View Full Version : Pier 57 - Hudson River Park

February 5th, 2003, 08:35 PM
The Villager
http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?BRD=1840&dept_id=505431&newsid=6863884&PA G=461&rfi=9

Park advocates consider Pier 57's future uses
By: Albert Amateau January 29, 2003
The city bus depot is expected to leave Pier 57 in the third quarter of this year and neighborhood waterfront advocates want to have a say in how the pier, which is within the Hudson River Park, will be developed. *
Community Board 4, along with the Friends of Hudson River Park, earlier this month called on the Hudson River Park Trust, the city-state agency developing the five-mile riverfront park between Chambers and 59th Sts., to begin a public dialogue on the future of the T-shaped pier between 15th and 17th Sts.

Under the Hudson River Park legislation, several Hudson River piers are designated as park space, others are reserved for commercial development and a few are designated for a mix of commercial and park use.

But the park legislation does not specify a use for Pier 57 except for a walkway on the perimeter of the pier. "That's the only bone thrown to public use," said John Doswell, co-chairperson of C.B. 4's waterfront committee and a founder of Friends of Hudson River Park.

Only the general provisions of the H.R.P.T. legislation, city waterfront zoning and the Army Corps of Engineers permit process govern the future of the pier. Moreover, there is no funding in the H.R.P.T. budget for developing Pier 57.

The Community Board 4 resolution notes that representatives of Chelsea Piers Management, the private-sector operators of the sports and entertainment complex on Piers 59, 60, 61 and 62 in the park, have toured Pier 57 several times in recent years.

"We recognize that commercial development generates revenues for the park, but we have an opportunity to expand the park and we can do both," Doswell said last week. "The time for significant input is now," Doswell added.

Connie Fishman, executive vice president of the Hudson River Park Trust, has spoken about the future of the park only in the most general terms. At a Jan. 16 Community Board 2 waterfront committee meeting, Fishman said that the superstructure of the pier cannot be dismantled, so "whatever happens, Pier 57 will have an indoor use."

The original Pier 57, used by the Grace Lines, burned in 1947. The replacement was built between 1950 and 1954 at a cost of $12 million using techniques developed during World War II. Three concrete caissons - two of them 33 ft. deep and one 26 ft. deep - were built in Haverstraw, N.Y., and floated downriver to serve as foundations of the pier. Although the caissons rest on the river bottom, 90 percent of the pier's weight is supported by buoyancy. The pier has been found eligible for inclusion in the State Register of Historic Places.

A Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesperson, Adrienne Taub-Kane, said earlier this month that the Hudson Bus Terminal would move from Pier 57 this year sometime after September, but she declined to specify a date.

Municipal non-water-related uses on the waterfront, such as the Department of Sanitation's garbage truck parking and salt pile on Gansevoort Peninsula and the garbage truck parking on Pier 97 (W. 57th St.), the city tow pound on Pier 76 at 35th St., as well as the Hudson Bus Terminal on Pier 57, are all supposed to move out of the park, according to the park legislation.

February 5th, 2003, 08:40 PM
Pier 57 is located to the south of the golf range of Chelsea Piers (Pier 59). On the left, construction continues on Time Warner Center (http://wirednewyork.com/aol/). 22 September 2002.


The original Pier 57, used by the Grace Lines, burned in 1947. The replacement was built between 1950 and 1954 at a cost of $12 million using techniques developed during World War II. Three concrete caissons - two of them 33 ft. deep and one 26 ft. deep - were built in Haverstraw, N.Y., and floated downriver to serve as foundations of the pier. Although the caissons rest on the river bottom, 90 percent of the pier's weight is supported by buoyancy.


March 9th, 2003, 10:33 PM
The city bus depot is expected to leave Pier 57 in the third quarter of 2003. On the left, construction continues on 10 Times Square (http://wirednewyork.com/skyscrapers/10xsq/) skyscraper. 9 March 2003.


October 15th, 2003, 12:15 AM
October 15, 2003

Hoping for a Waterfront Makeover Just South of Chelsea Piers


The Hudson River Park Trust, which runs a five-mile sliver of waterfront, is seeking proposals to turn Pier 57 into something other than a bus depot.

For the last three decades, Pier 57, a hulking three-story structure that juts more than 700 feet into the Hudson off 15th Street in Manhattan, has functioned as a parking garage for New York City Transit buses. And for the last three decades, the pier has not changed much, even though the landscape around it has been overhauled, most notably by Pier 57's next-door neighbor, the recreational behemoth Chelsea Piers.

But soon, Pier 57 may undergo a major makeover as well.

Yesterday, the Hudson River Park Trust, which operates a five-mile stretch of Manhattan waterfront from Battery Park to 59th Street, announced that it was seeking proposals to develop the site into something other than a bus depot.

The trust also indicated a preference for a combination of cultural, educational, maritime and possibly artistic uses for a place that offers more than 300,000 square feet for development.

If successfully redeveloped, Pier 57 would be the latest piece of that five-mile sliver of waterfront, dubbed Hudson River Park, to be transformed into a refuge of recreation and greenery for residents of TriBeCa, Greenwich Village, Chelsea and Clinton.

In May, city and state officials dedicated the first portion of the park — a 10-acre swath in Greenwich Village near Pier 45 between Clarkson and Horatio Streets. And in June, the trust announced that it would build more playing fields and take over the operation of Pier 40 at the foot of Houston Street, which, at 15 acres, would be the biggest slice of the park.

"Pier 57 has the potential to be a great destination for the people of New York, and a crowning jewel of the Hudson River Park," Gov. George E. Pataki said in a press release yesterday announcing the endeavor, formally called a Request for Expressions of Interest.

Pier 57, built in 1952, is eligible for listing on the National and State Registers of Historic Places because of its unusual design, according to the trust's proposal.

The pier is supported mainly by the buoyancy of three hollow concrete boxes, giving it the feel of "a lateral skyscraper laid down on its side," said Carter Craft, program director of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance.

Since 1971, the pier has been called Hudson Depot, accommodating up to 165 buses. But on Sept. 7, the buses were moved to other parts of the city, paving the way for redevelopment, said Charlie Seaton, a spokesman for New York City Transit.

Some people have offered suggestions on what they would like to see, or not see. Pam Frederick, co-chairwoman of Community Board 4's Waterfront and Parks Committee, would like to see the roof of the structure be used as a public park, and not see any big-box retailers. Mr. Craft finds promise in the idea that a part of the pier be used as a transportation hub for ferries and buses.

Potential bidders have until Jan. 20 to submit their ideas. And already, Chelsea Piers says that it is looking forward to competing, said Erica Schietinger, a spokeswoman.

But beyond the promise of Pier 57, the waterfront project as a whole still faces significant obstacles, said Albert K. Butzel, president of the Friends of Hudson River Park, an advocacy group. Only half of the estimated $400 million needed to finish all six park segments has been allocated, Mr. Butzel said, and the park's builders have yet to find places for the sanitation trucks and tow pound that occupy some piers now.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

October 15th, 2003, 10:50 AM
Great spot for a Home Depot, maybe a Staples.

July 21st, 2004, 09:56 AM

July 20, 2004

Insiders say the two leading candidates to redevelop Pier 57 at West 15th Street are Original Ventures, which proposes a performing arts center, and the Pier 57 Preservation Trust, which would build a Cousteau Society visitor center and museum.

The Hudson River Park Trust wants to revamp the pier, now used as a bus depot, for cultural, educational, maritime or possibly artistic uses. It solicited ideas in October, then invited four respondents to submit proposals.

James Ortenzio--a former chairman of the trust, who now serves as Manhattan's Republican Party chair--is said to be championing The Witkoff Group's plan, which would create an Italian heritage center featuring shops, a marina and a Cipriani restaurant. A fourth idea, from Chelsea Piers Management, emphasizes a marina and incorporates recreational facets.

Mr. Ortenzio says he's not backing any one proposal and would prefer to see key elements of each combined.

Copyright 2004, Crain Communications, Inc

September 26th, 2004, 08:03 AM

Trust considers two plans for Pier 57

By Albert Amateau

Citing doubts about the financial feasibility of two of the four proposals to redevelop Pier 57 at 15th St., the Hudson River Park Trust this week eliminated from the project Original Ventures, a consortium of private and community groups proposing a Hudson River Performing Arts Center, and Discover 57, made up of community and environmental groups and private developers.

The decision left Chelsea Piers Management and Leonardo at Pier 57 (a consortium of the Cipriani restaurant group with Plaza Construction Corp. and The Witkoff Group) as the only proposals presented to the public at the Trust’s Sept. 22 hearing.

The 300,000 sq. ft pier, a city bus garage until last year, was most recently used to detain people arrested in connection with protests during the Republican National Convention. The Wednesday hearing was a step in the process to convert the pier into a mixed commercial and public destination in the riverfront park being built between Chambers and 59th Sts.

Elected officials and some members of the local Pier 57 working group, which advised the Trust on the selection of the original four proposals, were dismayed at the decision to eliminate the two development teams that had significant involvement of not-for-profit agencies.

Connie Fishman, president of the Hudson River Park Trust, said the two development teams were eliminated because they did not meet the financial requirements written into the Request for Proposals in July. The two teams also failed to respond to questions the Trust asked on Sept. 8 and Sept. 10 about financial details, Fishman said.

The two surviving proposals, like the eliminated plans, include an array of community activities, berthing for historic boats and public walkways.

Steve Witkoff, who owns Lower Manhattan’s landmark Woolworth Building, and Giuseppe Cipriani, principals in the Leonardo on Pier 57 plan, made the presentation Wednesday with a major change from an earlier public presentation: the addition of a pedestrian bridge from the High Line at 10th Ave. and 15th St. over the West Side Highway to Pier 57.

The High Line, the derelict elevated railroad that runs from Gansevoort St. to 33rd St. along the west side of 10th Ave., is to be converted into a 1.5-miled elevated park as part of the redevelopment of West Chelsea and the Hudson Yards district to the north.

Cipriani would also establish a floating swimming pool, which could serve in winter as an ice rink, on a barge at 14th St. just south of Pier 57. In addition, the barge now on the north side of Pier 63 and operated as Pier 63 Maritime by John Krevey, would become Pier 57 Maritime and move to the end of the swimming pool barge. Pier 57 Maritime would have a flotilla of historic ships including the Lightship Frying Pan, the Fireboat John J. Harvey and the sailing vessel Anne, whose owner and builder, Reid Stowe, testified on Wednesday for the Cipriani project.

An Italian crafts, retail and cultural center in a two-story arcade simulating an Italian street is the central feature of Leonardo at Pier 57. The plan also has a restaurant, event space and a marina and nautical store. The plan also calls for parking for more than 300 cars, in the deep caissons that secure the east and west ends of the pier.

The Chelsea Piers proposal for Pier 57 would have a covered tennis center with nine courts on the roof of the pier. Tentative plans call for a public area between the fourth and fifth courts, but the kind of structure has not been determined. It could be a fabric bubble or a solid structure, or even a combination of solid and fabric sections, Roland Betts, chairperson of Chelsea Piers, said.

However, several Chelsea residents at the Wednesday hearing feared the tennis center would obstruct the view corridor.

Chelsea Piers Management plans an aquatics center with a competition-size pool and a 16-ft. deep diving section. Boating, a row of art galleries, studios and a 40,000-sq.-ft. dance center is also part of the plan, along with an arts center with classes in plastic and visual arts.

The Chelsea Piers plan also calls for parking in the caisson that supports the shore end of the pier. The caisson that supports the west end of the pier would be leased to the city or a federal agency like FEMA for use as an emergency center, according to David Tewksbury, vice president of Chelsea Piers.

Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, co-author of the 1998 Hudson River Park Act that established the Trust as the state-city agency building the five-mile-long park, said at the Wednesday hearing that the two rejected applicants should be reinstated and given a chance to deal with financial feasibility questions again.

Assemblymember Deborah Glick said in a prepared statement that although she is a member of the Pier 57 working group, she was not told until the day before the hearing that two proposals were being cut. The two teams, she said, should continue through the development process. The Trust has rushed the Pier 57 development process, Glick contended. “Instead of working to ensure that the most appropriate proposal is chosen, the Trust seems overly concerned with quickly developing Pier 57 so that they will no longer have to make monthly maintenance and operation payments for the pier,” she said.

Congressmember Jerrold Nadler also issued a statement that he was dismayed and urged the Trust to reinstate the two bids.

In private banter, Hudson River Park activists were saying this week that the contest between the two remaining contenders is a duel between two Republican power centers: “Ortenzio vs. Betts.”

Betts, a former business partner of George W. Bush and a classmate and fellow member of Skull and Bones at Yale with the president, is a founder of Chelsea Piers Management, which has been operating the sports and entertainment complex on Piers 59, 60, 61 and 62 just north of Pier 57 for nearly 10 years. Betts is also an appointee of Governor George Pataki on the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. board of directors. He made the presentation on Wednesday of the Chelsea Piers Pier 57 proposal.

James Ortenzio, a prominent Republican fundraiser and ally of Governor Pataki, was quoted earlier this year in Crain’s New York Business as supporting the Leonardo proposal. Perhaps only coincidentally, his park name, bestowed a few years ago by the then city Parks Commissioner Henry Stern, is “Leonardo.”

Ortenzio, former chairperson of the Hudson River Park Trust board of directors, said in a telephone interview that the Crain’s quote was taken from remarks he made supporting any developer who offers the highest annual rent for Pier 57.

“I would be in favor of a government of Finland proposal to keep reindeer or cheese on part of the pier if they paid $3 million or more a year. At the same time I’d convince them to include a lot of great public uses on the pier,” he remarked.

The Leonardo financial package includes an extremely high offer of annual rent, and Ortenzio said he sees revenue from commercial uses on Pier 57 as vital for maintaining the entire Hudson River Park being built between Chambers and 59th Sts. The Pier 57 developer should be the one that offers the highest annual rent, Ortenzio said.

Pier 40 is to be permanently redeveloped with at least 50 percent of its 14 acres for park uses and the rest for commercial uses that will also generate revenues for the entire park. But proposals for the Pier 40 redevelopment were rejected last year and the Trust is installing interim playing fields with public parking as the only revenue-producing source.

However, even after Pier 40 is permanently redeveloped in the as-yet-unspecified future, it would not be enough to maintain the park, according to Ortenzio. “I’ve always seen Pier 57 as the second source of major revenue for the park. You don’t want to wait and go begging to the city or the state for money and a park like this requires maintenance,” he said.

Nevertheless, the elimination of Discover 57 and Hudson River Performing Arts Center from consideration dismayed local activists.

“Many of us are not completely surprised but we’re unhappy that two community-based groups have not made the cut,” Edward Kirkland, a member of Community Board 4 and head of the Pier 57 working group, said the day before the hearing.

Hudson River Performing Arts Center, one of the rejected proposals, includes Hudson Guild, the National Maritime Historical Society and Riverkeeper, the nonprofit group headed by Robert Kennedy, Jr. Michael Kramer, a Chelsea resident and former member of Community Board 4, is a partner.

Discover 57, the other rejected proposal, includes LCOR Development Services, Bovis Lend Lease as project managers and Meta Brunzema, a member of Community Board 4 as architect. John Doswell, also a member of Community Board 4 and a founder of Friends of Hudson River Park, is a partner.

The Trust will accept written testimony on the two proposals until Oct. 18 and the plans will be on display from Sept. 15-Oct. 18 in the lobby of the Trust headquarters on Pier 40 at Houston St. A decision could come by the end of November.


Downtown Express is published by
Community Media LLC.
Email: news@downtownexpress.com

January 17th, 2005, 12:56 PM

The Other West Side Story
A new stadium isn’t the only waterfront boondoggle.

By Greg Sargent

The battle over the Jets’ stadium has been so noisy that it’s easy to forget about the other West Side throw-down: over developing Pier 57. That’s the 700-foot-long bus depot turned convention-protester holding cell (“Gitmo on the Hudson”) off West 14th Street. Duking it out are President Bush’s buddy Roland Betts, master of the Chelsea Piers super-gym, which he wants to expand south, and a coalition of the Witcoff Group, Plaza Construction, and the Cipriani restaurant family, who want to set up a theme-parkish celebration of all things Italian. A group appointed by the mayor and governor should annoint a winner by the end of the month.

Illustration Courtesy of Hudson River Park Trust

Chelsea Piers Extension

Basic idea: Expand the jock wonderland with nine rooftop tennis courts, squash, a 25-meter pool, plus kiddie pools.
Bonus features: Community roof garden, space for galleries and arts education, 40,000-square-foot dance center.
Or possibly: An electrical-power-generating facility, new studios for WNYC, FEMA emergency offices, a seafood restaurant.
The politics: Betts isn’t popular with some community groups, who feel bullied by his empire of sweat, so they’re backing Cipriani.
Neighborliness factor: We’re already used to the big brown barns of Chelsea Piers.

Illustration Courtesy of Hudson River Park Trust

Leonardo at 57

Basic idea: Little Italy supercenter with restaurants, a 70,000-square-foot event space, and a branch of the Triennale di Milano design museum.
Bonus features: A DeLonghi appliance store with cooking classes, a rooftop park with a private pool and club, cheap artists’ studios.
Or possibly: Glass-blowing demonstrations, floating swimming-pool barge, Fashion Week HQ, and an overhead link to the High Line.
The politics: Politicos Jerrold Nadler and Richard Gottfried are backing it, but Betts and crew recently slammed Gottfried in a letter as “ill-informed, out-of-touch, and not credible.”
Neighborliness factor: The meatpacking district goes to sea.

From the January 24, 2005 issue of New York Magazine.

Copyright © 2004 , New York Metro, Llc.

TLOZ Link5
January 17th, 2005, 03:15 PM
I favor Cipriani's plan, though if I'm familiar with the political atmosphere of construction in this City, Betts will probably have his way.

January 18th, 2005, 03:24 AM
Both the projects are great and should be built out. I would like to see Chelsea Piers take Pier 57 as it is a logical expansion. The other proposal should be built out on one level of Pier 40, as that project needs to get moving. Why can't we have both?

January 18th, 2005, 10:33 AM
The thing sticking out like a sore thumb in Betts' proposal is the the "FEMA emergency offices". What the hell?

January 18th, 2005, 12:23 PM
Betts > LMDC > FEMA.

I don't favor the Chelsea Piers extension. If this is supposed to be a park, active recreation should be spread out, not concentrated in one area.

There are opportunities for this at Pier 40 and Gansevoort.

January 18th, 2005, 01:06 PM
an overhead link to the High Line

I am beginning to like this myself... did someone said pasta?

February 4th, 2005, 11:39 PM
February 5, 2005

On the Waterfront, Dueling Developers


A vacant two-story building now occupies Pier 57, off 15th Street on the West Side; development would bring public access and commercial uses.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/t.gifhe Ile de France and other grand ocean liners once tied up there before steaming off to Europe, and later the location served a far grittier purpose as a garage for transit buses. But Pier 57, a vacant finger of Manhattan jutting far into the Hudson River off 15th Street, is suddenly hot again, the focus of a furious rivalry between two powerful developers with ties to the mayor, the governor and even President Bush.

One group, led by Steven C. Witkoff, a developer, and Giuseppe Cipriani, the banquet king of Manhattan and scion of the family behind Harry's Bar of Venice, wants to convert Pier 57's dilapidated two-story structure into what it calls the Leonardo. The plan would combine a branch of the Triennale di Milano design museum with stores, cultural workshops by Italian-owned companies and the largest banquet and event space in the city. They have also proposed a marina and a 46,000-square-foot rooftop park.

The other group, led by Roland Betts, an owner of the large Chelsea Piers complex three blocks to the north and a friend of the president's, wants to turn the 880-foot pier into a family swimming center and a marina, with space for art galleries, studios for WNYC, the public radio station, and dance companies, as well as a tennis bubble on the roof and a small community garden.

Local politicians and many residents in the neighborhood have lined up behind the Leonardo, but the heated debate over the relative merits of the two proposals has become entwined in speculation over the city's bid for the 2012 Olympics, allegations of mob ties and potential traffic snarls on the West Side Highway.

The choice will be made by the Hudson River Park Trust, the city-state organization that oversees Pier 57 and a five-mile stretch of the waterfront from Battery Park to 59th Street. The pending decision has made the agency the target of intense pressure.

Supporters of the Chelsea Piers proposal have been circulating testimony from the recent trial of Peter Gotti, the mobster, that Mr. Cipriani had paid a $120,000 bribe to settle a dispute with union waiters, an allegation that the restaurant owner dismissed as nonsense.

Supporters of the Cipriani plan charged that Daniel L. Doctoroff, vice chairman of the park trust and the deputy mayor for economic development, is too close to Mr. Betts, who has assisted the city's bid for the 2012 Olympics and could put in a good word at the White House.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Doctoroff said the choice between the proposals would be made strictly on the merits.

Three board members said the trust was leaning toward the Cipriani proposal, but the matter was not on the agenda when the trust met on Jan. 27. Charles Dorkey, chairman of the trust, said that was because it was still scrutinizing a number of issues, including financial terms and potential traffic problems connected to a large banquet and event space.

"We're trying to get the best possible project," Mr. Dorkey said. "Waiting a couple of months isn't a big deal. I look at this as a 50-year gift to the people of New York. I want it done right."

Franz S. Leichter, who is also on the 13-member board, agreed, but added that politics is never far off.

"There were just too many outstanding issues," said Mr. Leichter, a former state senator. "But I also think that the political decisions haven't been made yet in Albany or at City Hall."

Jennifer Falk, a spokeswoman for Mr. Doctoroff, said that the Bloomberg administration had not made a decision on Pier 57.

"While both finalists present strong proposals," she said, "they also present significant issues, including the impact on traffic, commitments from subtenants and issues related to design and open space that the trust needs to completely evaluate before making a decision."

Both bidders said that the trust had asked them not to discuss their projects publicly.

The Witkoff-Cipriani group appears to be offering a bigger economic deal. An internal review of the proposals by the trust staff indicates that the group would invest $154 million in the project and pay a starting annual rent of $1.5 million, rising to $2 million six years later. The Chelsea Piers plan calls for a $65 million project, offering annual rent payments starting at $300,000 and rising to $900,000 three years later.

If successfully developed, Pier 57 would become the latest element in the development of a five-mile waterfront park along the Hudson River. But in opening up the waterfront to the public, tension has risen between the cultural and recreational uses the trust wants to promote, and the commercial uses needed to pay for them.

The trust hopes that Pier 57 will generate enough rent to allow the group to maintain and expand Hudson River Park, even though board members say they prefer educational and maritime uses for the pier, which is as large as an 80-story building placed on its side.

With the Leonardo group gaining momentum among board members, Mr. Betts and Chelsea Piers Management peppered the trust with a series of angry letters, criticizing the competing proposal as a "thinly disguised knockoff of the Chelsea Piers." At the same time, they commissioned a transportation study showing that the 3,000 or more people traveling to the Leonardo's "massive banquet halls will stop the West Side Highway in its tracks."

Mr. Betts also chided the trust for even considering a proposal to build a huge banquet hall that would compete with his own, a few blocks away. The banquet hall at Chelsea Piers is one of the most profitable elements of the complex, but Mr. Cipriani's proposed hall would be roughly three times larger.

While the trust assessed the traffic issues, an uglier issue surfaced. The board received letters describing the Dec. 8 testimony of Michael DiLeonardo in the racketeering trial of Peter Gotti, the head of the Gambino crime family. At one point, Mr. DiLeonardo, a Mafia turncoat, testified that he had met Mr. Cipriani through Mickey Rourke, the actor. He said that in the spring of 1998, Mr. Cipriani "wanted to know if we could help keep the unions off his back."

According to a transcript of the testimony, Mr. DiLeonardo said he had Mr. Cipriani funnel $120,000 through Francis Leahy, a contractor known as Buddy who was doing work for Mr. Cipriani, in return for helping him with his labor problem.

Mr. Cipriani, in an interview last week, dismissed the testimony as nonsense. He said he knew Mr. Leahy, a contractor who did work for him at three banquet halls. "It's true we gave him a lot of money," he said, "but it was for construction."

The hotel and restaurant workers union did wage a bitter eight-month campaign against Mr. Cipriani in 1999, after he took over the Rainbow Room and fired hundreds of union workers. Peter Ward, the current union president, said the union stopped its picketing only because Mr. Cipriani gave in and agreed to rehire the workers and sign a union contract.

Asked if Chelsea Piers had distributed the trial transcripts, Tom Bernstein, the company's president, declined to comment.

According to a director of the trust, the testimony regarding Mr. Cipriani was referred to the city's Department of Investigation, which declined to comment.

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

March 5th, 2005, 08:26 AM
It looks like the Pier 40 RFP process all over again. Nobody gets the award after years of planning and lobbying until the next Mayor/Governor arrives.

March 6th, 2005, 01:56 PM
New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com

What's up dock?

Sunday, March 6th, 2005

It's the heavyweight real estate duel of the season. Two of the city's most powerful men are battling to the finish in a highly charged competition wrapped in cash, influence and high-level politics.

The victor's prize is the right to develop a choice piece of public Hudson River waterfront: the 470,000 square feet available at Pier 57 at 15th St.

In one corner is patrician Roland Betts, CEO of Chelsea Piers - and pal and former Yale frat brother of President Bush.

Betts is a scion of a monied family with close ties to Mayor Bloomberg's administration as well.

He was a principal owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team, whose partners included Bush, before the team was sold at a tremendous profit six years ago.

Betts, a financier, also has raised more than $1 billion to finance Hollywood movies that paid off handsomely, and in 1994 founded the sports and entertainment complex that takes up four piers running north from 16th St.

In the other corner: upstart Steven Witkoff, who parlayed investments in a few tenements in his native Bronx into a massive real estate portfolio.

One of Witkoff's deals, buying the 29-story building at 100 Wall St., netted him and his partners a cool $21 million when he sold it five months later in 1998.

Witkoff knows Gov. Pataki well and is friendly with Charles Gargano, the Pataki-appointed state economic development czar.

Witkoff and Betts have a few things in common. Both are lawyers and devoted family men with children. Both have given money and time to charity.

Both also have street credibility. Witkoff knows construction and plumbing first-hand. Betts taught public school in Harlem for seven years after finishing graduate school.

And both are scarred veterans of real estate battles who usually get what they want.

The judges of Betts vs. Witkoff are the 13 board members of the Hudson River Park Trust, the government agency managing Pier 57 and the riverfront from the bottom of Manhattan to 59th St.

Five of the board members are appointed by the mayor, five by the governor and three by the Manhattan borough president. They include Lehman Brothers managing director Theodore Roosevelt 4th, Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff, state Parks Commissioner Bernadette Castro and city Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe.

"We'll decide on what's best for the park, what's best for the community and which will generate the most income," said Charles Dorkey, an attorney Pataki made chairman of the trust.

How much revenue the competing plans would produce for the trust and Hudson River Park is a major concern of the board, said Dorkey.

Betts' proposal would pay rent that rises from $300,000 in the first year to $1.5 million in the fifth. The Witkoff proposal would pay $1.5 million the first year, going up to $2 million in the sixth.

But the relative benefits to the community and the accessibility of the facilities are also concerns, said Dorkey.

Publicly, elected officials have taken no position on the plans. Behind the scenes, however, the battle is raging - with both sides campaigning hard for the critical votes, belittling each other's proposals and using their considerable political leverage.

For example, both Witkoff and Betts, as well as other officers of Chelsea Piers, have made significant contributions to Pataki's political campaigns.

Witkoff has contributed more than $100,000, according to records and interviews, while Betts and other Chelsea Piers officers have given more than $27,000.

Both Witkoff and Betts declined to be interviewed, citing a confidentiality agreement with the trust. But top sources in the competing camps agreed to talk to the Daily News, outlining their proposals while pounding away at each other.

Witkoff's plan, called Leonardo at Pier 57, features a two-story pedestrian street with Italian shops, crafts stores and art galleries and a museum dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci. There's also a marina and a 46,000-square-foot rooftop park with a swimming pool.

The big money-making part of Witkoff's design, however, is downstairs: nearly 100,000 square feet of ballrooms, banquet facilities and terraces, the largest such event space in the city.

It would be run by Giuseppe Cipriani, the restaurateur and reigning king of the city's banquet business. Cipriani has a 20% piece of Witkoff's proposed project.

The Betts proposal emphasizes sports, including a 30,000-square-foot aquatics center. There would be nine tennis courts on the roof.

The second-floor plan features a dance center and seafood restaurant, while the first floor is focused on an historic-ships education center and a marina.

"You look at the Witkoff plan, the Cipriani banquets will have 3,000 people showing up ... so that area of the West Side will be a gigantic parking lot," said the Chelsea Piers source.

"Face it - all they want to do is make a ton of money from the banquet business. What good does that do the community?" he said.

Pier 57 is only a block south of Chelsea Piers, which has its own lucrative banquet business.

The Witkoff group source fired back that traffic would cause no problems for the community or the narrow strip of the West Side Highway in the area.

"How many times a year do you think we'll have 3,000 people at a banquet?" said the Witkoff proponent. "We've got studies showing there's a big need for banquet facilities.

"Anyway, why should Chelsea Piers be afraid of a little competition? Isn't this America?

"We're going to have free photographic and art projects, we'll have a free museum on Leonardo da Vinci and the Italian government is going to lend us one of his paintings," the Witkoff source added.

The Betts source fired back: "Kids and families are interested in sports, not in galleries, and besides, I don't think they'll ever be able to pay the rent they're promising the trust.

"Their figures are pie in the sky. Ours are real, because we've already done it at Chelsea Piers."

Proponents of the Betts plan have charged that Cipriani is connected to organized crime. Last year a government witness in the trial of Peter Gotti testified that Cipriani paid the mob $120,000 to keep unions out of his Rainbow Room restaurant at Rockefeller Center.

"That's a bunch of crap. I don't know any of those [Gotti] guys," Cipriani told The News. "Never happened."

Witkoff seems to have a slight edge in the battle. Community Planning Board 2, which is advising the trust, is backing his plan - "very conditionally because of the traffic problems that still have to be resolved," said Ed Kirkland, a member of the board.

But Betts should not be counted out.

Steven Witkoff

Age: 46

Born: The Bronx

College: Union College

Law school: Hofstra University

Business: Real estate

Politics: Independent

Residence: East Side

Close friends and associates: Childhood friends

Committees: Board of the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum, NYC Real Estate Board

Previous financial backers: Lehman Brothers
Political contributions: Gov. Pataki, state Republican Committee, state Democratic Committee
Key items IN Pier 57 development plan: Italian crafts; retail; cultural center; marina; 87,000-square-foot ballroom/banquet facility; restaurant; 46,000-square-foot rooftop park.

Roland Betts

Age: 58

Born: Laurel Hollow, L.I.

College: Yale

Law school: Columbia University

Business: Successful film financier, partner in the Texas Rangers baseball team, owner of Chelsea Piers.

Politics: Democrat

Residence: West Side

Close friends and associates: President Bush, Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff

Committees: U.S. Olympic Committee, Lower Manhattan Development Corp.

Previous financial backers: Morgan Stanley & Co.

Political contributions: Gov. Pataki and state legislators.

Key items IN Pier 57 development plan: Art galleries; dance center; 30,000-square-foot pool and aquatic center; rooftop tennis center with nine courts; marina; restaurants; other commercial space.


March 12th, 2005, 09:50 PM
Board of Directors Meeting
March 10, 2005
4 pm
Hudson River Park Trust
Pier 40
West St. at W. Houston St.
2nd Floor Conference Room
New York, New York 10014
Please take note that the only item on the Agenda will be an Executive Session to discuss the Pier 57 Proposals. The Executive Session will not be open to the public.

April 7th, 2005, 12:49 PM
New York Times
April 7, 2005

Cipriani Wins Bid for Italian Makeover of a West Side Pier


An artist's depiction of the joint proposal for the Leonardo at Pier 57. It would include the city's largest banquet hall, and a branch of the Leonardo da Vinci Museum in Milan that would feature Leonardo's work.

After 18 months of review and a fierce battle between two rival bidders, a state park board has chosen a group led by Giuseppe Cipriani, scion of the family behind Harry's Bar in Venice, to transform a dilapidated 880-foot pier at 15th Street and the Hudson River into a development of museums, stores and cultural workshops with an Italian theme.

The board's decision infuriated the losing bidder, Chelsea Piers, whose president, Tom Bernstein, called it "a highly questionable use of the waterfront."

The latest addition planned for the $154 million project, "The Leonardo at Pier 57," is a branch of the Leonardo da Vinci Museum in Milan that would feature a rotating exhibition of the artist's paintings, inventions and other works.

But the project's largest element, and the one that drew the most criticism, is what would be the city's largest banquet hall.

The Leonardo at Pier 57 still faces an environmental review and lease negotiations, but if the developers are successful, it will be the latest element in the development of a five-mile waterfront park along the Hudson River. The Hudson River Park Trust, which controls the pier and selected the development plan, hopes that it will generate enough rent to maintain and expand the park.

"We've gone through a painstaking and transparent process to come up with a great new use for Pier 57," said Charles Dorkey, chairman of the park trust. "While many steps remain, we believe this will be a great addition to the waterfront."

The project would also include a one-acre rooftop park, art galleries, a marina and a branch of the Triennale di Milano design museum. Mr. Cipriani, who operates the Rainbow Room, would operate the banquet hall and event space. His partners are Steven C. Witkoff, a developer, and Plaza Construction.

"Giuseppe and I feel this is going to be an opportunity to create a waterfront development that will attract people from the city and well beyond," Mr. Witkoff said

But Mr. Bernstein said that the Leonardo's banquet hall would cause enormous traffic problems and compete with similar event spaces at Chelsea Piers, the sports complex three blocks north of Pier 57.

"It's hard to believe that putting in the city's largest banquet hall is the best use of the waterfront," he said. "The parking and traffic problems are still unresolved."

Mr. Dorkey said that the board felt that Cipriani-Witkoff proposal offered more public space, a better design, new cultural attractions and a better economic deal for the park.

In its losing bid, Chelsea Piers had proposed a family swimming center and a marina, with space for art galleries and studios.

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

TLOZ Link5
April 7th, 2005, 07:43 PM
Personally, I was expecting Chelsea Piers to win, so this is good. Their criticism, however biased, was expected.

April 8th, 2005, 12:46 AM
I like the plan, I think it's pretty original and should be a success. I do think, though, that Chelsea should have won Pier 57 and this should be on another pier or made part of Pier 40. I would love to see this completed, though...soon.

April 8th, 2005, 01:04 AM
Chelsea Piers came up with an uninteresting (why tennis courts?) and unresponsive proposal (read the original RFP about respecting the history of the site and not increasing the height) believing only that their money and contacts would prevail. What they did do was to hog a finalist slot thereby eliminating the community-originated proposals which both needed to be "massaged" by the TRUST to solidify the financial underpinnings.

Leonardo's was started by James Ortenzio (former HRPT Board Chair and that's his Henry Stern parkname) and championed throughout the process by him to stop Chelsea Piers.

By the end, they had absorbed (taken? stolen?) many of the good (read original) ideas and people from the community-originated proposals. Why celebrate Italy (read the original RFP) ? How do you justify a $154 mil project on a limited footprint with a finite income stream (the community proposals were told that they couldn't generate enough for a $120 mil project) ? All of the complaints about traffic seemed justified (it might take a few hours...do the math... to get your car out of the elevator from the stacked parking in the basement)...warehousing cars on the waterfront really would interact badly with the existing activities at Chelsea Piers.

The TRUST is controlled by the Governor. The staff seemed earnest, but the process was/is so political that Dorkey (Ortenzio's successor) immediately went on the defensive in the Times article backtracking to defend the decision-making process. Chelsea Piers will sue the TRUST... Leonardo's has "over-promised" what can be financed and operated successfully. It's not over yet.

April 8th, 2005, 10:56 AM
Much more interesting than more Chelsea Piers, but I can't help thinking there's a more exciting idea out there somewhere. Roof park sounds nice. More renderings from curbed (http://www.curbed.com/archives/2005/04/05/pier_57_update_little_italy_on_the_hudson_agogo.ph p#more):


April 8th, 2005, 11:34 AM
Yeah, that roof park sounds very nice - public access like that is what Chelsea Piers doesn't have.

April 15th, 2005, 10:50 AM
Based on the finalists, they picked the right one. Chelsea piers is not a friendly place to visit unless you're a member or attending a function there. Private facilities of public parkland should be absolutely minimized.

August 10th, 2005, 09:37 PM
Pier 57 (http://wirednewyork.com/piers/pier57/) in August 2005.

http://wirednewyork.com/images/piers/pier57/pier57.jpg (http://wirednewyork.com/piers/pier57/)

August 11th, 2005, 10:17 AM
No movement on this yet, huh?

While HRP is wonderful and will be amazing when completed, the lack of progress on 57 and 40 is disappointing to say the least. These are major attractions for the park, and revenue generators. They need to be built.

August 11th, 2005, 10:24 AM
According to the HRPT RFP for Pier 57, after the award was made to the Witcoff/Cipriani Group, they had a small window to do their due diligence (30 days?) then they had to put up a deposit and submit their final plans for approval by the various layers of bureaucracy. The time for all of this has long since passed without any word from the park planners. Chelsea Piers will probably sue because of the impossible traffic plan which would add another year to the process. Welcome to waterfront politics !

September 12th, 2005, 07:28 PM
The new project going up on the Hudson River is the "Leonardo on pier 57" which I think will be a very popular (year round) attraction. However, one of the feasibility issues for the new development was how to transport many people and/or vehicles accross the six lane hhparkway.

Somewhere (perhaps on wired) I saw a new item showing a proposed link between the "High Line" and "Leonardo on pier 57". I think that is a great idea.

Any info out there about the high line connection.

The only link I have is from what I read on Curbed.com ===[URL=http://www.curbed.com]

September 12th, 2005, 08:32 PM
^ What's so bad about waiting for the red light and walking across the cross-walk?

Per info, this is from the Downtown Express @ 9.24.04 (however this project sounds wrong for the site, especially considering the concerns about access & traffic; see below) :

Trust considers two plans for Pier 57


Steve Witkoff, who owns Lower Manhattan’s landmark Woolworth Building, and Giuseppe Cipriani, principals in the Leonardo on Pier 57 plan, made the presentation Wednesday with a major change from an earlier public presentation: the addition of a pedestrian bridge from the High Line at 10th Ave. and 15th St. over the West Side Highway to Pier 57.

The High Line, the derelict elevated railroad that runs from Gansevoort St. to 33rd St. along the west side of 10th Ave., is to be converted into a 1.5-miled elevated park as part of the redevelopment of West Chelsea and the Hudson Yards district to the north.

Cipriani would also establish a floating swimming pool, which could serve in winter as an ice rink, on a barge at 14th St. just south of Pier 57. In addition, the barge now on the north side of Pier 63 and operated as Pier 63 Maritime by John Krevey, would become Pier 57 Maritime and move to the end of the swimming pool barge. Pier 57 Maritime would have a flotilla of historic ships including the Lightship Frying Pan, the Fireboat John J. Harvey and the sailing vessel Anne, whose owner and builder, Reid Stowe, testified on Wednesday for the Cipriani project.

An Italian crafts, retail and cultural center in a two-story arcade simulating an Italian street is the central feature of Leonardo at Pier 57. The plan also has a restaurant, event space and a marina and nautical store. The plan also calls for parking for more than 300 cars, in the deep caissons that secure the east and west ends of the pier.

This is from The Villager @ 12.01.04:

Traffic jam over Pier 57, as consultants’ studies clash


In the wake of a recent recommendation by a community working group about the redevelopment of Pier 57, the two rivals for the project have commissioned competing traffic studies in the hope of influencing a decision expected soon by the Hudson River Park Trust.

... The Working Group voted in favor of Leonardo on Pier 57 recently. And soon after, Chelsea Piers commissioned Schwartz to do a traffic study. Schwartz found that the Leonardo project would cause unprecedented congestion on the West Side Highway, have a negative impact on the Hudson River Park bikeway and walkway and make it harder to get in and out of the sports and entertainment complex, which Chelsea Piers developed and has been operating on Piers 59, 60, 61 and 62 for the past 11 years.

You can also check this thread:


September 12th, 2005, 08:40 PM
I saw a new item showing a proposed link between the "High Line" and "Leonardo on pier 57". I think that is a great idea.
I think that could be really problematic (using the High Line as an access point to a commercial area that is described as very high volume).

Part of the glory of the High Line is that it is removed from the city. Of course the development of the park will change what it is now, but the High Line should not be allowed to become a "short cut" across the West Side Hiway.

September 12th, 2005, 09:23 PM
I think that could be really problematic (using the High Line as an access point to a commercial area that is described as very high volume).

Part of the glory of the High Line is that it is removed from the city. Of course the development of the park will change what it is now, but the High Line should not be allowed to become a "short cut" across the West Side Hiway.

Now that you mention it, Your right about the high line needing to keep its special charachter: being removed from the rest of the island.

However, hudson river park is also "removed from the city" by way of the six lane highway. I like to use the ped bridge when I am downtown by chambers street. It is no "short cut" but not to be dashing accross the highway (short timed traffic lights) is worth going the extra distance.

But, on the subject of the High Line, and it not being "linked" to the park - I agree.

May 6th, 2006, 05:53 PM
The Villiger
Cipriani says arrivederci to Pier 57 Leonardo plan
By Lincoln Anderson

The $250 million Leonardo 57 development project for Pier 57 in the Hudson River Park has hit a major stumbling block, as Cipriani has pulled out of a partnership with the Witkoff Group under which Cipriani would have operated a spacious upscale catering and banquet hall on the pier.

Jim Capalino, spokesperson for the Witkoff Group/Cipriani partnership, said Giuseppe Cipriani, the head of Cipriani, withdrew his company from the project for the W. 15th St. pier “within the last week.”

“He just decided he's got better uses for his capital,” Capalino said. “Just a rational business decision.” Capalino said the public process involved in redeveloping the pier simply will take too long. He predicted it will take 12 to 20 months to complete both an environmental impact assessment for the project as well as the city's uniform land use review procedure, and that the pier might not be redeveloped until three to four years from now. Meanwhile, Cipriani has several projects in Europe and the U.S. he wants to focus on, Capalino said.

“He's not a developer,” Capalino said of Cipriani. “He decided he's going to use his capital funds for projects that don't include the public approval process. Witkoff is a developer.”

There had been community concerns about the car, taxi and limo traffic the banquet hall would draw. But Capalino said that was not a deciding factor in Cipriani's withdrawal and that the traffic management plan Cipriani presented to the Hudson River Park Trust, the organization that operates the park, and the Pier 57 Working Group - a community advisory group - was well received by both.

View of the Proposed Project http://leonardoatpier57.com/

P.S. Lofter....just read your "devils whirlpool" ......... thanks for the ROBUST post.

May 6th, 2006, 06:09 PM
Capalino said the public process involved in redeveloping the pier simply will take too long. He predicted it will take 12 to 20 months to complete both an environmental impact assessment for the project as well as the city's uniform land use review procedure, and that the pier might not be redeveloped until three to four years from now. Meanwhile, Cipriani has several projects in Europe and the U.S. he wants to focus on, Capalino said.

“He's not a developer,” Capalino said of Cipriani. “He decided he's going to use his capital funds for projects that don't include the public approval process."
How many additional projects do you suppose are dropped annually for this reason?

May 6th, 2006, 06:35 PM
How many additional projects do you suppose are dropped annually for this reason?

Dont know! How many projects are not even attempted annually for this reason?:eek:

May 7th, 2006, 01:50 AM


May 6, 2006 -- Banquet king Giuseppe Cipriani is abruptly backing out of his chance to run Manhattan's biggest event-and-catering site, on a Hudson River pier.
Sources said he grew impatient at the nearly one-and-a-half-year wait needed for clearing red tape and regulatory hurdles to start converting the cavernous Pier 57 at the foot of W. 15th Street into a tourist and event hub.

The pier, nearly the size of five football fields, is being transformed from a bleak parking lot for MTA buses into an upscale catering and convention location, with an expansive river park, shops, artists studios, performance space and riverview cafes.

Some community activists blasted Cipriani over the taxi and limo gridlock expected from gala events at the catering hall, tentatively dubbed Leonardo 57.

The big wharf gained notoriety during the 2004 GOP Convention when cops used it as a holding pen for protesters, dubbing it "Little Guantanamo-on-the-Hudson."

The developer spearheading the $300 million conversion project, Steve Witkoff, with partner Plaza Consultants, said he has no hard feelings and understands Cipriani's impatience over the process.

"Giuseppe Cipriani isn't a developer and he wasn't prepared to tie up his capital that he needs for other projects he's got planned elsewhere," said Jim Capalino, a spokesman for Witkoff.

"We're still going forward with the project and we're talking with other major event people to replace him," he said without identifying any prospective new partners.

Cipriani had no comment.

The prime chunk of riverfront property - controlled by the Hudson River Park Trust, a quasi-government entity - will be leased to Witkoff and his final partners in the project, which could be open in about three years.

The loss of Cipriani won't slow down the conversion, said a spokesman for the trust, which is allowing Witkoff time to find a replacement or revise his plans and go it alone if necessary.

It wasn't clear whether Cipriani's pullout would have an impact on his other partnership with Witkoff - the upscale condos they're selling at historic 55 Wall St.

Witkoff and Cipriani recently launched Cipriani Club Residences at the 1842 Greek Revival-styled building, home of the New York Stock Exchange until 1854.


May 7th, 2006, 02:21 AM
Some community activists blasted Cipriani over the taxi and limo gridlock expected from gala events at the catering hall, tentatively dubbed Leonardo 57.I swear, this city is full of too many party poopers. These people will find anything to complain about.
Do they even realize that they live in the biggest city in the U.S. and the second largest on Earth (the metropolitan area)?
I guess their idea for a city is an empty one.

It's not like there's going to be functions there 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. These activists need to get with reality.

May 7th, 2006, 03:04 AM
:mad: :mad: :mad:

May 7th, 2006, 10:21 AM
The Cipriani Pier 57 project died more from logistics (transportation / parking in the area) than anything else.

May 7th, 2006, 10:26 AM
I swear, this city is full of too many party poopers. These people will find anything to complain about. These activists need to get with reality.

Mabe Chelsea piers can relocate here......I read somewhere that the pier that they are on now is slowly sinking .:eek:

May 7th, 2006, 10:28 AM
Cities are supposed to be congested.

May 7th, 2006, 10:57 AM
The Hudson River Park improvements in the area, specifically the widening of the bike path and the new, much narrower driveway entrance to the pier seemed contrary to the plans for the pier. The car / limo / bus factor does not relate well to this pier's location. The bus traffic was bad enough when the MTA had the pier. It would only get worse with it becoming a tourist destination. The pier itself is an eyesore.

May 7th, 2006, 11:01 AM
Public review process is not something to be derided. However, there ought to be away to expedite it without diluting its impact. This area is first and foremost a public park. Cipriani is rather spoilt and is used to people cooing in his ear about how he can do no wrong. Better he is gone. This is not private property. He was part of a bid that included a public approval process. Too bad.

May 7th, 2006, 12:58 PM
Cities are supposed to be congested.
But not impassable ;)

May 12th, 2006, 04:41 PM
Never really cared for the Leonardo proposal. I much preferred the "Discovery 57" proposal. Wonder if they'll go back to it.

May 12th, 2006, 05:57 PM
The Discovery 57 proposal sounds nice as well. The only one I am against is Chelsea Piers. I don't like their architecture now, and I don't like it in the rendering for pier 57. It's a big hideous blight on the river park.

I thought the Leonardo rendering was handsome, and I guess I'm an italophile so I was partial to it. I'm curious to hear any sentiments our friends Luca and Fabrizio had about this plan.
"Leonardo at Pier 57 is the plan of the Cipriani restaurant group with Plaza Construction Corp. and The Witkoff Group for an Italian crafts, retail and cultural center.

The design calls for a two-story pedestrian street lined with Italian shops and crafts. High-end Italian companies are said to be ready to become part of the project and La Triennale di Milano, a museum and gallery, would establish a cultural center on the pier. Casa Sicilia, a Sicilian bureau promoting the art and products of Sicily, would be among the features. Milanostudio a fashion and photo studio in Milan, would also join the project with studios and classrooms."

May 15th, 2006, 10:21 AM
The design calls for a two-story pedestrian street lined with Italian shops and crafts. High-end Italian companies are said to be ready to become part of the project and La Triennale di Milano, a museum and gallery, would establish a cultural center on the pier. Casa Sicilia, a Sicilian bureau promoting the art and products of Sicily, would be among the features. Milanostudio a fashion and photo studio in Milan, would also join the project with studios and classrooms."

Envision EPCOT NYC.

August 1st, 2006, 07:22 AM
THE VILLAGER Volume 76, Number 10 | July 26 - August 1, 2006
Cipriani may be sinking fast, but Witkoff says Pier 57 plan still afloat

By Albert Amateau

Steve Witkoff assured a July 20 public forum in Chelsea that his organization was ready to transform Pier 57 into a major feature of Hudson River Park with public and commercial components despite the Cipriani Organization’s withdrawal from the project at the end of April.

“We’re completely committed to making the project happen,” Witkoff said.

Connie Fishman, president of the Hudson River Park Trust, the city-state agency building the 5-mile-long riverfront park on the Lower West Side, told the forum that Witkoff’s current plan is “98 percent what it was” when Witkoff and Cipriani were tentatively designated last year as joint developers of the pier between 15th and 17th Sts.

The approval process for the $200 million project is to begin in September and will eventually include an environmental impact statement, a city uniform land use review procedure and approvals by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, the State Historic Preservation Office and the federal Army Corps of Engineers.

Leonardo at Pier 57 (the name has not changed despite Cipriani’s withdrawal) could hold its grand opening in late 2009 or the spring of 2010.

For Chelsea residents, the main concern at the June 20 forum was the traffic impact of the project, which is to include a public event space to be known as the Grand Hall with a capacity for 1,800 to 2,000 people, an auditorium with capacity for more than 500 and a smaller theater.

But in private conversation, the common topic was the indictment last week of Dennis Pappas, a Cipriani vice president, for defrauding insurance companies of more than $1 million, and for falsifying a city Department of Consumer Affairs application in 2005 as manager of the Rainbow Room, a Cipriani franchise. Pappas pleaded not guilty and the case is still being investigated.

Witkoff’s Pier 57 project differs from the original plan in that the Great Hall event space will be smaller, a change welcomed by neighbor anxious about traffic.

“We want the event space to impact as little as possible on the community,” Witkoff told the forum last week. The plan also guarantees 46,000 square feet of landscaped public space on the roof of the pier.

A bridge to the High Line is another feature of the project. Witkoff said he has held several conversations with Friends of the High Line about the bridge, which would eventually lead from the pier to the High Line Park at 10th Ave. and 15th St.

“If we can get it approved, we’ll spend the money to build it,” said Witkoff, but he acknowledged that the High Line bridge was not yet a done deal.

Pier 57 will also include a marina and a Hudson River Museum. The pier will provide berths for the tall ships when they visit New York Harbor, said Jon Ostrow, a Witkoff associate. The tall ships berths and the provision of a Hudson River Museum on the pier were ideas taken from Discover Pier 57, a community-based development group led by John Doswell, a longtime Community Board 4 member and currently a consultant on the Witkoff project.

The project will also include an open market with both indoor and outdoor areas totaling 9,000 square feet to be known as the Grace Line Market.

“The market will have stalls like a Moroccan souk or a Parisian flea market,” Ostrow said.

The pier was built between 1950 and 1954 by Grace Line to replace a pier that burned in 1947. In recent years, it served as a city bus depot and during the 2004 Republican National Convention the pier became a detention center for people arrested during demonstrations.

Regarding the Great Hall event space, Witkoff said his organization has been “besieged” by event operators since Cipriani’s withdrawal was announced. An operator of the space will be chosen in two or three months, Witkoff added.

The Pier 57 traffic management plan by Philip Habib Associates calls for a vehicle entrance to the pier on 15th St. and an exit on 16th St. Cabs and cars will be able to drop off and pick up passengers at a covered porte-cochere at the main-floor entrance. Parking for the private events will be in the three caissons, the hollow concrete chambers on which the pier rests on a gravel foundation on the riverbed.

The Pier 57 Great Hall is expected to have about 20 events annually when 2,000 people are likely to attend. Chelsea Piers, which has an event space on Pier 60, submitted a traffic report by Sam Schwartz in 2005 that concluded that traffic from events at Pier 57 would have an overwhelming impact on Chelsea Piers operations and on the neighborhood.

Pappas indictment

Dennis Pappas, 59, of 55 W. 26th St., is a vice president of Cipriani U.S.A., which operates seven restaurants in Manhattan, including the Rainbow Room in Rockefeller Center.

The day of his indictment, Pappas was taken to the hospital with a heart condition but was released July 21 and pleaded not guilty to defrauding three insurance companies of a total of nearly $1.5 million and the federal Social Security Administration of $90,000.

The indictment charges that Pappas applied for and received disability insurance from June 2000 through July of this year claiming he was disabled because of a heart condition and could not work. While receiving the insurance, Pappas also received a total of $891,855 from Cipriani for his work. The payment included the use of an apartment that rents for $5,086 per month and a Humvee that he drove to work.

He was also charged with concealing his employment and fraudulently receiving $90,000 from Social Security.

Regarding the false statement to Consumer Affairs in 2005, the indictment says that in his application as Rainbow Room manager, Pappas said that he had never been convicted of a felony, when in reality he had pleaded guilty in 1998 to federal charges of extortion, pension fund fraud and income tax evasion involving the Colombo crime organization.

Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said last week that the investigation was continuing. An attorney for Cipriani, Stanley Arkin, was quoted in the New York Post on July 22 as saying that “a dozen and a half” Cipriani employees were issued subpoenas recently and the company is cooperating.

The investigation began shortly after Giuseppe Cipriani was mentioned in two recent organized crime trials by a turncoat witness who said he took $120,000 from Cipriani for underworld help in quelling union protests at the Rainbow Room.

August 1st, 2006, 08:21 AM
Bridge to the High Line is this project's best feature, both from a business and an urbanistic standpoint: a lifeline that will bring in people without generating vehicular traffic. It will also help cause revisions in what seems like a tepid business plan. Flea market is way too small.

August 1st, 2006, 08:29 AM
They probably didn't realize this at the time (like much of the project they "borrowed" ideas from the other finalists). It is taking so long that it might have the same timeline as the High Line. Chelsea Piers is still fighting behind the scenes and have threatened a lawsuit over dueling traffic plans.
I'm sure that they would like to re-open the process and Witcoff is desperately trying to hold on to the designation. Wonder if they've made any payments to the Trust?

August 1st, 2006, 09:13 AM
Seems the High Line will be completed well before Pier 57.

Not so certain I'm crazy about the idea of the "bridge" from the High Line to Pier 57 -- hopefully if it happens it will be well thought out / designed but my concern is that the High Line in that area could become the lobby (or loggia, depending upon your preference) for the Pier activities.

The High Line is not a huge space (long, yes -- but narrow for its full length) and unless an extension is built (ideally through a floor of the old Nabisco building at 10th Ave. / W. 15th St.) the "bridge" and intersection with the High Line could end up being a clog point as a couple of thousand people move out of the Pier at the end of an event there.

Although that ^ might be preferable to trying to move those folks across the West Side Hiway at street level ...

August 1st, 2006, 09:22 AM
Yeah, it's not so bad, lofter; crowds are often exhilarating. It's one of the things visitors from Suburbia appreciate about New York.

In Suburbia, it's sitting in traffic, which is not so exhilarating. In that context, freedom from congestion is devoutly to be desired, but we don't need to bring suburban notions with us to the city.

August 1st, 2006, 10:25 AM
Nah, crowds suck too.

You like to have a lot of people, just not all crushed. Makes you feel like cattle. (Well, make me feel like cattle).

Crowds being forced along a given route is just liek livestock going to market, and I get uncomfortable images of a cultural abatoir when that happens! ;)

September 23rd, 2006, 06:04 PM
The Villager (http://www.thevillager.com/villager_177/relatedjoinsbanquethall.html)

Volume 76, Number 18 | September 20 - 26, 2006

Related joins banquet hall bash in park at Pier 57

By Lincoln Anderson

The Witkoff Organization is on the verge of partnering with The Related Companies in its effort to redevelop Pier 57 in the Hudson River Park.

Jim Capalino, a spokesperson for Witkoff, confirmed that conversations between Witkoff and Related have occurred.

At the end of April, Cipriani pulled out of a partnership with Witkoff under which Cipriani was to have operated a spacious banquet and catering hall on the 15th St. pier in Chelsea as part of $250 million project, dubbed Leonardo at Pier 57. According to Capalino, Giuseppe Cipriani, head of Cipriani, had grown frustrated at the slow rate at which the project was moving forward.

“Since Giuseppe Cipriani decided to leave the partnership and pursue other real estate opportunities, Steve’s been active in looking for partners,” Capalino said of Steve Witkoff, the organization’s chairperson. The spokesperson stressed, “Any partner that he brings in will be fully committed to public benefits and community amenities as part of the project. And, second, he’s never going to relinquish control of the project.”

According to sources, the two parties have already shaken hands on the deal and their lawyers are now working up a contract. A formal announcement is expected in the next two weeks.

Related, one of the city’s most active developers, is known for building projects from the ground up. Witkoff, on the other hand, is known for buying existing properties and upgrading them. Sources say Related would bring to the pier project its experience with retail tenants, as well as management of the design and construction process.

Capalino confirmed that conversations have taken place between Witkoff and Related. He said Gensler Architects remains the project’s architect and that the plan still includes a large banquet hall as the anchor tenant. Capalino said Witkoff is seeking a top banquet hall operator.

“Steven’s having a discussion with a variety of event operators,” he said. “It’ll be a company with a distinguished record of running event spaces — very experienced, in multiple locations.”

Capalino assured that Witkoff will present the plan to partner with Related for approval to the Hudson River Park Trust, the state-city agency that operates the 5-mile-long Hudson River Park.

© 2006 Community Media, LLC

September 24th, 2006, 10:31 AM
Here is the verbiage from the original Pier 57 RFP:
"Respondents may elect to submit RFP responses in substantially the same form as that provided to the Trust under the RFEI or to modify project components, but should make certain that matters set forth in this RFP are fully addressed. Respondents are encouraged to make revisions that strengthen and provide greater clarity and completeness to the earlier
submissions. Proposals that include significant changes to an RFEI response that do not, in the sole judgment of the Trust, represent a material improvement, or which do not conform to the requirements of this RFP, may not receive full consideration.

RFP respondents may choose to add and/or subtract one or more of the project participants identified in the RFEI submission, and/or to modify the specific roles and responsibilities of project team members. However, proposals may not receive full consideration should the Trust determine, in its sole judgment, that the controlling interest of a proposed developer is substantially different from that represented in the RFEI submission,
or that the capability of the respondent is less than previously indicated."

Common sense tells us that the original "Leonardo's" proposal is being
re-invented "after-the-fact"...Where's the community outrage?

October 25th, 2006, 01:45 PM
Ortenzio targeted.

By Geoffrey Gray (http://newyorkmetro.com/nymag/author_200)
If state Republicans didn’t have enough problems, here’s a new one: The leader of New York County’s GOP committee, James Ortenzio, is the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Manhattan D.A.’s office, law-enforcement sources say. A longtime Pataki confidant, big fund-raiser, and Mayor Bloomberg’s choice to run the host committee for a possible follow-up GOP convention (in ’08), Ortenzio has already met with prosecutors, who are trying to determine whether he misleadingly filled out financial-disclosure forms with the state—a potential felony. Specifically, prosecutors are trying to determine whether Ortenzio failed to disclose gifts he may have received from friends or business partners in exchange for helping them secure city contracts. Ortenzio did not return several calls but has told friends he believes the D.A.’s investigation is unwarranted and spurred by an overzealous, politically motivated city investigator. Sources say Ortenzio has also hired ex-Giuliani deputy mayor and GOP crisis manager Randy Mastro to deal with the matter. (Mastro refused to confirm this, saying it’s his policy not to reveal the names of his clients.)

October 25th, 2006, 05:28 PM
OK ... I'm guessing that there is some connection between Ortenzio + Pier 57, but can't for the life of me figure out what it might be.

October 25th, 2006, 05:48 PM
James Ortenzio was appointed chairman of Hudson River Park Trust in 1999 by Pataki. Held the post until 2004.

I can't speak of the character of the present chairman, but he has a funny name:

Charles E "Trip" Dorkey III.

October 26th, 2006, 09:35 AM
1. The Witkoff proposal for Pier 57 was called "Leonardo", which just happens to be Henry Stern's (who is still on the Board of Directors of HRPT) "park-name" for Mr. Ortenzio.

2. The Witkoff proposal was by far the most "polished" proposal when first shown to the public back in early 2004...perhaps indicating that they had been working on it for much longer than the ninety days or so that everyone else had.

3. Mr. Ortenzio represented Mr. Witkoff in conversations with other "small developers" (community and waterfront advocates) who eventually were persuaded to drop out and joined his team.

4. Mr. Dorkey and Mr. Ortenzio raised significant NYS Republican monies for our current Governor as did most of his appointees to the Board of HRPT.

5. Many heavyweight lobbyists were enlisted to "influence" the process.

6. One day in September, 2004 the two "community" proposals were suddenly eliminated from the process overnight, despite the outcry of the local elected officials and community board.

February 27th, 2007, 10:01 PM
counting the days...

November 16th, 2007, 09:39 PM
November 16, 2007
Former G.O.P. Official Admits He Evaded Taxes

The former chairman of the New York County Republican Committee admitted yesterday that he had evaded taxes and violated state ethics law in connection with money he was paid as a consultant to a real estate company and as an arbitrator in a dispute over helicopter services on the West Side.

The former chairman, James A. Ortenzio, said during a hearing in State Supreme Court in Manhattan yesterday that he had knowingly failed to disclose the income, totaling about $180,000, in 2004 and 2005, and pleaded guilty to tax evasion and to violating the financial disclosure law for public officials.

He made the guilty plea as part of a deal with prosecutors, in exchange for a sentence of five years’ probation. But he must file amended tax returns and pay back taxes and penalties.

Mr. Ortenzio is a millionaire businessman who has been a major fund-raiser for former Gov. George E. Pataki and former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani. He went from truck driver and butcher to owner of the Long Island Beef Company in Greenwich Village. He has been known as Mr. Meat among residents of the meatpacking district, now home to fashionable restaurants, nightclubs and boutiques.

His lawyer, Randy M. Mastro, said after the hearing that Mr. Ortenzio was “a good and decent man who made a mistake that he regrets,” and who was accepting his responsibility for that mistake.

Mr. Mastro stressed that the money Mr. Ortenzio had been paid in both cases was “perfectly legal,” and suggested that his “mistake” should be put in the context of “exceptional and dedicated pro bono public service that this man has given to New York.”

Robert M. Morgenthau, the Manhattan district attorney, said yesterday that the investigation of Mr. Ortenzio grew out of an earlier investigation into the Cipriani family restaurant business. Mr. Ortenzio, who owns several meat processing companies, was a distributor of meat and other foods to Cipriani restaurants, Mr. Morgenthau said.

The investigation began with an anonymous tip that Mr. Ortenzio was trying to use his influence to obtain a contract for Cipriani at Pier 57, Mr. Morgenthau said. From 1999 to 2003, Mr. Ortenzio was chairman of the Hudson River Park Trust, a public benefit corporation created to develop the park, which stretches from 59th Street to Battery Park. It covers both Pier 57 and the West Side heliport.

It “started with an over-the-transom letter, an anonymous letter, alleging collusive bidding at Pier 57,” Mr. Morgenthau said. But no such charges were filed. He said there was other information in the letter that led to yesterday’s guilty plea. Prosecutors do not know who sent the letter, Mr. Morgenthau said.

Mr. Ortenzio read a written statement in court admitting that in September 2004, while he was chairman of the Republican Party, he was paid $100,000 by Fisher Brothers Management Company, a Park Avenue real estate firm, for consulting services. He said that “with intent to deceive,” he did not report the payment on a financial disclosure form required of public officers by the state’s Ethics Commission.

He also admitted that in June 2004, he was retained to mediate a dispute between Air Pegasus of New York and Sightseeing Tours of America over helicopter service in Manhattan. He said that in 2005, he was paid $80,000 for his services and that he filed false tax returns by intentionally failing to disclose the income.

Asked by Justice Laura A. Ward whether there was any impediment to his understanding the nature of his guilty plea, Mr. Ortenzio replied, “No, Your Honor.”

The proposal to redevelop Pier 57 at West 15th Street into an event and catering site was a joint venture of Steve Witkoff and Giuseppe Cipriani, but has been on hold since the investigation began, prosecutors said. Mr. Cipriani dropped out of the project in May 2006.

Mr. Morgenthau said that prosecutors did not know exactly what kind of consulting services Mr. Ortenzio had provided to Fisher Brothers. “We’ve got ideas, but we don’t know,” he said.

Mr. Ortenzio pleaded guilty to one count of violating the tax law by filing false returns or reports of personal income and earnings, a Class E felony, and one count of a violation of the Public Officers Law on financial disclosure, a Class A misdemeanor. He faced up to four years in prison on the felony count.

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

November 16th, 2007, 09:51 PM
This MF sure got off light ...

How about all the $$ he has cost NYers due to delays and tom-foolery?

Former G.O.P. Official Admits He Evaded Taxes

The former chairman of the New York County Republican Committee admitted yesterday that he had evaded taxes and violated state ethics law ...

James A. Ortenzio ... pleaded guilty to tax evasion and to violating the financial disclosure law for public officials.

He made the guilty plea as part of a deal with prosecutors, in exchange for a sentence of five years’ probation. But he must file amended tax returns and pay back taxes and penalties ...

The investigation began with an anonymous tip that Mr. Ortenzio was trying to use his influence to obtain a contract for Cipriani at Pier 57 ...

... proposal to redevelop Pier 57 at West 15th Street into an event and catering site was a joint venture of Steve Witkoff and Giuseppe Cipriani, but has been on hold since the investigation began...

January 5th, 2008, 12:31 AM

Volume 20, Number 33 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | Dec. 28, 2007 - Jan. 3, 2008

By Lincoln Anderson

Although there has been intense focus on Pier 40 at W. Houston St. lately as the process to pick a possible developer for it is nearing completion, another Hudson River Park pier, Pier 57 at W. 16th St., is also drawing renewed attention.

Several weeks ago, the Manhattan district attorney’s ongoing investigation into the Pier 57 redevelopment process concluded as James Ortenzio, former chairperson of the Hudson River Park Trust’s board of directors, pleaded guilty to a felony tax violation and a failure to make a financial disclosure under the state’s Public Officers Law. Both incidents occurred after Ortenzio had stepped down as the Trust’s chairperson to head the Manhattan Republican County Committee.

The affair’s conclusion seemed to affirm the adage that when an investigation basically comes up empty, then, so as not to be a total loss, “they get you on taxes.”

Previously the investigation nailed heads of the Cipriani restaurant empire on tax violations and a Cipriani associate for insurance fraud. The investigation was triggered by an anonymous letter sent to the Manhattan D.A. that raised doubts about the integrity of the Pier 57 redevelopment bid process.

Close to three years ago, in April 2005, a partnership of the Witkoff Group and Cipriani won the bid for Pier 57. Chelsea Piers also responded to the Trust’s request for proposals, or R.F.P., for Pier 57, but lost out on the bid.

The widespread suspicion was that Chelsea Piers sent the letter to head off major competition just a few blocks to its south, but Chelsea Piers’ principals deny the letter came from them.

Cipriani — which would have run a major banquet hall at Pier 57 — subsequently dropped out of the Pier 57 project in September 2006. The Related Companies reportedly then stepped into the picture, replacing Cipriani as Witkoff’s partner. But with the process so long in limbo, it’s unclear if Related’s even still involved at this point.

Now, with Ortenzio’s pleas, the investigation over and nothing found in connection with Pier 57, the question is whether the pier’s development finally can start moving.

At the Trust’s board of directors meeting at the end of November, Julie Nadel, a board member, expressed frustration with the Pier 57 gridlock.

“It’s been three years since the request for proposals was put out,” Nadel said, adding that she wasn’t asking for the project to be rebid. “I think that the time is now to put that to bed. It was kind of a tainted pier because of the Republican National Convention,” Nadel added.

A former bus depot, the Chelsea pier — its floor still smeared with antifreeze and other toxic chemicals — infamously was used as a holding pen for hundreds of arrested protesters during the 2004 convention.

“I could not agree with you more,” Diana Taylor, the Trust’s chairperson, told Nadel. “It is so frustrating having that pier sit there.” Taylor noted that the Trust was talking with attorneys and the city’s Department of Investigation about kick-starting the pier’s redevelopment.

Former State Senator Franz Leichter, also a Trust board member, explained that while the D.A.’s Pier 57 investigation had been going on, under a parallel review, D.O.I. “refused to clear the developer.”

“Now that the D.A. has concluded his investigation, we ought to see if the city Department of Investigation will give us the Vendex clearance,” Leichter said. “If they’re not going to give the clearance, we’re going to have to look at it and consider starting it all over again.”

“Those conversations are going on right now,” Taylor assured, though adding, “It’s tricky.”

Every person or company that contracts with the city must fill out a comprehensive disclosure form known as Vendex that is vetted by D.O.I.

With Taylor making a reference to “litigation” in connection with Pier 57, she then convened a closed-door executive session of the Trust’s board at the end of the public meeting. Speculation was that the session concerned how the Trust might defend itself from litigation if it tried to sever its relationship with Witkoff at Pier 57.

A source connected with Witkoff who requested anonymity said everything regarding Pier 57 was put on hold during the investigation, so the entire process is literally at square one.

“There is no conversation that litigation is in the works,” the source maintained. He said that it could take several years before the pier’s redevelopment begins. A full environmental impact statement, or E.I.S., must be conducted, followed by a uniform land use review procedure, or ULURP.

“If everything was a green light tomorrow, we’re talking years,” he predicted. “It’s clearly north of three.”

There is speculation that Steve Witkoff’s name’s appearance in the Bernard Kerik probe is a factor in the stalled Pier 57 Vendex approval. Witkoff provided Kerik with an Upper East Side apartment from December 2001 to December 2003, paying the $9,650 monthly rent — a total of more than $236,000. Kerik asked for Witkoff’s help with the apartment while he was still New York City police commissioner, and the developer made the payments because the two “anticipated doing business in the future,” according to the D.A.

Chris Martin, the Trust’s spokesperson, said the D.O.I. Vendex review of Witkoff’s plan to redevelop Pier 57 is “still ongoing.”

“After D.O.I. issues its Vendex clearance, the next step in the process would be the entering of a memo of understanding, M.O.U., between the Trust and the Witkoff Group,” Martin said. “During the M.O.U. time period, an E.I.S. and ULURP reviews would be conducted. Based on prior E.I.S. and ULURP review completion times, the Trust is hopeful that construction could begin 18 to 24 months after the reviews begin.”

Asked if the Trust is looking to jettison Witkoff and start fresh, Martin said, “At this point we are waiting for D.O.I. to complete their Vendex so that we may move forward with the Pier 57 project with Witkoff as the developer.”

Asked if The Related Companies is indeed still partnering with Witkoff at Pier 57, Martin responded: “Related was never part of their proposal.”

Asked if the Witkoff Group plans to bring in any partner to run the banquet hall, Martin said: “Yes, but you should speak to Witkoff directly in regard to their progress.”

Steve Witkoff did not return calls for comment.

January 19th, 2008, 10:40 AM

News Release
November 15, 2007

Contact: Barbara Thompson

Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau announced today the guilty plea of JAMES A. ORTENZIO to tax evasion and violation of the Public Officers’ Law. ORTENZIO was the former Chairman of the Hudson River Park Trust and Chairman of the New York County Republican Party.

ORTENZIO waived indictment and pleaded guilty to a felony tax charge and a misdemeanor violation of the Public Officers’ Law. In particular, ORTENZIO pleaded guilty to one count of a violation of Tax Law § 1804(b), False Returns or Reports, Personal Income and Earnings Taxes and one count of a violation of Public Officers Law § 73-a, Financial Disclosure. The defendant will receive a sentence of five years probation. In addition, pursuant to the plea agreement, the defendant will file amended and accurate tax returns for 2004 and 2005.

Mr. Morgenthau said that ORTENZIO’s crimes occurred while he was the County Chairman of the New York County Republican Committee. From 1999 to 2003, ORTENZIO had served as the Chairman of the Hudson River Park Trust, a public benefit corporation created to develop and maintain the Hudson River Park, which stretches for about five miles along the Manhattan shoreline from Battery Place to 59th Street.

Specifically, ORTENZIO was mandated by his position as the Chairman of the County Republican Committee to file an Annual Statement of Financial Disclosure with the New York State Ethics Commission. In September of 2004, he was paid $100,000 by Fisher Brothers Management Co., located at 299 Park Avenue, New York, New York, for certain consulting services. On June 13, 2005, ORTENZIO filed his calendar year 2004 Disclosure form, but intentionally omitted his payment from Fisher Brothers Management in an effort to prevent disclosing that he received the money.

Additionally, in June of 2004, ORTENZIO was retained to arbitrate a business dispute involving two companies that provide helicopter flight services in Manhattan, Air Pegasus of New York, Inc. and Sightseeing Tours of America, Inc. Both companies are located on land belonging to the Hudson River Park Trust. ORTENZIO was paid approximately $80,000 in 2005 for his arbitration services. Subsequently, ORTENZIO filed false and fraudulent 2005 personal New York state tax returns by intentionally failing to disclose the income received from his mediation services.

Mr. Morgenthau said that the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea commenced in November of 2005. Since then, the investigation has resulted in several convictions. On May 2, 2007, Dennis Pappas, former Vice-President of Cipriani USA, pleaded guilty to Attempted Insurance Fraud in the Second Degree for defrauding insurance companies out of more than $1,000,000. Pappas was sentenced on July 2, 2007 to 1 ½ to 4 ½ years in state prison and the payment of $1,017,000 in restitution.

On July 31, 2007, Arrigo Cipriani, the patriarch of the Cipriani family business, Giuseppe Cipriani, the President and CEO of Cipriani USA, Inc., and three Cipriani corporations pleaded guilty to tax evasion. They were sentenced on October 10, 2007 to repayment of $10 million in back taxes. An independent monitor was also installed to ensure accurate tax treatment of all of the family’s businesses.

ORTENZIO, who owns several meat processing companies, was a significant distributor of meat and other food products to Cipriani restaurants.

Mr. Morgenthau thanked the New York City Department of Finance and its Commissioner Martha E. Stark, as well as its Assistant Commissioner for Tax Enforcement Carlton Butler; the Director of Tax Enforcement, Maureen Kokeas; Manager, Criminal Audit Tax Enforcement Division Robert Stahl; and Special Tax Auditor Franklin Hayes. The District Attorney also thanked the Acting New York State Department of Taxation and Finance and its Commissioner, Barbara Billett; Deputy Commissioner for Tax Enforcement William Comiskey, and Peter Farrell, Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Tax Enforcement.

Assistant District Attorney Eric Seidel, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Rackets Bureau, and Assistant District Attorney Brian J. Fields are in charge of the prosecution. Financial Consultant John Tampa also assisted in the case, as did Senior Investigators James Mauritzen, Julian Yannotti and Supervising Investigator Stephen McCallion of the Investigation Bureau, which is headed by Chief Investigator Joseph Pennisi and Deputy Chief Terry Mulderrig.


January 22nd, 2008, 10:29 PM
It's official, according to Noreen Doyle, VP of the Hudson River Park Trust at tonight's Advisory Board Meeting, the Witkoff Group withdrew their proposal for Pier 57 (Leonardo's) last week.

January 25th, 2008, 06:24 AM
Developer Quits Pier 57 Project, a Big Setback

Staff Reporter of the Sun
January 25, 2008

Developer Steven Witkoff (http://www.nysun.com/related_results.php?term=Steven+Witkoff) has withdrawn from the development of Pier 57, putting an end to the estimated $400 million project that would have transformed the old waterfront into a landscaped public space replete with a bridge to the High Line, a marina, a museum, and a gourmet banquet hall.

The move sets back by at least two years any future development there.
Last week, the Witkoff Group alerted the Hudson River Park Trust (http://www.nysun.com/related_results.php?term=Hudson+River+Park+Trust) — a state and city agency charged with developing the 5-mile Hudson River Park (http://www.nysun.com/related_results.php?term=Hudson+River+Park) — that it was formally withdrawing its involvement.

The project has been marred by delays centered for the most part on the Witkoff Group's involvement in the Manhattan district attorney's investigation of a former chairman of the New York Republican County Committee, James Ortenzio (http://www.nysun.com/related_results.php?term=James+Ortenzio), who is also a former chairman of the Hudson River Park Trust. In November Ortenzio pleaded guilty to a felony tax violation and failure to make a financial disclosure under the state's Public Officers Law.

Mr. Witkoff's business relationship with Ortenzio drew the notice of law enforcement investigators last year while they were in the process of making the tax evasion case against Ortenzio, a source said. Investigators found no evidence of wrongdoing by Mr. Witkoff. According to a source with knowledge of Ortenzio's business dealings, in 2005, two years after Ortenzio had stepped down as chairman of the Hudson River Park Trust, he received a Mercedes from Mr. Witkoff.

Messages left for Mr. Ortenzio's lawyer seeking comment were not returned.

The Ortenzio investigation by the DA did affect the Trust's willingness to conclude the deal. The trust wanted to know that the RFP process was beyond reproach," Mr. Witkoff's government and community relations adviser, James Capalino (http://www.nysun.com/related_results.php?term=James+Capalino), said. "And the investigation to the best of my knowledge did not find any problems with the RFP process and was judged, by everyone, to be ethical."

Mr. Witkoff's decision to withdraw involvement now forces the Hudson River Park Trust, which initially awarded the project to a partnership of Mr. Witkoff and the Cipriani (http://www.nysun.com/related_results.php?term=Giuseppe+Cipriani) restaurant three years ago, to start from scratch.

"Although the withdrawal of the Witkoff Group from the development project is a disappointment, the Hudson River Park Trust will re-evaluate its options in moving forward with the ultimate goal, as always, of fulfilling its mission of completing the park," the trust said in a statement.

Responding to questions via e-mail, a spokesman for the trust, Christopher Martin, said the board was in the process of considering its next step, but said the trust did not expect to see any construction on the pier for at least two years.

"At this point the Board has to weigh their options. Certainly it is a possibility that they will recommend issuing another RFP, but they need to discuss it," he said in an e-mail message.

The project's delay represents a setback for Hudson River Park, the narrow, five-mile stretch of grassy lawns and bicycle paths running between Chambers Street and 59th Street along the far West Side, created in 1998.

The park's overseers, the Hudson River Park Trust, have sought to leverage private sector money to rebuild and open to the public the crumbling piers that stretch out into the river. A decision about how to develop Pier 40, near Houston Street, is stalled due to community concerns regarding a plan by the Related Companies to build a permanent New York City (http://www.nysun.com/related_results.php?term=New+York+City) home for Cirque du Soleil. A decision is expected soon. In court, park advocates have been trying to oust the 30th Street Heliport on the grounds of excess noise and noxious fumes.

Mr. Capalino said the decision to withdraw was based on the lengthy amount of time that had passed from when the project was originally designated and the increasing costs of developing and maintaining waterfront structures.

"It is very expensive to maintain and it was his position that this is a highly unfavorable financing market for a project that is this adventuresome because it is putting a lot of retail on the waterfront," he said.

According to Mr. Capalino, the total cost of the project could have exceeded $450 million, and he estimated Mr. Witkoff had already spent between $1 million and $2 million on pre-development costs.

A major blow to the project was sustained in September 2006, when the Cipriani family, led by Giuseppe Cipriani, dropped out of the Pier 57 project.

The original plan called for the Ciprianis to run a major banquet hall on the pier.

The decision also comes as the financial outlook for New York City and the nation becomes increasingly bleak and, according to Mr. Capalino, may serve as undesirable harbinger of things to come.

"Look, if the markets continue in this fashion is it going to have an effect on these large scale projects? You bet."

Copyright 2008 The New York Sun.

June 3rd, 2008, 12:06 AM
It sounds like there's some progress on Pier 57 (as well as hope for Related's bid on Pier 40) on the Hudson. That's only a good thing, I suppose, since passing by Pier 57 by street, or by water, is always a heartbreaker.

Still, I hope the development can spare the pier. Pier 57 is, in my opinion, extremely cool. Like something out of "Skycaptain and the World of Tomorrow" or "The Rocketman," mixed with an archetypal '50s diner. As 50s Futurist as they come.


Plans for Pier Development May Yet Float
By Peter Kiefer
The Sun

The Hudson River Park Trust is trying to breathe new life into two mixed-use development projects along the waterfront.
Yesterday, the chairwoman of the Hudson River Park Trust, Diana Taylor, said she expects to send out a new request for proposals for Pier 57 in the next couple of months.
Plans for developing Pier 57 fell apart in January when developer Steven Witkoff withdrew, putting an end to the estimated $400 million project.
The Trust could also revive the Related Cos. plan to build a permanent New York City home for Cirque du Soleil at Pier 40, near West Houston Street, Ms. Taylor said.
In March, the Trust found that Related's $600 million plan, which also included a space for the TriBeCa Film Festival and rooftop athletic fields, was unfeasible because of Related's demand that it be given a 50-year lease for Pier 40. An extended lease would require a waiver from the state Legislature.
Ms. Taylor said the Trust is waiting to see what the Pier 40 Partnership, a community group formed by neighborhood parents, and the Camp Group, a consortium that organizes day camps, are able to come up with as a counterproposal.
A spokeswoman for Related declined to comment.
Ms. Taylor said the Trust expected 80% of construction for the 550-acre Hudson River Park, which extends five miles along the Manhattan shoreline, to be completed by 2010.

Construction Surges at Hudson River Park
By Natalie Dolce (http://www.globest.com/cgi-bin/udt/im.author.contact.view?client_id=globest&story_id=171157&title=Construction%20Surges%20at%20Hudson%20River% 20Park&author=Natalie%20Dolce&address=http%3A//www.globest.com/news/1168%5F1168/newyork/171157%2D1.html&summary=NEW%20YORK%20CITY%2DThere%20is%20currently %20%24170%20million%20of%20construction%20activity %20now%20happening%20in%20the%20park%20here%2C%20w ith%20an%20additional%20%24110%20million%20more%20 expected%20to%20start%20soon.)

(http://www.globest.com/cgi-bin/udt/im.send.story.prompt?client_id=globest&story_id=171157) NEW YORK CITY-Hudson River Park Trust chair Diana Taylor and president Connie Fishman today revealed that there is currently $170 million of construction activity now happening at Pier 25, 26, 62, 63, 64, and 86 here, and it will soon undergo a surge in construction--with the goal of completing 80% of the park by 2010. An additional $110 million in activity is expected to start in the coming months. The major sections of construction activities currently are in Tribeca and Chelsea.
In addition, a new request for proposals for the development of Pier 57 is to be released within the next couple of months. The 300,000-sf pier at West 15th Street, a city bus garage until 2003, will be offered for redevelopment with uses that are allowed under the Hudson River Park Act.
Since construction of the park began in 1999, roughly $350 million in capital funds from the state and New York City and the federal government have been used to build 10 new piers and about 2.5 miles of upland park area, according to Taylor. It is the largest recreational amenity and open space to be built in Manhattan since the opening of Central Park more than 150 years ago, she told attendees at a media briefing Thursday morning. Hudson River Park Trust is a partnership between New York State and City charged with the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the five-mile Hudson River Park.
Early this summer, the newest section of the park, running from Laight Street in Tribeca up to Houston Street will open to the public, and another new public pier in Chelsea is expected to open by the end of the year. The Tribeca section of the park was built with $70 million (http://www.globest.com/news/293_293/newyork/134628-1.html) in funds obtained from the federal government through the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. to assist in New York City’s recovery from the 9/11 attacks, as GlobeSt.com previously reported. The Tribeca section will include a playground, practice recreation field, mini-golf and snack bar, beach volleyball courts, historic ships, mooring field , skate park, basketball, comfort station, boathouse and waterside café, an estuary research center, dog run, tennis and public art. A mile-long waterfront esplanade will offer native grasses, trees and gardens, landscaped seating areas, and a seaside boardwalk. The northern half of this section will open this summer, according to Taylor.
"Commercial activities such as parking at Pier 40 and Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex generate most of the funds needed to maintain and operate the park on an annual basis; in the future however we know that those funds will not meet our entire fiscal need," Taylor said, which is the reason for issuing a new RFP for the development of Pier 57. "We are also hoping to conclude our review of proposed uses for a development at Pier 40 in the next several months to create a mix of recreational playing fields, parking and new commercial or educational uses on that 15 acre site. These two developments will help produce the money needed to maintain and operate a great park well into the future.
The park continues to take shape, the level of funding needed to maintain it and offer high quality programming increases, added Fishman. "Therefore, it is essential that we move forward with the development of the revenue-generating commercial nodes in a way that supports the park and guarantees its future."


July 2nd, 2008, 05:40 PM
Another RFP (http://www.hudsonriverpark.org/pdfs/rfps/Pier%2057/Pier57RFP.pdf) issued for pier 57

July 6th, 2008, 11:09 PM
I find it interesting to see how NYC is trying to make a vibrant riverfront from an abandoned waterfront versus how Amsterdam
reinvented their abandoned docks. Amsterdam wins hands down. They have adapted, in some cases mile long, docks into a low rise residential development with access both to the water and to the land via bikes and walking paths. The low rise structures are built to accommodate first floor "mom and pop" type stores, not the usual high end "designer outlets." I find it great.

While NYC struggles to make this "perfect" Hudson River park, Amsterdam extends their viable neighborhoods without the glass block megaliths fronting the sea. Although there are pivotal structures in the project, they are more like signposts rather than the American tombstone style of structure.

I remember the west side waterfront when almost every street ended in a pier, albeit with a tooth or two missing in that massing. I am all for a mix of pastoral settings and realistic low rise commercial uses on the waterfront. How else can the park support itself? NYC is not downtown San Antonio.

September 2nd, 2008, 02:19 PM
New York Sun

Pier 57 Could Soon Join In 14th Street Transformation

By PETER KIEFER, Staff Reporter of the Sun | September 2, 2008

For decades, Pier 57 has been more vestigial than commercial: A onetime engineering marvel, it was relegated to serve as a waterfront bus garage and maintenance facility after the 1960s, when large passenger and freight ship traffic waned on Manhattan (http://www.nysun.com/related_results.php?term=Manhattan)'s West Side.

Now, some of the city's top developers are jockeying for the right to unlock the potential of Pier 57 and transform it into a key commercial node vital to the long-term expansion of the Hudson River Park.

As 14th Street has been transformed into a commercial and cultural corridor between Union Square and the meatpacking district, Pier 57 stands waiting at its westernmost edge, offering dramatic views of the Hudson.

With proposals due in a month, representatives of the Durst Organization, Vornado Realty Trust, and the Related Cos. have toured the site, and some are finalizing proposals for the 300,000-square-foot pier situated between 15th and 16th streets, according to numerous sources with knowledge of the process.

That some of the city's top developers are ready to take another swing at the chance to develop Pier 57 makes sense to many observers, who note the success of both the Chelsea Piers and Battery Park City and the limited remaining opportunities for a mixed-use waterfront development project. Piers 57 and 40 are the only remaining sites available for private commercial development on Manhattan's West Side waterfront south of 59th Street.

"Increasingly, developers have gotten much more comfortable with the idea of bringing activity to the waterfront. It is a proven commodity, and access to the water and the views are things that people want," the director of environmental programs at the Regional Plan Association, Robert Pirani, said in an interview. "It is an outgrowth of the desire of New Yorkers to get down to the water. The Hudson and the harbor are no longer old industrial places and have great amenities to offer."

There are also many challenges, ranging from enormous start-up costs — up to $100 million for structural repairs alone — to fierce resistance from residential groups.

A $600 million plan by Related to build a permanent home for Cirque du Soleil, a space for the Tribeca Film Festival, and rooftop athletic fields at Pier 40 was blocked due in part to opposition by local resident groups.

"I think people are very nervous about the cost. It is a big, big investment, and they have to figure out how to pay for it," a developer who considered entering a proposal for Pier 57, who asked not to be identified, said.

The Hudson River Park Trust has said it is open to a mix of restaurant, retail, recreational, educational, and cultural facilities.

Other possible uses being considered are conference halls, banquet space, and parking, all of which fall within the confines of the stated criteria issued in the most recent request for proposals.

Before it unraveled in the spring, developer Steven Witkoff was moving forward with a $400 million proposal that would have transformed the old waterfront into a landscaped public space with a bridge to the High Line, a marina, a museum, and a gourmet banquet hall.

Given the contraction in credit markets over the past six months and the overall state of the financial markets, few are expecting as grandiose a proposal for Pier 57 as that put forth by Mr. Witkoff.

As Mr. Pirani says, though, New York's waterfront is still far off from its realizable potential.

"If you think of this city 30 years ago, who would have guessed that the kind of uses we are seeing along the waterfront?" he said.

October 20th, 2008, 10:33 AM
Does anyone know how many proposals were submitted and by whom?

October 21st, 2008, 06:44 PM
New York Observer

Ross, Durst Set To Battle for Pier 57 Development Rights

by Eliot Brown (http://www.observer.com/2007/author/eliot-brown) | October 21, 2008

Michael Nagle.
Douglas Durst.

The bruising, drawn-out skirmish over the development of Pier 40 in the far West Village apparently has not scared the development world away from the water. A few blocks to the north, by West 15th Street, another site, Pier 57, has attracted the eyes of real estate heavies, as three firms submitted bids to the Hudson River Park Trust on Oct. 17 to develop the pier, numerous people familiar with the bids told The Observer.

Stephen Ross’ Related Companies, the firm that was beaten back earlier this year by Village residents from creating a mega-entertainment complex at Pier 40, is back for more, as is Douglas Durst, in a joint venture between his Durst Organization and C & K Properties. Young Woo & Associates, a smaller developer that recently built the 20-story Chelsea Arts Tower on West 25th Street, is also bidding.

More in Wednesday's Observer print edition.

© 2008 Observer Media Group, All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

November 7th, 2008, 04:08 PM
Downtown Express

Volume 21, Number 26 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | November 7 - 12, 2008

Downtown Express file photo

Looking north to Pier 57, which three companies recently submitted bids to develop.

Schools, a pool, art? Floating possibilities for yet another pier
By Heather Murray

Two developers who have already tried and failed to win the right to develop Pier 40 at W. Houston St. have answered the Hudson River Park Trust’s second attempt to secure a successful bid for Chelsea’s Pier 57, the Trust’s other prized West Side waterfront parcel currently up for grabs.

The Durst Organization, in a partnership with C&K Properties, as well as The Related Companies both threw in their hats once again, along with Young Woo and Associates, a smaller developer best known in the community for the W. 25th St. Chelsea Arts Tower building.

The Trust is currently reviewing the proposals and has declined to comment so far. But spokesperson John Marino said that some information would be released as soon as this week. Reached for comment, all three companies declined to comment on the proposals, saying that the Trust had asked them not to speak to the press.

Arthur Schwartz, a member of the Friends of Hudson River Park’s board of directors, said he hasn’t seen the proposals yet, but expects Durst/C&K’s to be more closely aligned with the community’s needs than Related’s.

Along with Schwartz, other members of the Friends’ board — which fundraises for the park — are Friends co-chairman Douglas Durst, C.E.O. of the Durst Organization, and Ben Korman, a principal of C&K Properties.

Schwartz added that Durst “has been a major contributor to the Hudson River Park and done a lot to eliminate unwanted uses.”

Schwartz is personally hoping for more community amenities — including schools and low-cost art, dance and theater spaces — and less traffic generated under the new proposals for Pier 57. Earlier this year, there had been some discussion of including operations for The New School in the Durst/C&K proposal, but Schwartz said he wasn’t sure that was still on the table.

The New York Observer reported recently that the Durst/C&K proposal includes moving the Children’s Museum of Manhattan from W. 83rd St. to Pier 57, which a spokesperson for the developer confirmed but refused to elaborate on.

Michael Kramer, a Chelsea resident and former vice chairperson of Community Board 4, was a principal of the Original Ventures team that bid on Pier 57 back in 2003, but was cut after being deemed financially risky by the Trust. He said he and his associates were left disillusioned.

“We were skeptical we would get fair consideration for our ideas,” he said. Original Ventures, a nonprofit consortium, including the Hudson Guild settlement house, the National Maritime Historical Society and Riverkeeper, had proposed creating a Hudson River Performing Arts Center at the pier. Kramer said the consortium decided not to bid again, because “we realized we were up against the large development groups and didn’t think the Trust would find our proposal financially worthy.”

Kramer also questioned whether the Durst/C&K proposal could be considered a conflict of interest because of the company directors’ presence on the Friends of the Hudson River Park board.

Ed Kirkland, head of the new Pier 57 Working Group, composed of local elected officials and park advocates, said he hadn’t seen the proposals yet but expected to soon.

“We’re looking for a happier process than Pier 40,” he said.

Robert Trentlyon, a longtime Chelsea waterfront advocate and C.B. 4 member, wasn’t sure what Related would be proposing, but said, “I gather that Cirque de Soliel will not be presented.” He was referring to Related’s failed Pier 40 plan, noting Pier 57 wouldn’t provide enough space for that full plan.

Pier 57, located between 15th and 16th Sts., contains roughly 300,000 square feet of built space.

“I was surprised there weren’t more than three proposals that were financially eligible,” Trentlyon added. “We’ll see what we can do with these three.”

He noted that both the Working Group and the Trust are dedicated “to getting something done on Pier 57,” and that community members were disappointed when the Witkoff Group withdrew its proposal at the end of last year. Witkoff’s plan originally included Cipriani restaurant group, which had pulled out as a partner before Witkoff scrapped the project entirely.

Trentlyon already knows what he would like to see: an outdoor swimming pool.

“Pier 57 would be a great place for a pool,” he said. “We have a lot of kids in Chelsea.”

© 2008 Community Media, LLC

November 20th, 2008, 07:55 PM
NY Times

Hudson River Park Board Weighs Proposals for 15th Street Pier Development

By CHARLES V. BAGLI (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/charles_v_bagli/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
Published: November 19, 2008


Youngwoo & Associates

Youngwoo & Associates envisions an auction house, a cultural center, a marketplace and a home for the Tribeca Film Festival.

Three developers are vying for the right to transform a dilapidated 880-foot pier at the end of 15th Street in Chelsea into a three-level complex of museums, shops, film centers, food markets and public space intended to attract tourists and local residents.


Durst Organization

The Durst Organization plan calls for a live-music venue, restaurants, a marketplace, boutiques, miniature golf and docking.

The proposals by the developers — Related Companies, Youngwoo & Associates and the Durst Organization (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/d/durst_organization/index.html?inline=nyt-org) — will be unveiled on Thursday in the second attempt in five years to create a commercial operation that would generate revenue to maintain Hudson River Park, the five miles of waterfront running from the Battery to 59th Street.

A developer selected in 2005 to create a museum, cultural center and banquet hall withdrew this year, after costs soared and the principals became embroiled in scandal. The Hudson River Park Trust, which controls the park, has had to navigate among the competing concerns of developers with money-making proposals and residents who favor recreational and cultural activities and worry about traffic.

Now the trust, and any developer it selects, must also contend with a sagging economy, tens of thousands of layoffs and a drop in tourism. Still, trust officials say they are excited by the latest batch of proposals.


Related Companies

The Related Companies proposal includes a theater, education center, marketplace, rooftop pool and cafe, and 91-slip marina.

“We’re trying to achieve a world-class project that everybody would love and use, one that also pays us a lot of rent,” said Diana Taylor, chairwoman of the Hudson River Park Trust’s board. “We’re looking for a project that satisfies the community and the needs of the park. It’s a delicate balance, but I’m really excited.”

Pier 57 extends the length of nearly three football fields into the Hudson. The original wooden pier was destroyed by fire in 1947 and was rebuilt, with a two-story building, five years later atop three hollow concrete chambers, or caissons. The Grace Lines operated the pier for 12 years, until most of New York’s shipping industry moved to New Jersey and the pier became a garage.

Hudson River Park, established in 1998, has been built with state and city funds, but it must raise its own budget for operations and maintenance. The pier is on the National Register of Historic Places, meaning that developers could qualify for special tax credits.

The Durst Organization, with its partner C&K Properties, is proposing a $330 million project built around a live-music venue and restaurant and a separate marketplace with small shops, restaurants, cafes, food stalls and boutiques. The organization likens its proposed public spaces to the Greenmarket at Union Square and to Rockefeller Center.

The organization says that the Children’s Museum of Manhattan has expressed interest in moving to the pier. The plans include a small marina on the north side of the pier, and on the south side, docks for ferries, commercial vessels, fishing boats, sailboats and educational boats or barges. There would be a rooftop “pleasure garden,” featuring miniature golf and other amusements, and parking space in the caissons via ramps from above.

“I always thought this should be the Central Park of the 21st century,” said Helena Durst, an assistant vice president at the Durst Organization who once worked as an intern at the Hudson River Park Trust. “We’re creating a truly public pier that has strong cultural and entertainment components.”

Youngwoo & Associates, developers active in Chelsea, are proposing three “anchors” for their $191 million pier project, including a new home for the Phillips de Pury & Company auction house and a contemporary cultural center consisting of art galleries and concert space. Like all the proposals, it provides public access to the waterfront.

The firm is also proposing a large public market akin to Pike Place near the Seattle waterfront, with restaurants, food stalls, craft importers and dress and jewelry designers. The third fixture, a large rooftop hall, would serve as a theater for the Tribeca Film Festival (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/t/tribeca_film_festival_nyc/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier), which would also present events year-round. There would also be a parking garage in one of the caissons and an underwater discovery center with interactive exhibits about the Hudson River estuary.

“This project will distinguish itself as perhaps the most high-quality cultural, historical and innovative adaptive reuse of the pier, which is both tied to a great park and one of New York’s great neighborhoods,” said James Lima, a consultant for Youngwoo.

The $353 million proposal from the Related Companies also calls for a Pike Place-like market, as well as a large theater about which company officials say Sundance Films has expressed interest. The company, a major residential developer in New York, plans a rooftop pool and cafe, restaurants, a 91-slip marina, a public park, an education center, a 75,000-square-foot event space that includes a ballroom, and parking for 520 cars in two of the caissons.

“It’s a diverse group of uses built around waterfront activity and open space,” said Joanna Rose, a spokeswoman for Related. “The proposal includes comprehensive historic preservation of the building and a state-of-the-art ecological robotic parking system.”

Last year, Related sought to develop Pier 40, another property owned by the Hudson River Park Trust, with a permanent home for Cirque du Soleil and a second large theater. But local residents wanted to retain the pier’s current soccer fields and recreational uses. The groups devised a proposal for summer camps, soccer fields and public schools, but were unable to come up with an economically viable plan.

The trust is now reviewing its plans and suggesting changes to the legislation governing the Hudson River Park, which would make it easier to finance a project at Pier 40.

Copyright 2008 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

November 23rd, 2008, 04:57 PM

What is it with stairways to nowhere these days? :rolleyes:

Then again these ones would probably provide stunning views all around. :)
I do like the first design more, the second looks claustrophobic.

August 2nd, 2009, 04:02 AM
Pier 57: Chelsea's New Underwater Adventure Unveiled!

Friday, July 31, 2009, by Joey


http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3543/3775258958_c1a23fd90c_s.jpg (http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3543/3775258958_95bbbc1ef8_o.jpg) http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2617/3774455575_e624a73761_s.jpg (http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2617/3774455575_7ec14c8292_o.jpg) http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2483/3775043511_5288062488_s.jpg (http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2483/3775043511_0547f21d8a_o.jpg) http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2657/3775849732_d13c4fcbcd_s.jpg (http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2657/3775849732_db4081001a_o.jpg) http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3548/3775259126_88032008f4_s.jpg (http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3548/3775259126_41d192d9fe_o.jpg) http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2616/3775043441_e9a4a086c2_s.jpg (http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2616/3775043441_58fe828ba8_o.jpg) http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2578/3775043343_67f7071eb9_s.jpg (http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2578/3775043343_720675e3d9_o.jpg) http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3571/3775043553_c4011c3094_s.jpg (http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3571/3775043553_82e84af901_o.jpg) http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3546/3775043389_4f5570d471_s.jpg (http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3546/3775043389_cff8290f4b_o.jpg) http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3419/3774455379_604be8c133_s.jpg (http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3419/3774455379_a07b8b36ec_o.jpg) http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2425/3774455429_7d52d89c78_s.jpg (http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2425/3774455429_243f1775b3_o.jpg) http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3444/3774455325_172d7e4f50_s.jpg (http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3444/3774455325_de64ae3380_o.jpg)
Click thumbnails to enlarge

As expected (http://curbed.com/archives/2009/07/30/one_pier_saga_coming_to_an_end.php), the Hudson River Park Trust designated Youngwoo & Associates as the developer to turn Pier 57 at 15th Street into a rip-roaring New York City waterfront attraction—one that can generate some revenue for the upkeep of Hudson River Park. We're cautiously optimistic! It's not that we don't enjoy the Youngwoo bid (http://curbed.com/archives/2008/11/20/bids_for_hudson_river_park_tourist_trap_unveiled_a gain.php), with its green space, canoe docks, Tribeca Film Festival venue and "Underwater Discovery Center." It's that if we've learned one thing about the commercial development of the Hudson River piers, it's this: Don't hold your breath. The "Leonardo" plan (http://curbed.com/archives/2008/01/25/little_italy_on_the_hudson_whacked.php) for Pier 57 fell apart in early '08, and Pier 40 (http://www.curbed.com/tags/pier-40) is a total shitshow. But, heck, it's a joyful day so we'll stop raining on the parade. Above, a pair of new renderings of Youngwoo's shipping-container-chic plan (designed by LOT-EK (http://www.lot-ek.com/)), combined with some previously released (http://curbed.com/archives/2008/11/20/pier_57_proposals_released_more_hijinx_on_the_huds on.php) early looks. And hey, what's with the Koons?

From the Pier 57 press release, some highlights:
YWA’s plan for Pier 57 includes a 170,000 square-foot covered, open-air public market – to be programmed and managed by Urban Space Management (USM) and housed in part in recycled and creatively refitted shipping containers. The market will be New York’s first large-scale concentration of year-round, affordable work/sell space for artisans and other small businesses. USM operates the holiday markets in Grand Central Station and Union Square, as well as several of the biggest, most popular public markets in London, including Camden Lock.

The Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) will establish a permanent outdoor venue on the roof of the pier, offering a mix of film, music and arts-based programming and promoting cultural connections between New York’s artistic community and the general public. In addition to hosting parts of the annual film festival itself, the Pier 57 “Sky Park” will be the year-round backdrop for a variety of exhibitions and performances conceived by TFF and YWA to educate, entertain and inspire independent artists and audiences alike.

The plan also calls for a “Contemporary Culture Center” of approximately 90,000 square-feet on the ground floor, envisioned as a unique mix of auction, exhibition, gallery and entertainment space centered around the contemporary arts. Seasonal docks will be provided for kayaks, canoes and other small craft. Other features include a two-acre rooftop park, restaurants and an “Underwater Discovery Center” in one of the pier’s historic caissons. Redevelopment of the pier, a National Historic Registry structure containing approximately 375,000 square feet of buildable waterfront space, is estimated to cost a total of $210 million.
Pier 57 coverage (http://www.curbed.com/tags/pier-57) [Curbed]

UPDATE: Just added to the gallery, new views and renderings of the plan, including the five total acres of new public park space from those zany Dutchmen at West 8 (of Governor's Island fame) and more shots of the interconnected container modules. Also, check out this fly-through video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TALLy0EpTqA) if you'd like a soundtrack.

http://curbed.com/archives/2009/07/31/pier_57_chelseas_new_underwater_adventure_unveiled .php

August 2nd, 2009, 07:43 AM
Youngwoo & Associates plan (http://www.hudsonriverpark.org/pdfs/construction/Pier57Dev2008/PROPYoungWoo_01.28.09.pdf)

August 2nd, 2009, 10:46 AM
This is a good plan for the site, but it would have benefitted if the players could have figured out a way to connect the pier area to the blocks to the east via a pedestrian overpass. At peak times the crossing of the West Side Hiway is problematic, especially if there are hundreds of folks all arriving for a specific start time of an event.

One plan: from a point just south of P57 across the West Side Hiway to the small park at 14th / Tenth -- or better yet, having it cross diagonally SE from south of P57 (over the Liberty Inn) to the vacant lot just to the west of the Standard Hotel, which would allow peds wanting to access P57 to fully avoid the craziness of traffic at 14th Street / Tenth / WSH.

For the future there should also be a pedestrian crossover constructed at a point north of P57 and south of Chelsea Piers (around 17th / 18th Street) that connects to whatever is developed on what is now a big parking lot at WSH / 18th / Tenth / 17th.

And maybe a people moving gondola that would circularly connect Pier 57 to the new Whitney Annex at Gansevoort / Tenth and across the WSH to the HRP area that is still to be developed on the Gansevoort Peninsula.

C'mon ... How much could that cost?

August 3rd, 2009, 06:23 AM
Disparate elements unresolved.

(Not enough design talent.)

August 5th, 2009, 11:49 PM
It is an interesting proposal, probably the most in-depth we've seen for any scenarios presented. I echo Lofter's sentiments. It pronounces itseld as the epicenter of the Chelsea Gallery area, Meatpacking District, West Village and HRT to the north and south, but all it has done to bolster that notion is drawn lines with arrowheads ending at the pier's doorstep.

I believe that the only way to make this pier viable as a commercial / revenue generating building is to build up the HRP from Ganesvoort through 15 or 16th Streets, and have vehicle entry via a tunnel under the raised park.

That area has always been a cra/bike nightmare intersection. It needs to be reimagined. By now, all parties should know that the square peg can't fit in a round hole.

Build the tunnel. Raise the park over it. Create pedestrian entry at the second or third floor to the pier. Car traffic or intersction congestion should NEVER be an issue in a park. EVER. If you can't alleviate it, use the engineering and landscape design to make it disappear.

May 29th, 2011, 02:08 PM
Is this plan dead? Or just another project stalled due to the financial implosion?

May 29th, 2011, 02:55 PM
I don't know if it's stalled, but when the contract was awarded in Autumn 2009, it was stated that construction wouldn't begin for two years.

The park has an operating shortfall of $10 million. A proposal is being worked to create a Business Improvement District along the park border south from 59th St. Tax assessments would be around 5 cents per square foot.

May 29th, 2011, 03:32 PM
Another BID fiefdom? NYC is being divied out to corporate real estate interests, neighborhood by neighborhood.

May 29th, 2011, 04:21 PM
A BID for the neighborhoods tied to the park makes sense. The park has increased the value of the property.

May 29th, 2011, 11:20 PM
Remember what happened about a year ago when the High Line floated basically the same idea? An assessment for properties nearby the HL? Locals basically spat in their face and told them to shove it. The HL dropped the idea really fast.

July 19th, 2011, 09:12 AM
Pier 57 Takes Next Step in Massive Redevelopment Project

By Meredith Hoffman


(http://www.dnainfo.com/20110719/chelsea-hells-kitchen/pier-57-takes-next-step-massive-redevelopment-project/comments) http://assets.dnainfo.com/generated/photo/2011/07/1311019051.jpg/image640x480.jpg


CHELSEA — After years of planning, Pier 57 (http://www.hudsonriverpark.org/construction/pier57_dev.asp), a waterfront space at West 15th Street, is a step closer to becoming a cultural and economic hub.

Detailed plans (http://www.nyc.gov/html/mancb4/downloads/pdf/pier_57_draft_scope_of_work.pdf) for the project — which includes a two-floor public marketplace, a two-acre rooftop open space and a 115-slip marina — are now available online. The Hudson River Park Trust, which owns the property, is seeking public feedback until July 29.

The comments will be considered in an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), before construction can begin. Architects for the project include Handel Architects and Lot-Ek, among others.
The project's completion is slated for 2015 and is expected to resurrect the pier, which was built in 1952. It's currently listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, and once housed the Grace Lines cruises.

The site has been vacant since 2004, according to the proposal.

The future space, which is slated to include about 375,000 square feet and will cost about $210 million to build, is expected to receive a massive influx of people and cars, sparking concerns among some community members and local officials.

The TriBeCa Film Festival's rooftop theater alone is expected to attract thousands.

"As we've seen in other places in the city, even small changes can have huge impacts in traffic," said Sarah Meier-Zimbler, legislative aide to State Senator Tom Duane, at Thursday's meeting of the Hudson River Park Trust inside the Chelsea Market event space. The trust held the meeting to share the plans and solicit feedback from the public.

Duane and State Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, whose district covers Chelsea, issued a statement expressing apprehension about the possible effects on local residents, and on the safety of pedestrians beside such a large street.

Edward Kirkland, a Community Board 4 member, also expressed concerns about the traffic, and Christine Berthet of CB4's transportation committee said her main concern was bicycle movement amid the crowds.

"They [the developers] need to think about bikes as vehicles, as they would cars," said Berthet, otherwise praising the project.

Noreen Doyle, Executive Vice President of the Hudson River Park Trust, said that traffic considerations would remain a priority.

"We know that traffic issues, including those related to pedestrians and bikes, are extremely important to the community," she wrote in an email to DNAinfo.


July 19th, 2011, 06:23 PM
The EIS (pdf on line (http://www.nyc.gov/html/mancb4/downloads/pdf/pier_57_draft_scope_of_work.pdf)) includes the logical plan for access, but only as an "alternative" -- a pedestrian bridge from the pier across the West Side Hiway to the park at 14th Street (seen on the final page) ...

In addition to alternatives addressing potential impacts, the EIS will consider an alternative that includes a pedestrian bridge that would extend over Route 9A from the project site (see Figure 12).


December 6th, 2012, 06:16 AM
Pier 57's First Stage, Shipping Containers, to Debut by April

by Sara Polsky


Malls (and other buildings (http://ny.curbed.com/tags/shipping-containers)) made out of shipping containers aren't really anything new. What is new about the latest shipping container mall coming to the city: it will be at Pier 57, where the development plan from Youngwoo & Associates is finally in motion. The developer will set up shipping containers as stores for about 60 retailers by April, the Post (http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/mad_about_nomad_c4bwQZ5a3IDkQIN6ne1QRK/1) reports. Each store can rent a shipping container for $3,000/month, and the project is called Incubox. When the rest of P57, as the pier's full makeover is now known, opens in spring 2015, the Incuboxes will rise in price to $5,500/month.


The shipping containers will make up only some of the 240,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space at P57 when it's finally completed—there will be stores of 50,000 square feet and larger, the Post explains. There will also be an amphitheater for the Tribeca Film Festival on the top deck. The Post describes one other fun feature: "a marketplace area where pieces of old airplane fuselages will be transformed into wide columns and double as food kiosks, performance spaces or spots for other activities."

http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/p57_12_12-thumb.jpg (http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/p57_12_12.jpg)

Mad About NoMad (http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/mad_about_nomad_c4bwQZ5a3IDkQIN6ne1QRK/1) [NYP]

http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2012/12/05/pier_57s_first_stage_shipping_containers_to_debut_ by_april.php

April 11th, 2013, 12:03 AM
Follow bottom link for video

Pier 57 project approved

NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) - Pier 57 is really one of the last remaining massive, rugged steel piers along the Hudson River. But not for long. When you cruise along the river, Pier 57 does stand out with its marine and aviation sign, steel, and old wood pylons. It's a relic from the past.
Built in 1952, the pier has been used by the city's aviation units, Department of Sanitation, and more recently various private and public events.
Soon it will become a shopper's oasis, in a sense.
Madelyn Wils of the Hudson River Park Trust says port containers will be spread out in the massive indoor pier space. Young Woo and Associates has designed the $210 million Pier 57 project.
It will have a 2 acre rooftop park, the Tribeca Film Festival will have films there, along with other cultural events.
The historical aesthetic will also be kept intact, like the steel caissons the pier is built on, the massive steel facade that will be restored, and exhibits explaining the history of the pier.
The project is set to begin in the fall and be completed by 2015.

Read more: http://www.myfoxny.com/story/21936534/pier-57-project-approved#ixzz2Q7l9OcZ4

April 11th, 2013, 03:34 PM
This is absurd: this place will not attract much foot traffic - it will be desolate most of the time. The Hudson River waterfront is acold, windy, inhospitable place for about 9 months out of the year: very few (relatively speaking) people venture over there if it is not hot & sunny - as in June, July and August.

Let's see what happens if you do not agree: but This is surly going to be an 'I-told-you-so' thing for me. Who comes up with these ideas anyway: the worst idea since that 'bike share' scheme that recently launched - that too will bomb....HeHeee

April 11th, 2013, 03:47 PM
Most of it is indoors.

It might link up well with the new Whitney and general increased activity at the Meatmarket.

April 11th, 2013, 07:40 PM
There were 4.5 million visitors at the HL in 2012. When the new Whitney opens in 2015 a whole new shift will begin.

If they build a cool footbridge across the West Side Hiway (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2954&page=6&p=369592&viewfull=1#post369592), many of those folks could be lured to Pier 57.

April 24th, 2013, 08:21 AM
Redevelopment of Manhattan’s Pier 57 Moved Forward With City Council Approval

by Vincenza Di Maggio

http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/800px-NY_Chelsea_Pier_57_IMG_2195-550x366.jpg (http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/800px-NY_Chelsea_Pier_57_IMG_2195.jpg)
Pier 57. (Courtesy Wikipedia)

As Spring approaches, perhaps in the spirit of rejuvenation, the New York City Council has unanimously approved plans to revitalize Manhattan’s Pier 57, the historic pier located at 15th Street and the Hudson River. In 2009 architecture firm Young Woo & Associates set in motion a plan to transform the Pier into a multi-use cultural, retail, and restaurant hub, and, with the City Council’s approval in hand, the developers can finally begin the long-awaited redevelopment of the pier.

Pier 57 was built in 1952 by Emil Praeger. At the time of construction the engineer received great acclaim for his pioneering design—the Pier floats on three buoyant hollow concrete boxes that were flooded down the river. The new plan to restore the historic landmark conserves the original framing while renovating the 375,000 square feet of interior and rooftop space.

http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/pier57_01-550x349.jpg (http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/pier57_01.jpg)
A previous design for rehabbing Pier 57. (Courtesy Young Woo & Associates)

While Young Woo & Associates would not release new renderings of the updated design, previous renderings hint at what may be in store. The plan’s most enticing design feature involves the repurposing of sixty 160-square-foot “Incuboxes,” or shipping containers, which will be leased to artisans and merchants for $3,000 a month and used for retail and restaurant space.

Additionally, the new plans call for adding an amphitheater and a marketplace featuring recycled airplane fuselages that will serve as food kiosks and performance spaces. A public green rooftop, “Sky Park,” will offer waterfront views of the river and New Jersey and will be used to host exhibitions and performances, as well a serve as the Tribeca Film Festivals permanent outdoor venue.

Construction of the new and improved Pier 57 is expected to begin in October, with completion targeted for 2015. Hudson River Park Trust Chairperson Diana Taylor said in a statement, “I am so pleased that this project which is so vital to the Park can now go forward. This new Pier will include sorely needed open spaces for Park visitors and will result in much needed revenue to help operate and maintain the Park to the high standards we have come to expect.”

http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/P571.jpg (http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/P571.jpg)
A previous design for rehabbing Pier 57. (Courtesy Young Woo & Associates)

http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/pier57_02.jpg (http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/pier57_02.jpg)
A previous design for rehabbing Pier 57. (Courtesy Young Woo & Associates)

http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/pier57_03.jpg (http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/pier57_03.jpg)
A previous design for rehabbing Pier 57. (Courtesy Young Woo & Associates)

http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/pier57_04.jpg (http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/pier57_04.jpg)
A previous design for rehabbing Pier 57. (Courtesy Young Woo & Associates)


April 24th, 2013, 12:28 PM
I'm afraid I can't do that Dave.

June 19th, 2013, 04:17 AM
NYC’s Abandoned Pier 57 to be Revitalized by a Huge Shipping Container Complex

by catherine ku


Pier 57, abandoned for almost a decade, will be revived by 2015. Source: Blouin Artinfo (http://www.blouinartinfo.com/news/story/911298/abandoned-pier-reborn-as-shipping-container-gallery-foodie).

Just a few months ago Pier 57 (http://pier-57.com/) was a floating concrete box that sat abandoned on the Hudson River at the end of 15th Street on the West Side Highway. But with the approval of the city council this past April (http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/real-estate/pier-57-historic-makeover-local-developer-article-1.1312114), the renovated three-acre complex will be built from repurposed shipping containers and promises to be a lively junction of art, fashion, film and food. Plans call for a number of retail shops and restaurants and over 100,000 feet of outdoor public space, to be completed in 2015.

The space was used as a bus station by the NYC Transit Authority until 2003, when they vacated the pier. Since then, Pier 57 has been used sparingly, first to house protestors arrested during the 2004 Republican National Convention, and then as the site of the Collective .1 Design Fair (http://www.collectivedesignfair.com/) this past May. Currently, the pier is hosting the art exhibition “T.I.N.Y,” or The Interactive New York (http://www.coolhunting.com/tech/garson-yu-the-interactive-new-york-tiny.php), which transports viewers to NYC in the nineties by projecting images and sounds from that decade.


Plans for the massive arts, culture and entertainment complex at Pier 57. Source: Young Woo & Associates (http://www.iyoungwoo.com/).

Behind this transformation is architect Young Woo, who was profiled by Blouin Artinfo (http://www.blouinartinfo.com/news/story/911298/abandoned-pier-reborn-as-shipping-container-gallery-foodie) this month. Woo also designed Brooklyn’s DeKalb Market (http://dekalbmarket.com/), an excellent example of what he can do with shipping containers. Woo’s plans for the complex also include a rooftop park, an artificial beach club and a permanent outdoor venue for the Tribeca Film Festival.


June 23rd, 2013, 05:47 PM







December 17th, 2013, 06:06 AM
Construction-Bound SuperPier Unveils New Plans, Lofty Claims

by Hana R. Alberts

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52af2773f92ea16b8b004483/Rendering%203.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52af2774f92ea16b8b004486/Rendering%203.jpg)

Pier 57's long road to redevelopment (http://ny.curbed.com/places/pier-57) just logged another notch: it's launched an official website (http://superpier.com/index.html), replete with new renderings, a video, GIFs, cute pixelated animations, and, oh yeah, information about leasing for potential tenants. The heroic-sounding, in-limbo SuperPier, developed by the ambitious (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/12/11/superpier_watch.php) Youngwoo and Associates, has thus far been host to some temporary fashion (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/06/12/shipping_containers_to_house_crazilydesigned_popup _shops.php) and art (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/07/01/pier_57_adds_shipping_container_art_shops_will_com e_later.php) installations, but the whole place will close next month for construction until it reopens in the summer of 2015. That's when stacks of "incuboxes (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2012/12/05/pier_57s_first_stage_shipping_containers_to_debut_ by_april.php)" (sort of like modular containers) will make up a $200 million food and retail complex (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/09/04/pier_57_reveals_anchor_tenants_more_details_and_ne w_name.php) populated with local creative companies.

Announced anchor tenants include a spa and restaurant by Andre Balazs, a boutique by Opening Ceremony, and a climbing gym by Brooklyn Boulders. On its new site, SuperPier says it's on the hunt (http://superpier.com/leasing.html) for more tenants to fill the 270,000 square feet, such as "global retailers, entrepreneurs, big brands trying new things, square watermelons." Huh? Apparently, "20 superspaces" are available, ranging from 3,000 to 20,000 square feet. The site proclaims: "SuperPier will be the most innovative experience in culture, entertainment, dining, and retail in NYC since the opening of Rockefeller Center in 1939." For more hyperbolic marketing bells & whistles, a teaser video (http://vimeo.com/80074765) hints at what's to come after the makeover—using buzzwords like "Marvel!" "Mysteries!" "Colossal!" "Dramatic!" "Delights!"—but one thing it wants to make clear is that this is "Not A Mall." Currently seeking new definitions for what exactly it is, then.

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52af2775f92ea16b8b00448d/Rendering%201.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52af2776f92ea16b8b004490/Rendering%201.jpg)

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http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52af277af92ea16b8b0044a1/Screen%20Shot%202013-12-16%20at%2010.52.10%20AM.png (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52af277af92ea16b8b0044a4/Screen%20Shot%202013-12-16%20at%2010.52.10%20AM.png)

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http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52af2789f92ea16b8b0044fb/Screen%20Shot%202013-12-16%20at%2010.57.01%20AM.png (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52af2789f92ea16b8b0044fe/Screen%20Shot%202013-12-16%20at%2010.57.01%20AM.png)

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http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52af278bf92ea16b8b00450f/Screen%20Shot%202013-12-16%20at%2010.56.09%20AM.png (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/52af278bf92ea16b8b004512/Screen%20Shot%202013-12-16%20at%2010.56.09%20AM.png)

Click the image blow to see a a GIF of the pier's future construction in incubox module increments.

http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/SuperPier%20construction-thumb.gif (http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/SuperPier%20construction.gif)

SuperPier (http://superpier.com/index.html) [official]

http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/12/16/constructionbound_superpier_unveils_new_plans_loft y_claims.php

December 17th, 2013, 04:00 PM
Something different for this spot.