 billion. That is a lot of hotdogs, popcorn and sodas. Also if they followed the build schedule of Sydney and they started tomorrow, the opening date if all goes well would be mid 2016.

For those of you that haven't been to Pier 40 in the last few years, it's a lot more than little Johnnies and their sisters kicking each other in their shins while their soccer moms sip latte's. There is whole group of older soccer hooligans using the fields, as well as rugbie, softball, football and baseball teams of all ages.

ablarc
April 1st, 2007, 09:59 PM
Tobi has the right view on this regarding the who and how are they going to get there. The closest and only subway (IRT 1/9 local) to the venue is located four long cross town blocks away...
Time to start agitating for them to extend the number 7 downtown.

A ferry terminal would also help. And how about a procession of festive double-decker shuttle buses from the subway when there are events?

CBTwo
April 1st, 2007, 10:29 PM
Just great, a multi billion dollar extension of the 7 train to support a for-profit organization showcasing clowns and trapeze artists. I can't begin to imagine the fury that would be created by trying to cut through the West Village with a subway extension. Ferry service from where? New Jersey, Westchester, Las Vegas, Branson Missouri?

For the most part people that are going to an event don't take shuttle buses, they take cabs or a car service. Except of course events like the Master's tournament at Winged Foot in Westchester where the parking is at a premium. Shuttle buses from Houston and Varick? Have you ever tried to get cross town from the corner of Houston and Varick at normal hours, let alone rush hour? What next, the old fashioned tourist trolley bus look? Where do you stage the people waiting for the bus? They are not going to stand out in the rain waiting for a bus that's tied up coming across Clarkson Street because the tunnel is backed up to Bleecker Street and they can't go south on Varick to make the loop. Double decker buses carrying three people at four in the afternoon trying to get over to the pier in time for the blue plate special from the subway stop is really not a great idea.

The area is congested already, it doesn't need additional traffic.

I know the solution, light rail. Talk about a dumb solution that should be eliminated from urban planning, that is premier.

What grand plans made New York City such a great place? Lincoln Center? The World Trade Center? Rockefeller Center? Madison Square Garden?

pianoman11686
April 2nd, 2007, 12:59 AM
The proposed “greenmarket” would more likely offer panini to tourists than farm-fresh eggs to our neighbors.

It's arguments like these that invariably make a mockery out of so-called community opposition. Who ever said that every "destination" should only benefit and be used by the local residents? Does the West Village have exclusive rights to the waterfront?

CBTwo, you raise some worthwhile concerns in your posts, but I still find them highly pessimistic in nature. You can't simply assume that present conditions make the idea for a PAC a bad one. That kind of thinking would have prevented San Francisco - a similarly conservative city when it comes to big-time development - from converting its waterfront into a lively place frequented by tourists and residents alike.

We're not talking about putting up a World Trade Center here, or even a Madison Square Garden. It's an opportunity for a Performing Arts Center, something that hasn't been built in NYC in what - 40 years? Just let it go.

ablarc
April 2nd, 2007, 05:25 AM
Actually, it's not that long a walk from the subway.

CBTwo
April 2nd, 2007, 10:34 AM
As Lofter mentioned earlier, it would be better to dovetail this with other venues that are in the planning stage, than developing it as a standalone.

The reference to the farm-fresh eggs has to do with the "greenmarket" which would be part of the PAC proposal. The market I believe would be directed to the local populace. Somehow I can't imagine Beverely coming in from Montclair, New Jersey with her friend Stephanie for a matinee picking up a head of lettuce and a dozen scones to take back home with her after the show. They already have their arms filled with all the knock off stuff they buy on Canal Street.

This is not a small project. It is on the scale of Madison Square Garden. How about putting this along with the garbage truck problem up at the rail yards? Throw in a hotel or two and its proximity to the convention center and presto, mucho bucks for all. That will make the 7 line extension even more intelligent and worthwhile.

Only half of Pier 40 is in the Village, the other half is in Hudson Square, and it presently serves recreational needs for a much larger area of lower Manhattan.

Derek2k3
April 2nd, 2007, 12:10 PM
Pier 40, as should the rest of the park should serve the whole city. Imagine if Central Park was designed in such a piecemeal fashion. "My kids in Carnegie Hill need a soccer field so lets build that along our section of the park"..."I live on CPS and my kids need basketball courts, that zoo and ice skating rink just will not serve our needs and will bring too much traffic"...etc.

There should've been one comprehensive park plan with a coherent vision. Much of this would have been built already sans the constant squabbling of "community activists" debating about kayak space.

pianoman11686
April 2nd, 2007, 09:11 PM
This is not a small project. It is on the scale of Madison Square Garden. How about putting this along with the garbage truck problem up at the rail yards? Throw in a hotel or two and its proximity to the convention center and presto, mucho bucks for all. That will make the 7 line extension even more intelligent and worthwhile.

It's not on the scale of an arena that will pack in 20,000 people at least 3 or 4 nights a week. Not even close. Let's stay away from such hyperbole.


Only half of Pier 40 is in the Village, the other half is in Hudson Square, and it presently serves recreational needs for a much larger area of lower Manhattan.

I should have clarified that I was responding mainly to the article you posted, which only refers to the West Village and its needs/problems. Nonetheless, I have to side with Derek's comment, above.^

CBTwo
April 2nd, 2007, 10:06 PM
RE: The project size I am talking about is architectural, not the mass of individuals that populate same.

But do you realize that Madison Square Garden sits on top of a transportation hub? And by the way Madison Square Garden is not that far from 42nd street which also has a major bus terminal if you didn't know that. The practically "all city" subway accessibility was obvious the other week when they had the "basketball riot," when the students from all over the city were provided with quick and easy access to get away from the hooliganism at the Garden. The distance from Madison Square Garden to the Port Authority is almost equal to the distance from Pier 40 to the nearest subway. If one had to go to the far side of the Pier they are indentical. IT'S CALLED ACCESS! A local stop on the 1/9 train is a not a transportation hub. Since we are talking math here, can someone tell me how many people pass through Penn Station, Port Authority and the subways they service versus the 1/9 local stop at Houston Street?

OK so PAC wont pack in 20,000 at a clip like MSG. How many will they? 100, 500, a 1,000 a day? What? That kind of traffic will barely support the caretaker of Bozo the Chimp.

Park PAC at Chelsea Piers. BTW how did Chelsea Piers escape the wrath of the HRPT cleansing of the piers? What makes them so special? Oops. So soon I forgot that it's really hard to get to Chelsea Piers from anywhere in New York City, so I guess they got special dispensation.

RE: I doubt the controlling parties really give that much consideration to the local use versus a park for all mankind. And I have yet to see someone thrown off Pier 40 because they didn't carry a Greenwich Village ID card. At the same time I can't believe too many people from the Far Rockaways are being held back to experience what is basically a neglected pier on the Hudson River. If they want to park their cars on Pier 40 on a monthly basis, I really have no problem with that.

GOOD IDEA! WRONG LOCATION! GET IT?

pianoman11686
April 3rd, 2007, 12:39 AM
RE: The project size I am talking about is architectural, not the mass of individuals that populate same.

What does that mean? Architectural size?


But do you realize that Madison Square Garden sits on top of a transportation hub? And by the way Madison Square Garden is not that far from 42nd street which also has a major bus terminal if you didn't know that. The practically "all city" subway accessibility was obvious the other week when they had the "basketball riot," when the students from all over the city were provided with quick and easy access to get away from the hooliganism at the Garden. The distance from Madison Square Garden to the Port Authority is almost equal to the distance from Pier 40 to the nearest subway. If one had to go to the far side of the Pier they are indentical. IT'S CALLED ACCESS! A local stop on the 1/9 train is a not a transportation hub. Since we are talking math here, can someone tell me how many people pass through Penn Station, Port Authority and the subways they service versus the 1/9 local stop at Houston Street?

The comparisons to MSG being close to 42nd Street/Port Authority Bus Terminal are ridiculous. You're comparing the densest part of the city, with hundreds of thousands of daily commuters, to a lowrise, residential part of the West Village. Of course there will be a denser transportation network. (BTW, Port Authority is a good 8-9 blocks away from MSG.)


OK so PAC wont pack in 20,000 at a clip like MSG. How many will they? 100, 500, a 1,000 a day? What? That kind of traffic will barely support the caretaker of Bozo the Chimp.

I think I've said this before somewhere. Why don't you leave the economics of the project up to the people that are putting up the money for it?


GOOD IDEA! WRONG LOCATION! GET IT?

Caps notwithstanding, I have to point out that your argument is just not well-supported. The 1/9 stop is not the only way of getting there. There's the C/E stop at Spring Street, and one stop north, that are about equidistant from Pier 40. There's also a PATH station close by, as well as bus service. Don't discount the possibility of a ferry, and of course, cabs - which do not require parking.

CBTwo
April 3rd, 2007, 09:43 AM
Caps notwithstanding, I have to point out that your argument is just not well-supported. The 1/9 stop is not the only way of getting there. There's the C/E stop at Spring Street, and one stop north, that are about equidistant from Pier 40. There's also a PATH station close by, as well as bus service. Don't discount the possibility of a ferry, and of course, cabs - which do not require parking.

Maybe you don't have access to Google maps or maybe you are scaling off an old subway map, but the C/E stop at Spring street and the Path Station on Christopher Street are almost twice the distance away from the pier as the 1/9 stop. And if you do measurements based on actual distance not blocks, you will find that the north south blocks are a lot shorter than east west blocks. That's why the 42nd street reference to MSG.

I don't know what you are referring to when you mention "and one stop north", but I know it's not close to the pier.

The ferry idea is fine for people coming from Staten Island and New Jersey. I hope PAC put the cost of a ferry station in their proposal.

ASchwarz
April 3rd, 2007, 10:35 AM
CB2, why on earth would you choose to live in one of the most congested and touristy locales on earth and then complain about congestion and tourism? You do not "own" the neighborhood; you share it with the rest of the city and beyond.

I will never understand people like CB2, Andrew Berman or the other anti-everythings. Manhattan is the city center. This is where gathering places like Pier 40 make the most sense. To waste such a world-class site on "passive recreation" or other codespeak for keeping outsiders away would be a travesty. Imagine if they had Community Boards back in the 19th Century. NYC in 2007 would be Peoria.

Ninjahedge
April 3rd, 2007, 10:38 AM
I just guess everyones legs are broken in this country and noone an walk a half a frigging mile.

We need bus stops every 2 blocks and subways every 5!!!!!

People should be able to walk out their front door and be carried to their transit stop!!!

Parking needs to be provided for Escalades for every individual attending the events!!!


Guys, we can't apply all the same rules to a possible venue that may be catering more to the non-mainstream. As for parking, on the weekend, that whole strip there (along Washington) has a lot of space. That is, until they wipe out all the old strip clubs/porn shops and whatnot and replace them with view obstructing condominiums.

ASchwarz
April 3rd, 2007, 10:44 AM
According to CB2, Central Park should be shut down immediately. It's three blocks from the Lex line to the Park's edge! And then you have to walk even further to get to events deep within the park! What happens when your park destination is halfway between one station and the other? This must be remedied!

We need to immediately replace Central Park with a giant Pier-40-style subsidized parking lot and some soccer fields. Now that's what I call good planning.

CBTwo
April 3rd, 2007, 11:51 AM
Actually Greenwich Village doesn't look like the rest of the gridded city precisely because the people that lived there resisted the "March of Progress" back in the early nineteenth century. It only became less Village like when they blew through the area with the 6th and 7th Avenue subways.

Hudson Square is hardly touristy, unless of course you consider Don Hill's and the Ear Inn major destination stops. And Pier 40 is not used for "passive recreation", Christopher Street Pier is used for "passive recreation." What you call subsidized parking is what is paying for a lot of the other Hudson River strip park.

Great idea. Central Park is just sitting there ready to be developed. I wouldn't do it all at once though. I'd start from the outside and work in, or maybe the other way around. But if I went down under the park, hmmm?

Ninj,

Is this PAC idea only going to operate on the weekend? If so I'll go for it. Also Washington Street is not a clear parking area. from Spring to Clarkson on the east side you have the UPS operation and you can't park there (same goes for Greenwich Street.) On the west side you have St. John's building and more UPS as well as sanitation taking up most of the available space, leaving room perhaps for three or four cars.

Ninjahedge
April 3rd, 2007, 12:54 PM
Actually Greenwich Village doesn't look like the rest of the gridded city precisely because the people that lived there resisted the "March of Progress" back in the early nineteenth century. It only became less Village like when they blew through the area with the 6th and 7th Avenue subways.

Hudson Square is hardly touristy, unless of course you consider Don Hill's and the Ear Inn major destination stops. And Pier 40 is not used for "passive recreation", Christopher Street Pier is used for "passive recreation." What you call subsidized parking is what is paying for a lot of the other Hudson River strip park.

Great idea. Central Park is just sitting there ready to be developed. I wouldn't do it all at once though. I'd start from the outside and work in, or maybe the other way around. But if I went down under the park, hmmm?

Ninj,

Is this PAC idea only going to operate on the weekend? If so I'll go for it. Also Washington Street is not a clear parking area. from Spring to Clarkson on the east side you have the UPS operation and you can't park there (same goes for Greenwich Street.) On the west side you have St. John's building and more UPS as well as sanitation taking up most of the available space, leaving room perhaps for three or four cars.

Depends also on time of day.

Not many of these things would be going on during working hours you know, some might, but I see the PAC being a night-venue.

In that case, 2 blocks out at Hudson there is a lot of metered (until 9) parking and other areas where the parking could be changed by a simple alteration of the signs.

You just have to look and see what would be accomodated/ what would fit the bill.

If you are making the PAC a large commercial venue, you may have things to worry about, but so long as you have most events outside the 9-5 slot, you have all of the buisness district a stones throw away that you could shuttle to.

The key here is not to site possible extremes, but find a best fit. Right now Pier 40 is an ugly Fed Ex parking lot with an artificial turf feld on its roof. The sooner they replace it with anything but a waste disposal unit or Wal-Mart the better!

antinimby
April 3rd, 2007, 06:56 PM
Seriously, do we have to have parking for everything now?

We are the least auto-centric city in the nation.

A model for the rest of America actually, and yet our mentality is changing to become more like the rest of the country.

It's so ironic because many progressive cities all over the world (and many in this country as well), are promoting and moving towards dense city centers and mass transit while this city is shunning the very formula that helped made it successful in the first place.

I'm hearing politicians and community groups throughout the five boroughs praising low-density, spread out, non-mixed use developments and requiring builders to put in as much parking as possible for everything.

What the hell is going on with the people here?

Why should there be parking for this venue? Why do we have to make everything convenient to the driver?

This is not Paramus or Stamford, it's Manhattan. If you want to drive then you're gonna have to put up with not having parking readily available to you within a few feet of where you want to go.

And if there's no place to park or God forbid if you have to walk a little bit or take the subway, then that's too bad.

Don't come here if that is too much for you.

NYatKNIGHT
April 3rd, 2007, 07:00 PM
We need to immediately replace Central Park with a giant Pier-40-style subsidized parking lot and some soccer fields. Now that's what I call good planning.I understand this is sarcasm, but that's really no comparison. Are you saying you wouldn't mind if Cirque de Soleil set up in Central Park or your closet neighborhood park? Nobody would.

To be against Cirque de Soleil moving into a public park is not necessarily being anti-everything. It isn't radical to consider a public park off-limits to developers.

HRP and Pier 40 ought to serve the whole city, but that doesn't create an obligation to develop a major destination on its land.

I don't agree with all the community's arguments, but I do want open space and playing fields available in the city parks, particularly in that area where they are so scarce.

Cirque can claim their space in the surrounding streets of Hudson Square, or on another pier that isn't part of HRP, or at WTC like lofter suggested. BTW, that's best idea I’ve heard yet for that Performing Arts site there; people would actually go.

ZippyTheChimp
April 3rd, 2007, 07:38 PM
To be against Cirque de Soleil moving into a public park is not necessarily being anti-everything. It isn't radical to consider a public park off-limits to developers.This is a central point that involves several park sites across the city.

Just south at pier 26: The original plans called for a boathouse for kayaks, the Estuarium, and a small restaurant. In the latest plan, the restaurant has grown to 2 floors and 230 seats. The Estuarium has been eliminated, and the boathouse now has a design flaw - it's too small to store the larger kayaks. There is no need for a big destination-restaurant on the pier; there are many restaurants just a block away. It's revenue driven.

At Brooklyn Bridge Park, 8 of the 85 acres will contain condos. The city rationale is that residential development will return revenue with the smallest footprint. But they are comparing apples and oranges. The earlier plan had a swimming pool and skating rink on that footprint. They have been completely eliminated. Revenue driven.

Pier 40 is unique, but Cirque isn't. There are other sites that could accommodate it.

CBTwo
April 3rd, 2007, 08:03 PM
How about a "Shake Shack?" That might work.

It's been a long time since FedEx (along with Airborne) parked trucks in the courtyard of Pier 40 and there is considerably more turf at Pier 40 than just a roof top mini soccer field.

If the action time for PAC is not 9-5 then there is yet a bigger problem because UPS takes over the area from 5 to 12 at night and then again starting at 4 and going to 8 in the morning.

Unfortunately it is true that a lot of New Yorkers still use a car to get from point A to point B, but I don't believe most of those living in Manhattan drive around town. They take cabs or public transportation. A Manhattanite would have to be pretty stupid to take his car out of the garage to go twenty blocks only to park it in another garage. It's off island people for the most part that jam up the streets and parking lots.

pianoman11686
April 3rd, 2007, 08:32 PM
At Brooklyn Bridge Park, 8 of the 85 acres will contain condos. The city rationale is that residential development will return revenue with the smallest footprint.

But the rationale for self-sustainability through residential development has been advocated by the BBP Conservancy for years now. If anything, they probably convinced the city that's the preferred way to go.

ZippyTheChimp
April 3rd, 2007, 10:07 PM
But the rational for self-sustainability through residential development has been advocated by the BBP Conservancy for years nowWhat do you mean by "advocated?" Since the CP Conservancy never came out against traffic in the park, I suppose you could say they advocate it. And I don't know where you got that the BB Conservancy advocated 8 acres of condos years ago.


If anything, they probably convinced the city that's the preferred way to go.I think you mean the Brooklyn Bridge Development Corporation. They are analogous to the Hudson River Park Trust.

pianoman11686
April 3rd, 2007, 11:26 PM
I suppose you haven't gotten around to revisiting the thread on BBP, or reading through the link you provided me about the BBP Conservancy.

CBTwo
April 4th, 2007, 10:56 AM
WOW! Great that the Brooklyn Bridge Development Corporation is considering building condos on the bridge. It will be like the Ponte Vecchio in Florence except bigger. Great idea.

Can we get back to the subject of Pier 40 now?

londonlawyer
April 4th, 2007, 11:08 AM
It's absurd how New Yorkers are so anti-development. The PAC is the best proposal for this site. In other cities, such as London or Paris (or even Chicago), the residents would be enthusiastic about this proposal. In NY, however, the proletariat in rent-regulated buildings bemoan great additions to "their" neighborhoods. Other examples include the South Street Seaport proposal and the proposals for the Con Ed site.

Ninjahedge
April 4th, 2007, 12:08 PM
It's absurd how New Yorkers are so anti-development. The PAC is the best proposal for this site. In other cities, such as London or Paris (or even Chicago), the residents would be enthusiastic about this proposal. In NY, however, the proletariat in rent-regulated buildings bemoan great additions to "their" neighborhoods. Other examples include the South Street Seaport proposal and the proposals for the Con Ed site.

Why do you have to exaggerate it?

It is not the proletariat, and it is not even remotely connected to rent control or the people who have those units.

You may be valid in pointing out the reticence exhibited by the most outspoken, but please try not to drag every decried dogma into the discussion!!!

londonlawyer
April 4th, 2007, 12:11 PM
Why do you have to exaggerate it?...

Because I like to elicit reactions like yours. It adds color to debates.

ZippyTheChimp
April 4th, 2007, 12:21 PM
I suppose you haven't gotten around to revisiting the thread on BBP, or reading through the link you provided me about the BBP Conservancy.Yes i did, and you are still in error.

ZippyTheChimp
April 4th, 2007, 12:23 PM
It's absurd how New Yorkers are so anti-development. The PAC is the best proposal for this site. In other cities, such as London or Paris (or even Chicago), the residents would be enthusiastic about this proposal. In NY, however, the proletariat in rent-regulated buildings bemoan great additions to "their" neighborhoods. Other examples include the South Street Seaport proposal and the proposals for the Con Ed site.What an overblown post. Completely ignores what was posted before it.

Ninjahedge
April 4th, 2007, 02:08 PM
Because I like to elicit reactions like yours. It adds color to debates.

Yeah, the color "Murple". :rolleyes:

londonlawyer
April 4th, 2007, 02:16 PM
What's "murple"?

CBTwo
April 4th, 2007, 07:45 PM
London, Paris, Chicago would love to see a development like this because they need something to make them appear important again. They would love to invite the concept of "edgy culture" if the edgy ones would even bother looking their way. Get real, those cities are has beens. Why wasn't Philadelphia listed in those prime spots? It has the same kind of exciting draw. And, it's about as close to Pier 40 as most of the rest of New York City is.

I really don't want to get in a long drawn out discussion of colors for the up coming fashion season, but muddy purple is called "murple" I believe. A color between ... But this is not the place to discuss those subtleties.

"The PAC is the best proposal for this site." Huh? There were only two proposals for this last round of the invitational opening. Intelligent beings didn't want to waste their time and planning dollars coming up with alternatives because they were not economically feasible. It all comes down to "You can't get to there from here." INTERESTING IDEA. WRONG LOCATION!

South Street Seaport is what it is. Having submitted design concept and planning proposals for the "New South Street Seaport Museum" with legions of my fellow museum designers over the past four decades, we look at any RFP coming out of that organization as a joke. It's a slumpy, down at the docks event. No more. No less. Let the tourists buy their T shirts, get back on the bus and go home.

Ninjahedge
April 5th, 2007, 09:35 AM
What's "murple"?

The color of debate.


(BTW, defish love decolor murple.)

londonlawyer
April 5th, 2007, 10:19 AM
London, Paris, Chicago would love to see a development like this because they need something to make them appear important again. They would love to invite the concept of "edgy culture" if the edgy ones would even bother looking their way. Get real, those cities are has beens....

Are you kidding? London is constantly improving its cityscape while New Yorkers fight every proposal tooth and nail and end up with mediocrity. Miss Brooklyn would have been better if Gehry had freedom. Solow's Con Ed project would have been awesome and will wind up to be quite lame. I guarantee that Portzamparc will propose a masterpiece for Extell's site on the UWS and opposition ultimately will neuter it. In London and many other cities, civic pride rules; the proletariat does not.

Even if that were not the case, London and Paris are probably the two greatest cities in the world. Unlike NY, all of Central London and Paris are utterly beautiful. Parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn are beautiful, and yet on the same block as magnificent, well-kept structures are loads of run-down crap.

CBTwo
April 5th, 2007, 11:32 AM
Hmm? If you like London so much why don't you move back? That way you can chunnel back and forth to gay Paris. And with the two you will experience one quarter what you get here in Manhattan alone.

Run-down crap? How dare you call Pier 40 run-down crap?

NYatKNIGHT
April 6th, 2007, 09:30 AM
CBTwo, to call London a has-been city severely undercuts the credibility of your other arguments.

MidtownGuy
April 6th, 2007, 10:30 AM
PIER 40 IS RUN-DOWN CRAP. Demolish it ASAP and build the PAC. Send the kiddies to one of the other zillion ballfields in town. Push selfish luddites out of the way and build the PAC.
London and Paris are awesome.
PILE ON THE HUDSON:

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/246/448332428_ce9bab87f7_b.jpg

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/234/448332434_bbb7290284_b.jpg

NYatKNIGHT
April 6th, 2007, 10:44 AM
Pier 40 is a piece of crap. Demolish it ASAP and replace it with the park it should be. London and Paris are awesome - I'm sure neither would turn over their parks to Cirque de Soleil.

MidtownGuy
April 6th, 2007, 10:57 AM
Cirque is only a portion of the proposal. London and Paris would never keep that heap, they would create something special for sure, probably with some of the elements of this plan, if not Cirque. The point is, to have it exist as an eyesore parking lot/ball field is pathetic. The "People's Plan" (har har harty har har) looks like a correctional facility. PLEASE not that.

Ninjahedge
April 6th, 2007, 11:46 AM
P40 is an old warehouse. It still has the lift trusses all along the top FCS!

It is ugly and dismal and belongs top an era of industrialization that no longer exists here in NYC. We do not need it there as that and it should be removed.

Whatever is done with it after that should be done in careful moderation and close attension to avoid over-commercialization.

I would LOVE to see more restaurants and theaters and the like out on the piers, just so long as those restaurants are not Applebees and Pizzarea Uno's *cough*southstreet*cough*.

infoshare
April 6th, 2007, 11:59 AM
Even if that were not the case, London and Paris are probably the two greatest cities in the world. Unlike NY, all of Central London and Paris are utterly beautiful.


That gives me a great idea - this (http://www.supanova.ukf.net/photos/eye/eye-1.htm) - would be "brilliant". :D

londonlawyer
April 6th, 2007, 01:28 PM
Are you kidding? London is constantly improving its cityscape while New Yorkers fight every proposal tooth and nail and end up with mediocrity. Miss Brooklyn would have been better if Gehry had freedom. Solow's Con Ed project would have been awesome and will wind up to be quite lame. I guarantee that Portzamparc will propose a masterpiece for Extell's site on the UWS and opposition ultimately will neuter it. In London and many other cities, civic pride rules; the proletariat does not.

Even if that were not the case, London and Paris are probably the two greatest cities in the world. Unlike NY, all of Central London and Paris are utterly beautiful. Parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn are beautiful, and yet on the same block as magnificent, well-kept structures are loads of run-down crap.


NY needs to stop being arrogant and proclaiming it's the best in the world when it's not. It's in the top 3, but London and Paris are VASTLY better aesthetically. Moreover, unlike NY, they don't oppose great projects.

Samples of London:
http://www.foxtons.co.uk/r/chpk/57/46/chpk0266475/chpk0266475_large-1.jpg
http://lambcutlet.org/albums/London_January_2005/The_Royal_Courts_of_Justice.sized.jpg

New York:
http://www.bridgeandtunnelclub.com/bigmap/manhattan/midtown/23rdst/eastriver-park/05petercooper.jpg
http://www.bridgeandtunnelclub.com/bigmap/manhattan/midtown/23rdst/eastriver-park/16defranco.jpg
http://image63.webshots.com/163/7/56/57/465875657FoGemT_ph.jpg
In light of the foregoing comparison, NY should embrace bold, new projects. It should not resist them.

NYatKNIGHT
April 6th, 2007, 02:51 PM
^Could not agree more. The entire tow pound should be an amazing entertainment pier, and the seaport is a joke compared to what it could be. Neither of the two plans for pier 40 are the right plan. Get the park right without resorting to a giant parking lot or a literal circus. And there aren't a zillion ballfields, that's just silly. Here there's space for some, the only in the entire sliver of a park, and plenty of other things too.

londonlawyer
April 6th, 2007, 03:09 PM
^Could not agree more. The entire tow pound should be an amazing entertainment pier, and the seaport is a joke compared to what it could be. Neither of the two plans for pier 40 are the right plan. Get the park right without resorting to a giant parking lot or a literal circus. And there aren't a zillion ballfields, that's just silly. Here there's space for some, the only in the entire sliver of a park, and plenty of other things too.

It's true. NY is clearly among the three best cities in the world, but Paris and London, aesthetically at least, are vastly superior. NY could improve but whenever a developer wants to make something nice, people -- generally who don't own their apartments and therefore, lack an interest in the area appreciating -- go ballistic. Solow's Con Ed site and Ratner's Atlantic Yards are prime examples. As I have said previously, excluding Tudor City, the area around the Con Ed site is a dump. I used to live nearby. Solow planned something nice, but due to absurd opposition, something lame will rise there. Similarly, Flatbush Ave. in its current state is a slum. If Gehry had a free hand, Ratner would have built a masterpiece. However, opposition has resulted in a neutered project. NY's arrogance is misplaced.

Ninjahedge
April 6th, 2007, 03:40 PM
Use the liquor analogy.

London, Paris and NY are all top grade distilled booze.

But London and Paris have been allowed o sit in the barrel a little onlger and get a more rounded taste.

We are comparing an incomplete single malt to a 12-15 year old bottle of high-grade.

It is also that NY is really an influx of different cultures and developmental forces that are butting heads even now. They have not achieved equilibrium.



You think the bombings and fires in London may have had a lot to do with the better composition of the town? Reconstruction can go both ways (as seen in many disorganized crowded areas in Tokyo...) and I think London may have made the best of the destruction....




As for the pier, they need to take it right up the middle. Avoid chains and try to make it something that you can look at only a small part of, and still recoognise it around the world.

Putting athletic fields all along the water is a waste! We do need them, but that is certainly not the best place for them!!!

londonlawyer
April 6th, 2007, 03:51 PM
Use the liquor analogy.

London, Paris and NY are all top grade distilled booze.

But London and Paris have been allowed o sit in the barrel a little onlger and get a more rounded taste....

I respectfully disagree with your analogy. The overwhelming number of buildings that one sees today in London and Paris date from the mid to late 1800's onward. Those cities grew dramatically in the 19th century as did NY. NY, in 1940, was every bit as beautiful as London and Paris. Sadly, NY razed scores of magnificent structures and replaced them with crap. Paris and London kept its great buildings. Amazingly, NY has not learned its lesson, and greedy developers continue to raze or deface gems. Also, greedy property owners have stripped stunning details off of -- what were -- beautiful buildings.

Thus, it amazes me when the proletariat vociferously opposes grand new plans and yet delusionally think that this is the best city in the world. Riding past the Con Ed site on the way to the Midtown Tunnel or the filthy hospitals on First Ave. should readily dispel that delusion -- except in the eyes of the idiots who oppose Solow.

CBTwo
April 8th, 2007, 09:36 PM
I appreciate glimpses of London, but I don't think a large "Ferris Wheel" is what New York City needs at this time. The lovely row of townhouses view can be equalled if not exceeded by readily found streetscapes one can find either in the Village or off Fifth Avenue on the upper east side.

Granted New York has lost many significant structures of all eras, but that is due to its highly desirable and lucrative "terra firma."

Having worked with Sheldon S. back when he was building 9 west, I admired his attention to doing more than just building a building. He realized it had to be more than just square footage. I haven't been up to that site in over a decade. Did Sheldon finally do something with the subterranean space? But then again this thread is not about Mr. Solow and his plan to revitalize the New York architectural scene single handedly, it's about Pier 40.

Pier 40 was built as a passenger terminal not a freight terminal. If one would take the time to visit it's lobby they will see a tile mural showing the evolution of passenger ships into the port of New York. I'm not sure but I believe it's the Holland Line.

Granted the exterior of Pier 40 is not architecturally exciting and somewhat shabby in appearance, but that same canvas can be primed, "painted" and articulated to reflect a diversity that is appropriate to the location without a lot of swoopy hard to maintain architecture. One of the tenants that could be moved out to make the Pier more enticing and exciting is the HRPT which takes up a partial and easily accessible quadrant of the pier.

Ninjahedge
April 9th, 2007, 08:57 AM
I respectfully disagree with your analogy. The overwhelming number of buildings that one sees today in London and Paris date from the mid to late 1800's onward. Those cities grew dramatically in the 19th century as did NY. NY, in 1940, was every bit as beautiful as London and Paris. Sadly, NY razed scores of magnificent structures and replaced them with crap. Paris and London kept its great buildings. Amazingly, NY has not learned its lesson, and greedy developers continue to raze or deface gems. Also, greedy property owners have stripped stunning details off of -- what were -- beautiful buildings.

Thus, it amazes me when the proletariat vociferously opposes grand new plans and yet delusionally think that this is the best city in the world. Riding past the Con Ed site on the way to the Midtown Tunnel or the filthy hospitals on First Ave. should readily dispel that delusion -- except in the eyes of the idiots who oppose Solow.

How long were the people living there when those buildings went up.

How was the social dynamic at the time. Who decided what was going up and where.

That is what I was referring to, not the sheer physical age of the structures...

Ninjahedge
April 9th, 2007, 09:01 AM
Pier 40 was built as a passenger terminal not a freight terminal. If one would take the time to visit it's lobby they will see a tile mural showing the evolution of passenger ships into the port of New York. I'm not sure but I believe it's the Holland Line.

Look at the trusses on the roof.

I am sure they are not for picking passengers off any boats.

Also, it looks like it has 2 stories of doors, again not something that is used for people, but rather box-car loading and unloading.

It may have been originally designed for people, but that place screams cargo.

CBTwo
April 9th, 2007, 12:19 PM
As I mentioned earlier Airborne Express and Fed Ex used the facility until a few years ago, but that was not it's original purpose. I believe the Pier was built in the early or mid fifties for the Holland American Line. Some of their ships might have carried cargo also, therefore the roof top "cranes" perhaps. I don't believe any rail tracks were laid to the pier. By the time it was built in the early '30's the highline was the path used by freight trains.

If you look at the newer piers up in the 50's they also have double height floors, and they obviously are not freight terminals.

CBTwo
April 13th, 2007, 04:51 PM
downtownexpress.com

Volume 19 Issue 48 | April 13 - 19, 2007

Talking Points
The pier’s a park, not a parkway

By Tobi Bergman

Picture a fine evening in June in the waterfront park. It’s 7 p.m. and the tail end of rush hour traffic is inching toward the Holland Tunnel. The heat of the day is yielding to a river breeze and the Greenway is jam-packed: cyclists and runners, skaters and strollers, commuting, exercising, grooving. But now, throngs of tourists are arriving at Pier 40 to experience elegant outdoor dining offered at five hip new restaurants with Statue of Liberty views. Taxis and limos are lining up to turn right or left into multiple Pier 40 driveways from Route 9A, creating havoc as they try to cross the crowded Greenway to get their fares to Cirque du Soleil and two other large event venues. Tempers fray and horns blow. Where’s the community in this picture? And where’s the park?

The Hudson River Park Trust is considering a misguided proposal to convert the biggest property in the park into a 10,000-seat, entertainment mega-complex at a site with no nearby subway.

The Pier 40 Performing Arts Center proposal by Related Companies would cover Pier 40 with a dozen buildings, using the public space as a campus environment for large entertainment venues, restaurants, and retail stores. It would sever the continuity that is an important feature of the Hudson River Park plan and mar the enlightened vision of ringing our island as much as possible with places for a riverside respite. It would overwhelm the popular bike and walking paths with high-volume crossing traffic. Fields in a park would be replaced by fields on a garage roof. (Hot and cold weather limit use on the pier’s existing rooftop field.) The immense scale of the project makes it incompatible with the park. People are calling it Vegas on the Hudson.

Pier 40 is a park in park-starved Downtown Manhattan. Children from thousands of families and dozens of schools love to play in the safe and clean environment of the beautiful new courtyard fields. Families choose not to leave the city because of the sense of community they find there. Halfway between 14th and Chambers Sts., the 15-acre pier is the most important opportunity for new open space in Downtown Manhattan, where land is so pricey.

The 1998 Hudson River Park Act allows commercial development at three sites in the park to support park operations, but construction of the park is the responsibility of the city and the state. Commercial uses must be “park-compatible” and residential and office developments are not allowed. Pier 40 is one of the sites, but space equal to 50 percent of its footprint is reserved for park use.

When the Trust looked for Pier 40 developers five years ago, none of the proposals were worthy of this public resource. The Trust did the right thing: they rejected all of the plans and made good on a five-year-old promise to build sports fields in the huge central courtyard of the pier.

The Trust began the same failed Request for Proposals process last year, again without first engaging the communities from Tribeca to Hell’s Kitchen for whom the outcome is of immense importance. The reasons for failure the first time were embedded in the site’s constraints. This time there is a new constraint: the thousands of children and adults who now enjoy playing on the fields won’t accept anything less than the wonderful facility they have.

The R.F.P. did not include the two most important numbers developers needed to know: how much investment in pier infrastructure would the Trust require and how much does it need to maintain the park? The glib response we’ve heard, “there’s no such thing as too much money,” is the wrong answer. More investment and higher rent payments will always come with more intense commercial use at the expense of the park. Indeed, the Trust encouraged inappropriate development by asking developers to pay for “future development of system-wide park assets,” going beyond the income for park operations that is allowed by the act.

Related Companies cannot be faulted for putting substantial resources into a good faith effort responding to the R.F.P. But the Trust’s process is not worthy of the pier’s value. It does not adequately engage the communities with the most to win or lose. It does not look for income opportunities that do not undermine the park.

This time around, in a city full of developers, there was even less interest in Pier 40 than there had been in 2002. The only other R.F.P. response came after a chance encounter I had with the leader of a non-profit group that raises money for high schools. I suggested he expand recreational opportunities at the pier without disrupting current successful uses, since the group was losing gym space at Basketball City. On very short notice, his group joined with a developer to fashion a proposal called The People’s Pier. The developers offer a good future for the pier, but still need to prove they have enough money.

At a public hearing on May 3, our neighborhoods will have an opportunity to speak out against a bad proposal. We can also support continuing the current successful uses at Pier 40, either by choosing The People’s Pier or once again choosing none of the above. Fortunately, P.S. 41, at 11th St. and Sixth Ave., where the hearing will be held, does have nearby subway stations.

Save the date and don’t be late!

pianoman11686
April 13th, 2007, 06:09 PM
More of the same mindless drivel.

antinimby
April 13th, 2007, 06:11 PM
Unfortunately, that kind of mindless drivel is exactly what ends up getting through.

MidtownGuy
April 13th, 2007, 06:48 PM
Ay, not this Bergman character again.:rolleyes:

CBTwo
April 13th, 2007, 07:21 PM
YEP. It's him again. A voice of reason.

Perhaps the train yard could use a circus? It's big enough. All those convention goers spilling out of the Javits Center could just go across the street and take in a venue. The only thing missing is the inclusion of the knock off dealers from Canal street and their visit would be perfect.

I can see their glowing correspondence back to Topeka, "Glady's you wont believe how exciting New York City is. I just left my hotel room, went to the convention center, then saw a devine circus show with clowns, and bought an LV bag all in one afternoon. Kermit is taking a trip up to 42nd street to check out the hookers. Oh it's so great to visit here, but I would never live here. The burgers are so expensive "

antinimby
April 13th, 2007, 08:21 PM
YEP. It's him again. A voice of reason.
Perhaps the train yard could use a circus? It's big enough. All those convention goers spilling out of the Javits Center could just go across the street and take in a venue. The only thing missing is the inclusion of the knock off dealers from Canal street and their visit would be perfect.
I can see their glowing correspondence back to Topeka, "Glady's you wont believe how exciting New York City is. I just left my hotel room, went to the convention center, then saw a devine circus show with clowns, and bought an LV bag all in one afternoon. Kermit is taking a trip up to 42nd street to check out the hookers. Oh it's so great to visit here, but I would never live here. The burgers are so expensive "^ That would still be a whole lot better than this:

"Gladys, you won't believe how dull and overrated New York is. I just left my hotel room, went to the convention center, then walked by a dreary looking ballfield on a pier. There was nothing to do or see other than watching a bunch of people playing basketball and kids kicking a soccer ball around. I paid for a plane ticket and an overpriced hotel room just for this?

I could've stayed in Topeka and seen the same thing and I didn't even have to spend a dime. Gosh, and they said New York was so exciting and everything...geez!"

CBTwo
April 13th, 2007, 09:13 PM
I have no problem with the concept of people from Topeka staying in Kansas.

I doubt they would walk thirty blocks south from the convention center along the Hudson River in mid winter to pass by Pier 40 and be exposed to a soccer game, or take such a walk down to Pier 40 for a "lucheon" just to see the Statue of Liberty off in the distance with the other girls from Milwaukee. Big deal they see some water taxi goes by every twenty minutes and an occasional barge being pulled by a tug. Hardly the excitement of Monte Carlo at Grand Prix time.

Mildred would more likely attend a matinee performance up in the tourist district as Walter and his convention buddies check out the hotties at Bloomingdales' perfume counters and if he was really adventurous he would have a pint of Guiness at P.J. Clarkes afterward.

Face it. People can't get to Pier 40 too easily to make it a viable tourist destination.

antinimby
April 13th, 2007, 09:45 PM
I have no problem with the concept of people from Topeka staying in Kansas.Of course. Your type would rather everyone stayed away from Manhattan altogether, specifically from CB2, and leave the whole place just for you and your lovely friends (and their pooches, don't forget those pooches).


I doubt they would walk thirty blocks south from the convention center along the Hudson River in mid winter to pass by Pier 40 and be exposed to a soccer game, or take such a walk down to Pier 40 for a "lucheon" just to see the Statue of Liberty off in the distance with the other girls from Milwaukee.You made up that scenario. I just played along with it.

**********************
Btw MidtownGuy, your PM storage folder is completely full. PM's to you are getting returned.

CBTwo
April 13th, 2007, 10:38 PM
Your type? Is that similar to you people? Didn't Imus get in trouble using that type of phrase?

I would prefer that those people that live outside of CB 2 stay there. I rarely venture north of 14th and east of Broadway and would prefer those people to respect there lot in life and not venture into mine. On occasion I drift south of Canal, but it is a rare occasion indeed. Why should one?

antinimby
April 13th, 2007, 10:44 PM
No honey, Imus used much more stronger language. Read up on your news.

As for everyone staying in their own districts, I guess I don't need to respond because clearly, everyone can see what we're dealing with.

londonlawyer
April 14th, 2007, 12:39 AM
New Yorkers would tenaciously fight a proposal like the following one in London just like they're fighting PAC's great plan. That's why NY is like crap compared to London. The city that was born 400 years ago refuses to improve. The one that was created 2,000 years ago embraces positive change!

Only in NY would a developer, such as Ratner, be forced to disclose his profit margin and attacked for making too much money when he is building something that will transform a filthy and disgusting street like Flatbush!

AJPlus.co.uk
Published 13 April 2007 at 11:47
Design competition for London’s biggest new public square for 50 years



The AJ can exclusively reveal plans for an international competition to design the largest public square to be created in London for more than half a century.
Part of developer Argent’s redevelopment of the King’s Cross area, the square will become an integral part of the overhauled railway station, and will be bigger than any other new space created in central London for more than 50 years.

The scheme relies on planning approval from Camden Council for a new station concourse, by McAslan + Partners, which will allow for the existing entrance to be demolished, creating space for the new square.

However, it is unlikely that the planning application will meet with a great deal of opposition – King’s Cross will prove instrumental to the London 2012 Olympic Games, with the ‘Javelin’ train service from central London serving the Olympic Park, and neighbouring St Pancras station about to begin its new role as a Eurostar terminus.

The new square is yet to become part of London Mayor Ken Livingstone’s 100 Public Spaces programme. But Peter Bishop, director of Design for London, said that due to the sheer scale of the square it will only be a matter of time before it becomes so.

Bishop has been involved in the project from the off, and recommended the competition during his time as a senior mandarin at Camden Council.

Bishop says: ‘The space is roughly half the size of Trafalgar Square, and it will reveal the front of King’s Cross for the first time in about 140 years. This is a project that needs to be treated with an awful lot of respect.

‘Design for London is therefore very keen for a design competition to take place.’

The competition is likely to attract some of the biggest names in architecture, all of whom will be vying for an opportunity to showcase their work when this area becomes the major entry point of visitors to London.

A Network Rail spokesman said: ‘We can confirm there will be a design competition. The current 1970s entrance only had 30 years’ planning approval, so we have had to renew it every year.

‘Once we are able to demolish that structure we will be able to create a great new canvas in the centre of London.’

ZippyTheChimp
April 14th, 2007, 01:28 AM
Only in NY would a developer, such as Ratner, be forced to disclose his profit margin and attacked for making too much money when he is building something that will transform a filthy and disgusting street like Flatbush!

Atlantic Yards, and your previous example -Con Ed, are residential/commercial developments, not parks.

Again, you refuse to grasp the fact that the issue is content, not appearance. Just because something looks better doesn't mean it's the right choice.

A circus and big restaurant are destination venues. A neighborhood park should service the neighborhoods it runs through. Lower Manhattan has been the fastest growing part of the city for some time, but hardly any new athletic facilities have been added. Pier 40 is one of few opportunities for this on what is essentially a linear park.

Rather than go on about how New York doesn't develop, why don't you tell me why YOU need to have the circus at this particular spot. Do you even care about the circus, or just that it will look good?

MidtownGuy
April 14th, 2007, 09:01 AM
I would prefer that those people that live outside of CB 2 stay there. I rarely venture north of 14th and east of Broadway and would prefer those people to respect there lot in life and not venture into mine.

With this statement, you have lost any credibility, not that you had any to begin with. Beyond the alarming sentiment you've expressed above, there are so many exagerrations and stereotypes in your posts that it's hard to take you seriously.

ZippyTheChimp
April 14th, 2007, 10:57 AM
"Gladys, you won't believe how dull and overrated New York is. I just left my hotel room, went to the convention center, then walked by a dreary looking ballfield on a pier.

I could've stayed in Topeka and seen the same thing and I didn't even have to spend a dime. Gosh, and they said New York was so exciting and everything...geez!"Of course, this scenario assumes that there is nothing else to do in New York, which may or may not be the situation in Topeka.

It's a wonder we've been able to attract over 40 million people a year without anything at pier 40.

What has Greenwich Village built to specifically attract tourists? Their principal park has what, a fountain and an arch. "Hey Gladys, doesn't Kansas city have more fountains per acre than anyplace?"

Isn't hyperbole pointless?

If someone comes to New York to see a play, they're not going to be disappointed that there's no theater at Pier 40. Same for a museum, or a circus.

Both plans suck. But one sucks more, because it ignores what Pier 40 is.

MidtownGuy
April 14th, 2007, 11:03 AM
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/203/458731126_89605ae207_b.jpg

One of my biggest concerns about the Pier 40 plan above is the same issue that makes me hate Chelsea Piers- the way it presents itself to the parkway with a monotonous face and breaks up the continuity, the feeling of park. Just like at Chelsea Piers, there will be cars going in and out constantly so I'm not sure it's fair to keep criticising the PAC plan for the traffic it will generate. It's sort of misleading because Pier 40, according to the plan would host sporting events so that also generates at least some additional traffic. Many Cirque events would be happening at night anyway when daytime business traffic is less. Look, there will be traffic no matter what. The area is growing and there are pressures that will bring development. Development brings traffic. This is Lower Manhattan we're talking about. Trump's tower(good or bad) will be going up. There are other
developments, too numerous for me to list, up and down the highway that are or will be adding traffic. The PAC plan, at least, is porous (Ablarc's perfect description). It is inviting and energetic:

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/195/458742397_7a98a06f3e_o.jpg

It is integrated with the rest of the HRP. At the same time it presents itself as an attractive locus , almost an "emerald city" that one happens upon as one is moving along the Park.
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/175/458742407_9bf12f9947_o.jpg
That's a great thing!
This isn't just about looking good,(which is pretty important with a park anyway, isn't it?), this is about Manhattan's waterfront finally getting something in a class with the things that other world cities of this caliber can boast of.
Just speaking for myself, the Cirque component of the PAC plan is the one that I'm thinking about least. Again, I like it's porous multi-functionality, and what it offers to all New Yorkers and also to tourists. This is Manhattan after all. That part of Lower Manhattan will be developed in the 21st century. No one is saying that the people living closest to it should be mistreated or ignored. Just that this is something good for the city as a whole. It's something rare and wonderful, having a type of vision and excitement that I'm struggling hard to find in many other New York developments.
I really don't think this will be a nightmare of bumper-to-bumper honking horns the way the opponents like to exaggerate. Plenty of New Yorkers will get there the same way they get to other places more than a few blocks from a subway...the footleather express!

londonlawyer
April 14th, 2007, 12:13 PM
Atlantic Yards, and your previous example -Con Ed, are residential/commercial developments, not parks.

Again, you refuse to grasp the fact that the issue is content, not appearance. Just because something looks better doesn't mean it's the right choice.

A circus and big restaurant are destination venues. A neighborhood park should service the neighborhoods it runs through. Lower Manhattan has been the fastest growing part of the city for some time, but hardly any new athletic facilities have been added. Pier 40 is one of few opportunities for this on what is essentially a linear park.

Rather than go on about how New York doesn't develop, why don't you tell me why YOU need to have the circus at this particular spot. Do you even care about the circus, or just that it will look good?

The PAC will have movie theatres, restaurants, shops, and the circus, and it will be a beautifully landscaped area. Therefore, it will be a great place to see a movie and then have dinner by the river or to go for drinks or a coffee on a weekend afternoon. All people of all ages will enjoy it. The sports plan will appeal only to a limited segment of the population. Senior citizens and moms with kids won't be playing sports there. Also, while there should be sports fields in the city, this land in 20 years may be among the most valuable property in the world. Therefore, dedicating it to playing football, baseball, soccer, etc. would properly make it so underutilized.

infoshare
April 14th, 2007, 12:56 PM
I would prefer that those people that live outside of CB 2 stay there.

When I moved into soho in the early 80s I used the public parking facility on the roof of that structure. I - and a few other lucky folks - were the only people who got to enjoy the spectacular views and cool waterfront breezes from the top of pier 40. That just seemed wrong to me at the time, - and now some 25 years later - it still seems wrong.

Read the recent posts from CB2: that attitude is exactly what I have found to be the prevailing view of the "community" ; and I personally know most of the more vocal members of that self-serving cabal.

Simple question: out of the 365 days in a given year - how many days will the roof/field and surrounding piers be of use to the "public". Simple Answer: not many.

Lets go on for another 25 years quibbling about the PERFECT use for this location: I am sure CB2 would love that. I just do not understand how some people think.

lofter1
April 14th, 2007, 08:42 PM
Movie theaters at Pier 40???

That would be a ridiculous waste of public space. The access / transportation issue renders Pier 40 a less than viable location for movie goers. Compare the theaters in BPC, just a short distance to the south, which are comparatively easy to reach via public transportation or via a short walk from residences in BPC. Even with the easy access the number of theaters was cut in half from when it originally opened (granted the fall out from 9/11 had something to do with that). However those theaters are some of the lower grossing cinemas in NYC -- a sure sign that they are underutilized and that additional, less accessible theaters are not needed.

In the cold weather months from January to March I'd be willing to bet that hardly anyone will venture to Pier 40 -- on foot or otherwise -- to go to a film.

Conversely the athletic fields at Pier 40 are used year around. Nothing hypothetical about that.

antinimby
April 15th, 2007, 07:21 PM
Okay, so far we've heard that one major problem with the PAC is traffic because it will draw too many people. Now we're hearing that there won't be enough interest from people to justify it.

I guess the anti-PAC people here will try every and all possible angles just to make their case, ridiculous or not.

Fact is, the PAC will not only attract more people throughout the year but will attract a more diverse segment of the public.

That is because it has more varied offerings (shops, restaurants, theatres, entertainment, clubs, dining halls, skating rinks, etc.) of which a good proportion is indoors so weather is irrelevant, whereas the athletic proposal caters to only a portion of the sports-oriented community--mainly young males and some kids, not to mention it's mostly outdoors, so good luck come heat, cold, wind, rain, sleet or snow.

So much for serving the needs of the community more...

And as for the earlier comment about someone being only concern about the "looks" of a proposal...well, you're darn right looks is everything.

Why do people pay more for a Versace instead of a Walmart label? Why do we prefer a Mercedes over a Buick? Why do guys want Selma Hayek instead of Rosie O'Donnell or Brad Pitt over Danny Devito?

It's the looks, honey! :snaps finger:

And this is where that comparison to the theatre (housed in a non-descript brick box) at Battery Park City is completely off the mark because it has a very closed off, uninteresting and unwelcoming face, which btw the People's park has a lot in common with (as is the unloved Chelsea Piers).

The PAC, meanwhile, corrects all that and has an entirely different approach. It is fun-looking, friendly, lively, interesting and attractive.

Let's leave the warehouse, corrugated metal-looking mistakes back in the 90's where it belongs.

ZippyTheChimp
April 15th, 2007, 08:26 PM
And as for the earlier comment about someone being only concern about the "looks" of a proposal...well, you're darn right looks is everything.

Why do people pay more for a Versace instead of a Walmart label? Why do we prefer a Mercedes over a Buick? Why do guys want Selma Hayek instead of Rosie O'Donnell or Brad Pitt over Danny Devito?

It's the looks, honey! :snaps finger:
Before you snap your fingers, you should make sure you have correctly followed the argument.

Walmart and Versace are both, what? Cllothes.

Mercedes and Buick are both, what? Cars.

Should I continue with your other examples, or do you now get it?


And this is where that comparison to the theatre (housed in a non-descript brick box) at Battery Park City is completely off the mark because it has a very closed off, uninteresting and unwelcoming face, which btw the People's park has a lot in common with (as is the unloved Chelsea Piers)You're just speculating, but incorrect.

There were originally 16. and generally supported by the neighborhood, and The WTC, etc. It was cut to 8 for obvious reasons. It has always been a neighborhood theater, and was wanted because it was the only one in the area. It's popularity, or lack of it, has nothing to do with the looks of the building.

Londonlawyer: You didn't really answer my question. Well, maybe you did. Never mind.

antinimby
April 15th, 2007, 10:02 PM
Should I continue with your other examples, or do you now get it?I'm sorry, but you're not getting it.

Clothes, cars, people, food, buildings, pets or whatever, everything is about looks. Appearance and presentation is very important.

Why else would we want Foster or Calatrava designing something for us instead of a Kaufman?

What bother spending millions and billions restoring façades on buildings?

Why have expensive fountains at Columbus Circle when the city should have left it as a plain concrete traffic circle? It would've been a lot less expensive. I can go on and on.

The plain simple truth is that people do care, both consciously and subconsciously, what each and everything look like. There's just no denying it, no matter how much we want to believe it isn't.


It's popularity, or lack of it, has nothing to do with the looks of the building.And what makes you so certain of that?

ZippyTheChimp
April 15th, 2007, 11:17 PM
I'm sorry, but you're not getting it.
Clothes, cars, people, food, buildings, pets or whatever, everything is about looks. Appearance and presentation is very important.
You are such a hopeless case.

What I said:

the issue is content, not appearance. Just because something looks better doesn't mean it's the right choice. Translation: When you have two things that are basically different approaches, the most important thing to decide first is what approach is better. Ignoring that and deciding just based on appearance is ridiculous. I did not state or imply that "appearance isn't important." You're just not reading it correctly. Hint: the phrase doesn't mean is important.


I can go on and on.Please don't.


And what makes you so certain of that?I've lived there since before the theaters were built. They were requested by the neighborhood when the hotel was planned. I've been in there many times. They were reasonably successful before 09/11. By Manhattan standards, the interiors are better than average. By my observation, many movie theaters in Manhattan look like crap on the outside, and are successful.

So, what makes you so certain of your statement? Where do you live? Have you gone to many movies there?

Ninjahedge
April 16th, 2007, 10:11 AM
As I mentioned earlier Airborne Express and Fed Ex used the facility until a few years ago, but that was not it's original purpose. I believe the Pier was built in the early or mid fifties for the Holland American Line. Some of their ships might have carried cargo also, therefore the roof top "cranes" perhaps. I don't believe any rail tracks were laid to the pier. By the time it was built in the early '30's the highline was the path used by freight trains.

If you look at the newer piers up in the 50's they also have double height floors, and they obviously are not freight terminals.

I am not saying double height floors.

I am saying they have two floors each with a set of doors. That way, you can liet a boxcar to the second floor, open the door, and load it directly there.

It is a very common design and was used at many of the freight and building material shippuing docks (like the Ford Plant/pier in NJ).

Ninjahedge
April 16th, 2007, 10:18 AM
The PAC will have movie theatres, restaurants, shops, and the circus, and it will be a beautifully landscaped area. Therefore, it will be a great place to see a movie and then have dinner by the river or to go for drinks or a coffee on a weekend afternoon. All people of all ages will enjoy it. The sports plan will appeal only to a limited segment of the population. Senior citizens and moms with kids won't be playing sports there. Also, while there should be sports fields in the city, this land in 20 years may be among the most valuable property in the world. Therefore, dedicating it to playing football, baseball, soccer, etc. would properly make it so underutilized.


Um, how big do you think this pier IS?

Hate to tell you, but having been to Cirq, the pier itself, in its entirety, would find it difficult to hold the whole thing!

We are starting to get silly with the examples here. I do not think piers make the best athletic parks, period. They make good places for gatherings (Like the swing dancing thing they had this summer, concerts, movies and the like). They also are wasted on pure commercial development.

I think they need to be sort of a hybrid. A performance space maybe, with lots of open air seating and a nice venue towards landside that would allow some restaurants and the like. You try to force too many thnigs in there, or dominance by one or another and you get some really lame designs.

ZippyTheChimp
April 16th, 2007, 10:23 AM
Also, while there should be sports fields in the city, this land in 20 years may be among the most valuable property in the world. Therefore, dedicating it to playing football, baseball, soccer, etc. would properly make it so underutilized.You can make that argument for any park in Manhattan.

CBTwo
April 16th, 2007, 10:25 AM
Okay, so far we've heard that one major problem with the PAC is traffic because it will draw too many people. Now we're hearing that there won't be enough interest from people to justify it.

I guess the anti-PAC people here will try every and all possible angles just to make their case, ridiculous or not.

Fact is, the PAC will not only attract more people throughout the year but will attract a more diverse segment of the public.

That is because it has more varied offerings (shops, restaurants, theatres, entertainment, clubs, dining halls, skating rinks, etc.) of which a good proportion is indoors so weather is irrelevant, whereas the athletic proposal caters to only a portion of the sports-oriented community--mainly young males and some kids, not to mention it's mostly outdoors, so good luck come heat, cold, wind, rain, sleet or snow.

I guess it is a "Damned if you do, damned if you don't." scenario for Pier 40. If the PAC scheme is successful then it will be due to the volume of traffic arriving by car, cab or tour bus to the pier... because they wont be arriving by mass transit. If they don't arrive by the above means then it will be a failure due to lack of visitors.

And if you took time to visit Pier 40 in use you will see it's not only young males using the sports facility there are a lot of females of varying ages using the field. Also the field is used all year around, "in heat, cold, wind, rain, sleet or snow," if HRPT allows players on the field. Soccer players are a hardy group. Just think how great the facility would be if they "bubbled" over the roof and provided decent lighting.

There is a passive recreation area on the roof, but hardly anyone uses it because they have to walk up the stairs of what would be a five story building. I guess they would consider that too active, so they skip that experience.

I don't know what you mean by a more diverse group using the pier. There are a lot of parents and friends that are not actively using the fields but are there to watch family and friends. And they are a very diverse group to say the least.

It would be nice if they put a restaurant on the pier, even if it was only the weekends. The pier is now served on weekends by a hot dog cart with crappy food and crappy prices.

ZippyTheChimp
April 16th, 2007, 10:30 AM
Um, how big do you think this pier IS?

I do not think piers make the best athletic parks, period.It could hold Yankee Stadium.

CBTwo
April 16th, 2007, 11:52 AM
Other than the east side fields at the foot of Houston Street, and the DeWitt Clinton field at 54th and the West side highway, where else are there useable adult sized field space available for all the highschools and residents located south of 55th Street? Not to mention those that come from out of the area to enjoy those fields at Pier 40.

Pier 40 allows multi sports events to go on simultaneously. Sure it needs work, but it should build on it's success that it has already, not a total demolition to suit a venue that is totally speculative.

One has to look past the renderings of the PAC concept, with it's zoomy architecture and tent structures of limited function except to make the architecture look softer, and more "exciting." Are those the same type structures that they put up at the Intrepid site to shield the visiting hordes under a blistering August sun?

Ninjahedge
April 16th, 2007, 12:04 PM
It could hold Yankee Stadium.

Maybe the Yanks should have built there then!!! ;)

It could hold the Cirq tent, but it was rather large when all the other stuff was around it when it was over at Liberty SP....

Also, most people here are saying that it could hold Cirq AND a bunch of other stuff....... so.........

ZippyTheChimp
April 16th, 2007, 12:28 PM
Maybe the Yanks should have built there then!!! ;)I'll bet it was considered when they were looking in Manhattan in the 90s.


/It could hold the Cirq tent, but it was rather large when all the other stuff was around it when it was over at Liberty SP....
I don't think the amount of space is the problem at the pier, although when the circus was using the still unbuilt land in BPC south, it did cover a lot of area.

I still think the bigger problem is the circus itself. If people are looking for a Sydney in the Harbor, then it should be Governors Island. There is already a proposal to adapt Castle William into a theater; the circus would be a good addition. There are no residents to complain; there's plenty of land; and they are looking for investment to draw people to the island.

pianoman11686
April 16th, 2007, 04:08 PM
Can we please get two things straight here?

1. There's no possibility of a "circus" coming to Pier 40. This is a form of human performing theater. They do not use any animals in their performances. Referring to it as a "circus" is just another way the community of CB2 paints the PAC proposal as an egregious misuse of land. It's not a circus, and they don't need to be in a place as large as MSG to do their act.

2. Is there anything logical at all in the argument that an outdoor-based, athletics-targeted facility will be used during more days in the year, and by more people, than the PAC proposal? If there is, I'd like to know.

ZippyTheChimp
April 16th, 2007, 04:22 PM
1. The company calls it a circus. In Europe, a circus typically does not have animals. What do animals have to do with the price of fish?

2. Don't know. But the only two athletic fields in the area are so overused, there is a reversal of opinion over the playing surface. Once rejected outright, artificial turf is now being considered.

pianoman11686
April 16th, 2007, 04:36 PM
Traditional circuses rely heavily on using animals, especially big ones. Also common to traditional circuses are clowns, corny music, and any other form of human or animal "novelty." Cirque du Soleil is a form of the modern circus movement, which isn't just found in Europe. It's more a form of theater and dance.


The company calls it a circus.

Have you ever heard anyone refer to them as the "Circus of the Sun"?

Ninjahedge
April 16th, 2007, 04:58 PM
Traditional circuses rely heavily on using animals, especially big ones. Also common to traditional circuses are clowns, corny music, and any other form of human or animal "novelty." Cirque du Soleil is a form of the modern circus movement, which isn't just found in Europe. It's more a form of theater and dance.

STOP THE FRIGGING NITPICKING!!!!

IT CALLS ITSELF THE CIRCUS OF THE SUN! If YOU don't like it, ask THEM to change their name!

Geez man! Let it GO already!


Have you ever heard anyone refer to them as the "Circus of the Sun"?

No more than Ringling brothers is the "Circus of the Three Rings". You are really grasping here Piano. Just try to stay on target here.


Hehehe.


Womprats.

ZippyTheChimp
April 16th, 2007, 05:28 PM
How bizarre.

CBTwo
April 16th, 2007, 07:23 PM
No animals? Who would ever go to a circus without performing animals? (No offense intended Zippy) If it's a bunch of acrobats and high wire artistes they could do that on any theater stage. Why would they need to be surrounded by shops, restaurants and a few farmers selling their goods on the waterfront?

Is the PAC concept kind of like Pier 17 down at the South Street Seaport, but without a nautical theme? You know, with retailers like Sharper Image and Lids, as well as other mall type stores including my favorite, Victoria's Secret. Restaurants like Sbarro's, Papaya King, Ray's Famous and Cipriani on the Hudson.

What part or parts of the PAC plan is so appealing? Forget the renderings which are just that, concept renderings. How many buildings have you seen that look like their renderings after they are built?

Without major modification the Pier could accommodate large performances. All is needed is a portable seating system. And again to make it available for year around performances, some type of roof system that protects the space from the elements.

antinimby
April 16th, 2007, 07:43 PM
What I said:
Translation: When you have two things that are basically different approaches, the most important thing to decide first is what approach is better. Ignoring that and deciding just based on appearance is ridiculous. I did not state or imply that "appearance isn't important." You're just not reading it correctly. Hint: the phrase doesn't mean is important.No one is basing it only appearance alone. You were the one that jumped on londonlawyer and accused him of only caring about the appearance of the proposals.

How did you know that he didn't take purpose and use into account when he formed his opinion?

If he is anything like me, then the fact that if offers a more wider variety of venues that I feel will appeal more to the general public is also a determing factor in my opinion.

Appearance regardless of where one places it on the priority list, only made it even more compelling to choose the PAC proposal.


I've lived there since before the theaters were built. They were requested by the neighborhood when the hotel was planned. I've been in there many times. They were reasonably successful before 09/11. By Manhattan standards, the interiors are better than average. By my observation, many movie theaters in Manhattan look like crap on the outside, and are successful.
So, what makes you so certain of your statement? Where do you live? Have you gone to many movies there?Let's not try that "I've lived here all my life and I know this place better than you" angle in order to show that your assessment is any more valid than mine.

One does not need to live in Battery Park City to know that this theatre suffers from one drawback that other theatres in another part of the city do not.

It is not located in a high traffic, regular street. With that disadvantage, it would be even more of necessity to get the design (thus appearance) right but they didn't.

As a passerby, no one would know that a theatre existed there. The appearance of the building it's housed in does not help in that regard.

That is something that does not require someone, who has an eye for those things, to live there since its inception to understand.

antinimby
April 16th, 2007, 07:55 PM
And if you took time to visit Pier 40 in use you will see it's not only young males using the sports facility there are a lot of females of varying ages using the field.That is just your opinion, which is safe to say, a bit on the biased side.

I've seen enough of all athletic fields to know that only a certain limited segment of the population uses those facilities. Of course, there would be some females and older persons using them, but they are uncommon.

I'd even wager that only a limited portion of the young male population would use them. Not many people in the general population are into athletics.


Just think how great the facility would be if they "bubbled" over the roof and provided decent lighting.No need to imagine how great a bubble would do. It's not part of the proposal. Most of the fields are open air. I'd like to see you go kick a soccer ball around in 20 degree weather.

CBTwo
April 16th, 2007, 08:12 PM
You would be surprised at how many girl soccer teams as well as mixed gender teams use the facility. For games and for practise.

Unfortunately there are a lot of people that are not into active sports, and unfortunately there are few time slots available at Pier 40 for the "older set" to play. I tried to get some field space for a "senior" softball league but there was no field time available.

There are a lot of people that don't go to Broadway plays, or to Madison Square Garden, or "concerts in the park." Should those venues be closed because "everyone" doesn't go to them? How about the Metropolitan Opera, an all time money loser that keeps on going. Ballet anyone? Art Museums? Poetry readings at the Ear Inn? What should be closed because "everyone" doesn't go there?

The Pier 40 facilities are maxed out now because of the stop gap method that was used to provide "something" in lieu of nothing that came out of the first round of proposals.

I am not a soccer player, but I do park on the roof of the pier and I can assure you that I have seen soccer players shovel the snow off the field (when the rooftop field was the only field open) and play at 11 o'clock at night in 20 degree weather.

It's back to the drawing board again.

antinimby
April 16th, 2007, 08:27 PM
^ That's why the PAC is better because even if you don't go there to see a show, you can still go there for dining, an exhibit, shopping and a movie.

With the athletic fields, if you're not interested in participating in sports, which even you admit most people don't, then there's absolutely no reason for anyone to go there.

As for the people shoveling snow to play soccer, those are diehards. I'd put those crazies in the same category as those that go surfing when a hurricane is approaching.

MidtownGuy
April 16th, 2007, 08:47 PM
I think for the average person spending an afternoon in the park, the PAC looks to be a really great place to linger regardless of whether one is going there for something specific like an activity or show. It's landscaped beautifully and it presents itself as a place to explore, to move through, like the rest of the park but amped up a bit... It looks like an interesting urban space for anyone to spend time in.

ZippyTheChimp
April 16th, 2007, 08:50 PM
Haven't you slept it off yet?

Another piece of absurdity:

Let's not try that "I've lived here all my life and I know this place better than you" angle in order to show that your assessment is any more valid than mine.

One does not need to live in Battery Park City to know that this theatre suffers from one drawback that other theatres in another part of the city do not.

It is not located in a high traffic, regular street. With that disadvantage, it would be even more of necessity to get the design (thus appearance) right but they didn't.That's what Lofter said; you stated it had an "unwelcoming appearance;" and I refuted your observation by stating it was a neighborhood theater.


As a passerby, no one would know that a theatre existed there. The appearance of the building it's housed in does not help in that regard.There are no passersby. If you lived or worked here, you would know that.


Let's not try that "I've lived here all my life and I know this place better than you" angle in order to show that your assessment is any more valid than mineWell it sure does in this case.

I at least gave you a reason for the "certainty of my statement." You still haven't given me yours? I surmise by your avoidance that you've never been near the theater. So what is it? Traffic studies? Theater receipts? A picture on this website?

CBTwo
April 16th, 2007, 08:54 PM
^

With the athletic fields, if you're not interested in participating in sports, which even you admit most people don't, then there's absolutely no reason for anyone to go there.


Precisely.

I don't go to ballet or opera because I don't like ballet or opera. But I'm not saying they should tear down Lincoln Center because I don't go there. It has its function and Pier 40 has its. Speaking of Lincoln Center, does it have fine restaurants and green grocers and a circus going on all the time? Is there opera every night of the week? Is there a concert or ballet going on every day of the week? There are over a dozen different performing spaces in the complex. I can't imagine they are being overworked.

antinimby
April 16th, 2007, 09:23 PM
Haven't you slept it off yet?
Another piece of absurdity:How classy. As usual, I can expect you to use mudslinging to dismiss someone's comments. God forbid anyone should do the same.


That's what Lofter said; you stated it had an "unwelcoming appearance;" and I refuted your observation by stating it was a neighborhood theater.You're the one who's focused on it being a neighborhood theatre.

The fact is that if done better, they could attract more people who may not be from there even if its primary purpose is to serve the surrounding area.


There are no passersby. If you lived or worked here, you would know that. I at least gave you a reason for the "certainty of my statement." You still haven't given me yours? I surmise by your avoidance that you've never been near the theater. So what is it? Traffic studies? Theater receipts? A picture on this website?I don't need to live or work there to know that while there might not be many people, there are still many visitors to the area and even those will miss noticing that there's a theatre there.

I have been to Battery Park City quite a few times so I'm not completely ignorant of the area.

Does one need to walk on the streets of BPC 365 days a year to have a good idea of the place, because that is basically what you're saying?

antinimby
April 16th, 2007, 09:30 PM
I don't go to ballet or opera because I don't like ballet or opera. But I'm not saying they should tear down Lincoln Center because I don't go there. It has its function and Pier 40 has its. Speaking of Lincoln Center, does it have fine restaurants and green grocers and a circus going on all the time? Is there opera every night of the week? Is there a concert or ballet going on every day of the week? There are over a dozen different performing spaces in the complex. I can't imagine they are being overworked.Okay, you're starting to sound confusing here.

What does it matter whether LC has fine restaurants or green grocers?

It has what it has and the PAC will have what it has. I don't see how any of this is even related.

ZippyTheChimp
April 16th, 2007, 09:37 PM
^

How classy. As usual, Are you going to throw another temper-tantrum, and quit the forum AGAIN? This time I won't suggest you think it over.


Does one need to walk on the streets of BPC 365 days a year to have a good idea of the place,Nope, I answered your question "what makes you certain of that" by noting my experience in the neighborhood.

Do you really think you know more about it than me?

antinimby
April 16th, 2007, 09:57 PM
^
Are you going to throw another temper-tantrum, and quit the forum AGAIN? This time I won't suggest you think it over.Isn't that funny? I'm the one here who's throwing the temper tantrum? You might want to re-read the past couple of pages on this thread.

You're the one with the annoyed tone, not I or anyone else. Of course, like the last time, I knew it wouldn't be long before you resort to the threat of banning me.

If you really think I did anything that justifies being banned, then you can just go right ahead. I don't really care.


Nope, I answered your question "what makes you certain of that" by noting my experience in the neighborhood.
Do you really think you know more about it than me?That's what I've been trying to tell you: just because you lived there does not automatically make you an expert on this subject.

Likewise, someone's opinion who might not live there shouldn't be automatically dismissed either.

If that was the case, no business would ever fail because who knows more about their business than the very people running it?

Do you not see the fault with your logic?

CBTwo
April 16th, 2007, 10:06 PM
The PAC plan is suppose to be a little bit of everything for everybody, including restaurants, shopping, a green market, performance spaces, parking for area residents, playing fields, passive recreation (whatever that is), terraced seating for those that want to take in the vistas and outdoor free performances, and a sailboat marina if one is to take the renderings seriously, etc.

The reason that Lincoln Center keeps functioning is because it does what it does and no more. That and a very heavy dose of wealthy sponsors. How long did the restaurant at the top of Metropolitan Opera last? It didn't last because nobody went there, even when they had performances. It died because it was too far away from its audience. Also because by the time the opera goers got seated, ordered their dinners, were served, the intermission was over. Oops no time to eat, must not miss the performance. And after the performance was over they went to their favorite restaurants off site. Perfect example of good idea with poor planning.

I forget who remarked in an earlier response something to the effect, "Don't worry about the economic viablilty, let the developers worry about them," or something to that line of thought. Just great. The PAC group tears down the existing structure, builds another, which is less mind boggling than their renderings due to cost over runs, and then proceeds to have a half season of meager earnings, only to close shop after a year and now the city, state and the feds have to bail out the project. Resulting in a bunch of low level government bureaucrats having nice offices overlooking the Hudson with free parking included.

antinimby
April 16th, 2007, 10:20 PM
CBTwo, you have a very wild imagination.

Only someone like you can find some obscure Lincoln Center restaurant and somehow work it into the PAC failing because it has restaurants and that the Feds will end up bailing it out.

Needless to say, it's getting hard to take you seriously anymore.

ZippyTheChimp
April 16th, 2007, 10:24 PM
Likewise, someone's opinion who might not live there shouldn't be automatically dismissed either.I didn't automatically dismiss you.

Go back and read the exchange.

You made a statement, and I said it was incorrect, and gave you reasons.

You then introduced the point about residence by asking, "and what makes you certain of that?" I gave you an answer. I can't help it if you think my answer is dismissive of other opinions, but that's in your mind. It happens to be why I know about the theaters. If I managed the theaters, then that would be the reason. Then I asked you the same question.

Simply: You started it.

Is this clear enough?"

If your assumption that I'm annoyed is correct, it is probably because of things like the above.


If you really think I did anything that justifies being banned, then you can just go right ahead. I don't really care.A word to the wise. If I didn't just delete and ignore the post you made during that tantrum, you may have gotten your wish. I won't take that crap this time.

antinimby
April 16th, 2007, 10:30 PM
A word to the wise. If I didn't just delete and ignore the post you made during that tantrum, you may have gotten your wish. I won't take that crap this time.Please show me this "crap" that I'm supposedly making here. And I certainly missed the part where I threw a tantrum. You might want to show me that part too.

BrooklynRider
April 16th, 2007, 10:32 PM
I like the pier being used for active sports functions, like the soccer field. I just wish it could be opened up, so it wasn't such a monolithic 50's looking monstrsity. Take down the walls, allow more pedestrian access and options and add some commercial enterprises, like cafes, bike rentals, etc. I'm opposed to anything that brings "auto traffic" into a park. There have been enough car and truck related deaths of park users for there to be a blanket ban on those uses in the park.

ZippyTheChimp
April 16th, 2007, 10:37 PM
Jesus, another misreading.


Please show me this "crap" that I'm supposedly making here. And I certainly missed the part where I threw a tantrum. You might want to show me that part too.I said are you going to...The tantrum and the crap were on another thread. Remember?

CBTwo
April 16th, 2007, 10:37 PM
The relationship between the Metropolitan Opera restaurant and the restaurants planned for Pier 40 is not that much of a stretch. They both need patrons. And given the choice of dining at a so so restaurant on the pier versus taking a walk into the village (since it's on the way to the subway anyway) for a notable or noted restaurant, is hardly stretching the point.

Zip has the right direction for the PAC plan to go, Governors Island. Visitors can take the ferry to the island (an exciting experience by itself) gaze over the bay to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Take photos. Dine at a river side cafe. Shop in my previously listed shops. And basically have a great time without being hit in the head with a baseball or a soccer ball. Oops I forgot there are rugby, football and basketball players that also use Pier 40 on occasion.

Brook R,

You are right about opening the structure up, and that wouldn't cost serious dollars. There are a lot of options to make it a glorious active sports destination, including kayaking and other water related sports, plus a marina perhaps. How about a floating swimming pool like they had back in the early 20th century?

ZippyTheChimp
April 16th, 2007, 10:47 PM
I like the pier being used for active sports functions, like the soccer field. I just wish it could be opened up, so it wasn't such a monolithic 50's looking monstrsity. Take down the walls, allow more pedestrian access and options and add some commercial enterprises, like cafes, bike rentals, etc. I'm opposed to anything that brings "auto traffic" into a park. There have been enough car and truck related deaths of park users for there to be a blanket ban on those uses in the park.I said earlier that I didn't like either plan, for different reasons. But I haven't figured out why there are only two extreme examples.

I suspect that the HRPT is up to something. I've come to the conclusion that they've have become completely corrupt. Last week, they started work on the section south of pier 40. There is still controversy about the size of the restaurant, which shrunk the boathouse and eliminated the Estuarium. They put up a graphic of the piers on the construction fence. An arrow points to the block that's the restaurant/boathouse. It is only labelled BOATHOUSE.

antinimby
April 16th, 2007, 10:49 PM
The relationship between the Metropolitan Opera restaurant and the restaurants planned for Pier 40 is not that much of a stretch. They both need patrons. And given the choice of dining at a so so restaurant on the pier versus taking a walk into the village (since it's on the way to the subway anyway) for a notable or noted restaurant, is hardly stretching the point.
Zip has the right direction for the PAC plan to go, Governors Island. Visitors can take the ferry to the island (an exciting experience by itself) gaze over the bay to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Take photos. Dine at a river side cafe. Shop in my previously listed shops. And basically have a great time without being hit in the head with a baseball or a soccer ball. Oops I forgot there are rugby, football and basketball players that also use Pier 40 on occasion.
Brook R,
You are right about opening the structure up, and that wouldn't cost serious dollars. There are a lot of options to make it a glorious active sports destination, including kayaking and other water related sports, plus a marina perhaps.
My dear, even if these restaurants have similarities, that does not make them similar.

You are trying to stretch everything to make your case. Fact is, people only go to Lincoln Center to see a performance.

The PAC has other added attractions. For the last time, a person will go there even if they are not interested in seeing Cirque de Soleil because they can shop, view an exhibit, see a movie, dine or just hang out.

CBTwo
April 16th, 2007, 11:10 PM
Could you please stop being so gay or patronizing as to address me as dear?

The movie situation down here in Hudson Square and Tribeca has been totally evaluated by Zippy and the need for another film house is not needed in any shape or form. In fact there are several "movie palaces" already existing in the neighborhood that present what is not presented elsewhere so there goes the argument for "foreign film and experimental film" houses needed on the pier.

For the last time. Pier 40 is not a hang out kind of place, it never was and never will be. Hudson Square is not the Lower East Side.

They can view an exhibit? Of what? Some ...? I'm lost. What could possibly be exhibited at the Pier to make it so valuable that it couldn't be exhibited elsewhere? Combine the exhibit with what else so they are tied together with some magic? Who's paying to put on these exhibits, Phineas T. Barnum?

At the same time there could be an exhibit space allocated to either sports or the water. That would make sense. An exhibit space of 2,000 square feet could be easily carved out of the pier. The cost would be minimal. In fact they had an exhibit in the lobby of what Pier 40 would look like about six years ago. More paper architecture down the shredder.

The view over the Hudson from Pier 40 is nothing spectacular. The restaurants with any kind of "must dine there" persona that would move there with or without a major draw, are nill to none. Unique shopping experiences are all over the streets of New York so why would anyone go to an area that is a forced kind of mall shopping venue? Did you ever go to the vertical mall in the Macy's area in lower mid-town? I forget the name of it, but it is a disaster. Even being in the heart of a major transportation area.

I must agree with Zip about something strange going on at HRPT. They have never been open about their plans or schedules. The pier 26 reconstruction is totally out of sync on what they originally said and what they are proceeding with, but that is a different issue.

Strangely enough what Brooklynrider is looking for, an open pier, is denied by HRPT. All the access routes to the surrounding pier walkways are fenced off with alarmed gates from the main playing field. Huh?

The last section of the Hudson River Park from Canal to Clarkson was to be completed by September of 2001. It's still the same shit hole storage space that it was in 1998. Why is that?

Zip,

I also see that the two proposals are at different poles, but I tend to go with what I see is economically feasible and sustainable over a realistic time period, whether it be two years or twenty years. What the muddled group of politically controlled HRPT munchkins want to do is only to do what they have for the past five years. Hem and haw.

pianoman11686
April 17th, 2007, 12:01 AM
STOP THE FRIGGING NITPICKING!!!!

IT CALLS ITSELF THE CIRCUS OF THE SUN! If YOU don't like it, ask THEM to change their name!

Geez man! Let it GO already!



No more than Ringling brothers is the "Circus of the Three Rings". You are really grasping here Piano. Just try to stay on target here.


Hehehe.


Womprats.

You need to get a grip. I don't see what the point of all the CAPS and !!!'s is, when my original comment wasn't even directed at you (since you spelled it Cirq, I believe.)

All I was trying to do was to differentiate this particular form of "circus" from what most people think when they hear the word, "circus."

Do you feel the need to jump into EVERY argument on this website and try to "moderate" things?

pianoman11686
April 17th, 2007, 12:11 AM
I forget who remarked in an earlier response something to the effect, "Don't worry about the economic viablilty, let the developers worry about them," or something to that line of thought. Just great. The PAC group tears down the existing structure, builds another, which is less mind boggling than their renderings due to cost over runs, and then proceeds to have a half season of meager earnings, only to close shop after a year and now the city, state and the feds have to bail out the project. Resulting in a bunch of low level government bureaucrats having nice offices overlooking the Hudson with free parking included.

I made that statement a while ago, and I stand by it. Let me ask you: if you were going to invest in something, with your own money, wouldn't you be the least offended if someone told you that you were making a big mistake? Would you be even more offended if the only reason that person gave you was the fact that he/she happens to "live in the same neighborhood" and would rather see you use the money in a way that better benefitted them? I know I certainly would.

Now, what expertise in real estate and commercial development do you have that makes you so sure this PAC is going to fail within a year and have to be bailed out by the government? If you have any, then by all means, confront the developer, the HRP Trust, the City Council, and/or any other people that might influence this project getting built, and convince them that you're right. Otherwise, stop speculating in hyperbole.

CBTwo
April 17th, 2007, 12:40 AM
I am not a speculator, I do not have the facts to support my observation that this is going to be a total failure. But in my guts I know the developer is nuts. The idea is totally stupid at this time. In twenty years perhaps it might make sense.

But at the same time do you have figures showing gross revenues blah blah blah, showing that this PAC venture is viable? Could you include pedestrian traffic flow across the West Side highway walkway versus pedestrians using the "skyway" versus those arriving by bus, private car, taxi, public bus, tour bus, train, blimp, ferry, etc.?

If you are part of the developing team I can see your anxiety. But plain and simple, the PAC idea is going to fail. It's stupid Disney World architecture combined with Disney World entertainment mixed with Branson, Missouri and Las Vegas, all of the them in the wrong location. Are they going to combine their tour buses from parking lot B. The only problem is where does one locate parking lot B?

Forget about the community not needing this exercise in trying to build another performance venue, New York doesn't need that exercise, it has plenty of performance venues. Unfortunately it has very few athletic field venues in Manhattan south of Central Park.

pianoman11686
April 17th, 2007, 01:17 AM
Well I'm glad you have the support of your "guts."

I'm not on the developing team, nor do I know any more about the project's financing than you do. But that's entirely my point, when I say, "Leave it to them." I won't pretend to know better than they do about the risks involved in making a $626 million dollar investment, and seeing it tank because of poor planning, or something like that. I won't pretend to know that, because I don't have a reputation for being a successful developer, for having pushed through numerous projects over the years worth several billions of dollars, and making consistent profits along the way. They have. These are the same people that were laughed at for building TWC, what was then the most expensive HQ ever erected. Sure it had cost overruns, and was plagued by problems. But now it's home to the city's most expensive apartments, the most valuable hotel in the world (per room), some of the best-performing retail in the country, some of the city's best restaurants, a performing arts center...get my drift? And, to boot, it pretty much revitalized an entire neighborhood after it opened, and the public got a wonderful new Columbus Circle.

It's not as if they're ignoring all the financial risks in the Pier 40 proposal, or not making concessions to the community and taking into account what they're saying.

pianoman11686
April 17th, 2007, 01:24 AM
I just knew the news coverage lately in this thread had been too one-sided and editorial. Here's an article that was never posted. Pay attention to the bolded lines.

Volume 19 Issue 42 | March 2 - 8, 2007

Don’t pimp out Pier 40, advocates tell Related

By Skye H. McFarlane

The BlackBerries were buzzing Tuesday afternoon as a score of representatives from The Related Companies appeared before the Pier 40 Working Group to discuss the Related proposal to turn the pier into a performing arts center with retail and dining.

Though the most intriguing aspect of the Related plan is its permanent Cirque du Soleil theater — tickets to the shows would be $75 to $100 — most of the discussion Tuesday centered around the project’s public spaces, as well as quality of life issues like traffic and pedestrian flow.

Throughout the presentation, the Pier 40 Performing Arts Center team — which included Related President Jeff Blau, architect David Rockwell and Tribeca Film Festival co-founder Craig Hatkoff — stressed the economic strength of their $626 million proposal and their willingness to work with the community to create open space and inexpensive programming to complement the complex’s high-end offerings.

As a demonstration of their flexibility, the team had already responded to some of the Pier 40 Working Group’s questions by modifying their proposal, which was first submitted to the Hudson River Park Trust in December. The changes included adding low-cost concession stands to the glass-enclosed “winter garden” on the second floor of the structure, eliminating a proposed nightclub and creating an interim plan to keep two athletic fields open on the northern roof of the building during construction. The interim field plan would provide about 60 percent of the pier’s current playing-field space. The PAC plan’s final field configuration would offer the same amount of space as the pier’s current fields.

“We’re trying to let the programming enliven the space and let this really become a destination for the neighborhood,” said Ken Himmel of Related.

The word “destination,” however, was a sticking point for some community members, who questioned the philosophy of the project as a whole.

“I enjoy, when I’m in Boston, going to Quincy Market. But my friends who live in Boston can’t stand Quincy Market,” said Carol Feinman of the Federation to Preserve the Greenwich Village Waterfront. “The last thing people who live in historic districts need is a ‘destination.’ You may as well say ‘whorehouse’ — they’re going to look at you the same.”

The Pier 40 PAC plan is one of two finalists in the Hudson River Park Trust’s second request for proposals to redevelop the pier at the western end of Houston St. The first R.F.P. ended in 2003 without a winning proposal, due in large part to community objections to increased traffic and big-box retail. In addition to the PAC proposal, the Trust is reviewing a joint proposal from Urban Dove and CampGroup, dubbed The People’s Pier.

Both proposals are required by the Hudson River Park Act to keep space equivalent to 50 percent of the pier’s footprint open for public, noncommercial use. Both development groups are proposing to add about 500 spaces to the pier’s current 2,000-space parking facility. The People’s Pier plan would increase the athletic field space, and add basketball courts, pools and educational classrooms. The PAC proposal would keep the current allotment of athletic field space (roughly 250,000 square feet) by building three regulation-size soccer fields on the northeast corner of the pier’s rooftop. Rockwell, a self-described soccer dad who lives in Tribeca, stressed that the PAC plan fields would be made of state-of-the-art artificial turf. Blau added that the fields would be free of charge and could be enclosed in an inflatable bubble roof to allow winter use.

The rest of the PAC plan includes two 1,800-seat theaters — one for Cirque du Soleil and one for mixed programming — an eight-to-12-screen AMC movie theater that would serve as a permanent home to the Tribeca Film Festival and show a mix of first-run and art-house films throughout the year; 26,800 square feet of “destination retail,” which would not include a big-box store, but rather a number of smaller stores; and five or six restaurants. The plan also includes space for the New York Trapeze School and a sailing or marine educational space. In all, Related projects that the PAC would create 9,000 jobs and generate $128 million in annual tax revenue for the city and state.

Though the plan also includes a marina, the Related representatives did not discuss the water uses in detail, because, they said, those proposals would have to undergo a separate set of marine agency approvals.

As for public space, Rockwell compared the project’s semicircular southern facade to the Spanish Steps in Rome. Conceived as a series of wide steps leading up to the restaurant level, the space could also double as an outdoor amphitheater. At the bottom of the steps, the PAC team envisions a summertime greenmarket and a wintertime skating rink. The southern half of Pier 40’s existing pier-shed structure would be removed under the plan.

Though several community members had questions about the traffic the PAC would generate, the Related team tried to downplay the project’s impact. The development group stressed that Related, as the sole leaseholder, could have direct control over event timing to prevent congestive overlap. The team also said they would solicit bus and ferry service to the site to encourage visitors to use public transit. Cabs and limos would drop off passengers at the site itself, with entrances at both Houston and Clarkson Sts. Under the plan, the crossings leading from West St. to the pier would be widened, with five lanes crossing the bike path at Clarkson St. and four lanes crossing the bike path at Houston St. The developers said they would add curbs and larger traffic lights to make it clear to cyclists and pedestrians that these were “real intersections.”

After viewing the PAC proposal, Noreen Doyle, the Trust’s vice president, said it was “premature” to say whether either the PAC plan or The People’s Pier would meet the needs laid out by the Trust in its R.F.P. She stressed that the substance of the plans, as well as their feasibility and their reception from the community would all factor heavily in the Trust’s ultimate decision. The Trust will sponsor a public forum on the proposals sometime soon — likely in late March.

“We all have our work cut out for us,” said Jim Solomon, a member of the Pier 40 Working Group, who encouraged community members to come to the upcoming forums and make their voices heard. “Both were significant, thoughtful proposals,” he said, “but it’s like comparing apples and oranges.”

© 2007 Community Media, LLC

antinimby
April 17th, 2007, 01:45 AM
Could you please stop being so gay or patronizing as to address me as dear?Let's see...I addressed you with a friendly term such as "my dear" and that is enough to tick you off for you to then use a derogatory name to call me? You are something else.

I am not even going to bother reading the rest of your nonsensical rant.

Ninjahedge
April 17th, 2007, 08:57 AM
You need to get a grip. I don't see what the point of all the CAPS and !!!'s is, when my original comment wasn't even directed at you (since you spelled it Cirq, I believe.)

I was not insulted, I am just annoyed at everyone picking this apart like it was some sort of philosophical debate.

"A 'circus' has animals"

"Well 'cirq' doesn't have animals"

"well, just because it names itself 'circus' doesn't MEAN it IS a circus!!!"

Oh give me a break already!!!! :rolleyes:


All I was trying to do was to differentiate this particular form of "circus" from what most people think when they hear the word, "circus."

Here most people know what both mean, and know that when Cirq has been mentioned repeatedly that further references to "circus" probably mean CdS.....

So continuing to use that as one of the bases in your argument does not lend it any strength....


Do you feel the need to jump into EVERY argument on this website and try to "moderate" things?

Yes. Especially if I am READING them and I see that people are getting polarized and beginning to bicker. I like information, not arguments about what the true frigging meaning of "circus" means.

All depends on what your meaning of "is" is. :p

Ninjahedge
April 17th, 2007, 09:01 AM
HEY! EVERYONE!

Chill!

We are arguing more about the credibility of each others backgrounds now than the viability of the proposals themselves! Ease up!

If it keeps going like this the thread has the danger of being pruned or locked. Something none of us really want.

Lets try to get back OT and off each others cases, k?

ZippyTheChimp
April 17th, 2007, 09:08 AM
We can assume there wouldn't be any chariot races or gladiator fights to the death.


The Latin word circus, which comes from the Greek word kirkos, "circle, ring," referred to a circular or oval area enclosed by rows of seats for spectators. In the center ring, so to speak, was held a variety of events, including chariot races and gladiatorial combats, spectacles in which bloodshed and brutality were not uncommon. The first use of circus recorded in English, in a work by Chaucer written around 1380, probably refers to the Circus Maximus in Rome.

lofter1
April 17th, 2007, 10:15 AM
There is still no viable reason to turn over public space to movie theaters -- even if they are to be used for a supposedly artistic endeavor (questionable) as the Tribeca Film Festival for 2 weeks each year ...

CBTwo
April 17th, 2007, 10:17 AM
Perhaps if they bring back the prison barge, then the two concepts can work together. Kind of like "Beyond Thunderdome." I can see that as a money maker.

lofter1
April 17th, 2007, 12:29 PM
...bring back the prison barge ...

Now there's a flash to the past (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=950DEEDA1131F934A35750C0A96F9482 60) ...

Floating prison 'Bibby Venture' (http://www.dockwise.com/?sid=27&project=44)

http://www.dockwise.com/downloads/images/full/bibby.jpg

CBTwo
April 17th, 2007, 12:49 PM
Thanks for the pic loftr1. I told you I've been living down here for quite a while.

Another great idea. Wrong location.

Why doesn't Bobby De Niro live in the neighborhood anymore with his beloved Tibeca Film Festival? He moved to the UWS to get closer to the performing arts area of NYC.

pianoman11686
April 17th, 2007, 06:18 PM
There is still no viable reason to turn over public space to movie theaters -- even if they are to be used for a supposedly artistic endeavor (questionable) as the Tribeca Film Festival for 2 weeks each year ...

No viable reason? How about the very fact that this proposal needs some kind of commercial development to pay for construction and operating costs, not the least of which is:


The PAC plan’s final field configuration would offer the same amount of space as the pier’s current fields.

The public isn't losing anything. They're getting the same area to play soccer in, and it will continue to be free of charge and of higher quality.

Turning over public space? How about creating public space by way of the new "amphitheater," the space for the greenmarket, ice-skating rink, etc?

I'm sorry, but I fail to grasp how the public is "losing" here. If anything, it only has much to gain.

lofter1
April 17th, 2007, 06:54 PM
Based on that "analysis" ^^^ a big box store would suffice -- it would bring in more people, generate more tax dollars.

Movie theaters are windowless boxes (except possibly for the lobby area).

Why turn over park space to such an enterprise?

Movie theaters have their place, but a pier on the waterfront is not where a movie theater needs to be located.

CBTwo
April 17th, 2007, 08:08 PM
Big box stores, what a great idea. It's convenient to the Village, the Holland Tunnel and most of lower Manhattan. How about an Ikea, a Lowe's, and a Wal Mart Superstore? Life does not get any better.

Ikea in Jersey has an in house restaurant and I've eaten there so I know the food's good. Wal Mart usually has a McDonalds and they have pretty good prices as well as consistency in their offerings. I've never seen food at Lowe's, but I'm sure they're good for at least hot dogs and a Coke.

To fill out the final quadrant how about a Dick's Sporting goods store? They have a really nice selection of guns and ammo as well as golf equipment.

I know, I know there will be some that will complain about too much traffic and how will the cyclists and joggers cross over the many lanes of incoming and outgoing traffic. No problem. Have the bike and jogging lanes go around Pier 40 rather than in front of Pier 40.

antinimby
April 17th, 2007, 09:18 PM
CBTwo, you need to put a lid on these delusional, drifting off-topic, wild fantasies of yours, as it is getting very tiresome and annoying.



Based on that "analysis" ^^^ a big box store would suffice -- it would bring in more people, generate more tax dollars.Let's try not to introduce in misinformation or non-sequiturs as it'll only get us off topic (as CBTwo clearly has a tendancy to do quite well).

According to that article pianoman posted, there won't be any big, box stores whatsoever:

26,800 square feet of “destination retail,” which would not include a big-box store, but rather a number of smaller stores; and five or six restaurants.


Movie theaters are windowless boxes (except possibly for the lobby area).I thought the issue of appearance was settled as the PAC clearly wins that contest hands down, windowless theatres or not.


Why turn over park space to such an enterprise?It is currently a pier serving as a parking lot, not a park. If turned over to be used as an athletic field, I wouldn't consider it to be any more of a park than the PAC.


Movie theaters have their place, but a pier on the waterfront is not where a movie theater needs to be located.A movie theatre isn't any more or less appropriate or inappropriate on a pier than any of these:

The People’s Pier plan would increase the athletic field space, and add basketball courts, pools and educational classrooms.

The movie theatre is only a small component of the overall large number of diverse attractions that the PAC offers.

ZippyTheChimp
April 17th, 2007, 09:40 PM
It is currently a pier serving as a parking lot, not a park. If turned over to be used as an athletic field, I wouldn't consider it to be any more of a park than the PAC.

Wrong. It was turned over 9 years ago:

S. 7845
HUDSON RIVER PARK ACT

Approved and effective Sept. 8, 1998

AN ACT in relation to creating the Hudson river park and the
Hudson river park trust


Park boundaries:

(e) "Hudson river park" or "park" means the area in the city and
county of New York within the following boundaries, but excluding
pier 76 except as otherwise provided in paragraph (c) of
subdivision nine of section seven of this act and piers 78, 88,
90, 92 and 94 and their associated upland areas:
(i) the southern boundary shall be the northern boundary of
Battery Place and Battery Place extended, provided that the
Battery Park city project area as defined in section 1972 of the
public authorities law shall not be included within the boundaries
of the park;
(ii) the northern boundary shall be the northern boundary of 59th
street and 59th street extended;
(iii) the western boundary shall be the United States pierhead
line; and
(iv) the eastern boundary shall be the western boundary of West
street, eleventh avenue or twelfth avenue (whichever boundary is
more westerly at any point);

http://www.hudsonriverpark.org/pdfs/policies/act.pdf