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Thread: Greenways and Waterfront Development

  1. #46


    I didnt see a completion date...anyone?

  2. #47

    Default Grand plans for East River waterfront


    September 5, 2005

    To walk the East River waterfront from the Battery to the Williamsburg Bridge is to pick one's way through a derelict but magical terrain of heart-swelling views, parking lots, red-brick memories of New York City's stevedore past and stretches of cracked asphalt slick with fish slime.

    But if Amanda Burden, the persuasively enthusiastic commissioner of city planning, is to be believed, this two-mile strip will soon be transformed into a glimmering, romantic esplanade. Financial barons will sit on benches and do lunchtime deals by cell phone. Residents of Chinatown will hold martial arts classes and painting exhibits in well-lit glass pavilions tucked under the FDR Drive. The waterfront will throb once again, with leisure instead of labor.

    "The most important thing is to give people access to the river," said Burden, standing under the elevated highway that cuts between the river and the cliff-like housing projects of the Lower East Side. She surveyed a triple barrier of chain-link fence, parked trucks and a carpeting of litter. "Right now, they can't get there."

    And when they can, what will they find? A rarefied team of architects that includes the British Lord Richard Rogers, the New York-based firm SHoP and the landscape designer Ken Smith has furnished the city with some specific, if preliminary, visions. The underside of the FDR Drive will be metal-clad and exuberantly lit, to make it rather more like a gleaming canopy and less like a grimly functional overpass.

    The strip of park will extend out onto reconfigured piers, including an undulating, multi-leveled boardwalk veiling the Sanitation Department's truck maintenance facility at Pier 35. The waterfront also will extend its fingers upland into the city with a series of landscaped medians and open plazas.

    Lubricating the transition from rosy vision to reality is a $150-million grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., the agency that oversees the efforts to rebuild after 9/11. The waterfront is not part of the World Trade Center site, and its problems did not originate with terrorist attacks.

    But the framework of post-9/11 reconstruction provided the project with money, a rationale -- revitalizing lower Manhattan -- and a new sense of urgency. And, compared with the monstrous cost and difficulties of forcing towers, train stations, memorials and museums to bloom out of the bedrock of Ground Zero, beautifying the waterfront seems like a cheap and easy way to increase the area's allure, both for residents and corporate tenants.

    "In five or 10 years, lower Manhattan will be not only the emotional part of the city, but it will also be the place that everyone wants to be," says developer Frank Sciame.

    Sciame is backing that prediction with his own private projects. He has renovated a collection of 18th century buildings along Front Street and on Peck Slip, a square that is now filled with cars but that Burden and her staff at City Planning envision transforming into a green-fringed plaza around a reflecting pool.

    More audaciously, Sciame proposes to build 80 South Street, which is not so much a traditional luxury apartment tower as a concoction of stacked, off-kilter cubes -- vertical townhouses for the very rich. The architect is Santiago Calatrava, who designed the equally flamboyant World Trade Center PATH station now under construction.

    "Without the bold moves by the public sector at Ground Zero -- the Calatrava station and all the great buildings that will be there -- I would never have planned a building like 80 South Street," Sciame said.

    Recovering from catastrophe may be the latest impetus for rehabilitating the south-facing strip of Manhattan's shore, but the East River Esplanade is only the latest in a 40-year history of grand plans. Earlier proposals ranged from an FDR memorial by Louis Kahn to a housing complex for nearly 10,000 families, a Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Gehry and a floating mountain bike playland. If the new plan is built, it will be because it is not some mountaintop visionary's idea, but the distillation of dozens of meetings with local community groups.

    "This plan shows that you don't necessarily need enormous pieces of architecture to make the East River a totally different place," said Raymond Gastil, director of city planning for Manhattan. "It's real, it's doable and it will change the city's edge."

    Two other developments might help nudge the plan toward realization. The first is the closing of the Fulton Fish Market, which will relieve the neighborhood of a good deal of truck traffic and some particularly overripe odors. The second is the takeover last November of the failing South Street Seaport mall on Pier 17 by General Growth.

    The Chicago-based real estate company also has the right to lease the empty fish market, and it has hired the architectural firm Beyer Blinder Belle to explore options for extending the mall into other buildings. The company's plans will have to mesh with those of the city.

    "Whatever General Growth wants to do, they'll have to come to us [for approvals], so we have a lot of leverage," said Michael Samuelian, who oversees all lower Manhattan projects at the Department of City Planning.

    Most large-scale public works projects in Manhattan have to wade through a quicksand of opposition; this one seems to be gliding on an air cushion of optimism. One point in the plan's favor is that its ambitions more or less match its resources. Still, one of its most ardent supporters, Carter Craft, director of the advocacy group Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, warned that the money could easily bleed away in half-measures.

    "You can spend $150 million really quick and not have a lot to show for it," he said. "The real challenge is to target that money specifically and strategically. Waterfront construction is second only to building a tunnel in terms of its expense, and when you're building in one of the oldest parts of Manhattan, there will be surprises down there."

    Copyright 2005 Newsday Inc.

  3. #48

    Default A very good waterfront development

    From Article in the "Downtown Express"

    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.

    Located at W. Houston St., Pier 40, which is to be permanently redeveloped with at least 50 percent of its 14 acres for park uses, will also generate revenues for the entire park, but not enough, Ortenzio said. “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.

  4. #49


    East River Access From The Lower East Side

    by Pat Arnow
    05 Oct 2005

    After many years of effort a greenway of parks and paths rings most of Manhattan now – with some notable exceptions. One such exception is the Lower East Side.

    The Lower East Side used to have spectacular access to the East River, thanks to the East River Park, built by master planner Robert Moses in 1939, and including a walkway built on bulkheads over the river, offering breathtaking views. But repairs and improvements were sporadic and piecemeal, and, in the summer of 2001, divers inspecting it found structural weakness in the retaining wall. Before the July 4 hordes could descend on the river to view fireworks, the city blocked off almost all of the walkway.

    Three years after the city deemed the path as unsafe, a sturdy eight-foot chain link fence blocking access to the waterfront looked like a permanent fixture. Because of post-9/11 budget constraints and a lack of community advocacy or business interest, it seemed unlikely that fixing the esplanade along the river would happen soon, if ever.

    But, in a surprising turn, this long-neglected section of Manhattan’s greenway is slated to come back to life. It will take two more years and a whopping $69 million, but the heavy equipment is already there, working away
    No great public outcry had greeted the closing of river access. This was not the West Side with high-priced residential and business interests and vocal, connected constituents. On the East Side below 14th Street, the Jacob Riis, Lillian Wald and Baruch public housing projects are adjacent to the park across the FDR. It is interesting to note that most of the gaps in the Manhattan greenway are similarly adjacent to low-income neighborhoods.

    Rosie Mendez, who has won the Democratic primary for the City Council district that includes East River Park, worked for the district's Councilmember Margarita Lopez (who is leaving that office because of term limits). Mendez says that former Mayor Rudy Giuliani refused to put money in the budget for infrastructure. When the promenade closed, "the mayor said she [Lopez] should get capital money to do the repairs," says Mendez, even though "infrastructure is what the city has to do, and it was a lot of money." That wasn't the kind of money that Lopez could get. Council members' discretionary funds get stretch thinly among schools, libraries, parks, and nonprofits.

    Until recently, the community had other things on its mind, according to Richard Ropiak of Community Board 3. "Several other things the board focused on have been addressed," he says, "Drugs, housing, public safety. Once you solve major, visible things, you can focus on other things, such as parks." And that's the board's "prime focus" now, he says.

    The community board has the power of advocacy, not the power of the purse. Now, with the mayor making parks and a greenway around Manhattan a priority, the park has funding as well. Rosie Mendez credits Bloomberg for allocating the money for the work to be done on the promenade. Plans are underway to complete the greenway all around Manhattan.

    The infusion of funds for the promenade below 14th St. came two years ago in the mayor's fiscal year '05-'06 budget, says Nancy Barthold, assistant commissioner for capital projects in the parks department. No state or federal money has gone into the project, and it's a big one for the city. "Our typical project is a playground for between $500,000 and $1 million," says Barthold. Planning began in 2004 and the actual work started at the beginning of this year
    Still, it's going to be 2007 before anyone sees much river up close. It's a process with complicated and expensive steps, says Barthold. Before new pilings could be built, Con Ed had to move an old oil line and move live underground wires. The company bears the cost of such work, says Con Ed spokesperson Joe Petta.

    As they finish 500-foot sections, the contractors building the pilings can move in and rip up the old structure, says Barthold. The barges and heavy equipment just south of 14th St. have made a torn-up landscape, but that's construction. Some $54 million is going to the bulkhead construction. The actual building of the promenade with benches, plantings, and lights will cost $13 to $15 million. That part of the project is currently being sent out for bids. Barthold says it should be done in the summer of 2007, though the Parks Department website says 2008.

    That's not the only improvement East River Park has seen. In the past two years, the park has gained refurbished ball fields (funded through the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which was created to rebuild lower Manhattan after 9/11), playgrounds and a rebuilt outdoor amphitheater (which had been the first home of Shakespeare in the Park). There are working public toilets and plans for more.

    But much of the park—the largest in lower Manhattan--lives in a state of dishabille. A grassy patch turns brown. Another, greener lawn rarely gets a mowing. A broken water fountain falling into a sinkhole has had a tidy little chain link fence around it for years. Bikers and walkers now traverse a noisy path up against the FDR that is always either dusty or flooded. That's the way it will remain until the promenade reopens.

    The shabbiness doesn't stop the streams of people. Runners, dog walkers, parents with strollers, skateboarders, bicyclists, and family gatherings pulse through the paths and picnic areas. Chain link, noisy construction and disrepair don't stop people from crossing over the FDR Drive. The neighborhood doesn't wait for the park that will be. It uses the park that it has.

  5. #50
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    ^ I can't wait for this stretch of riverfront park to be re-opened. Bike riding along the shoreline there is a pleasure -- far less crowded than along the Hudson.

    And I liked the "old-NYC" feel of it. Hoping they don't over-design the new park.

  6. #51
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
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    Oct 2002
    Manhattan - South Village


    Right. I hope they keep the big shady trees, it's the best place to run when it's hot, and like you siad, far less crowded.

  7. #52
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    East River plan’s switch to fast track hits bumps

    By Ronda Kaysen
    October 07 - 13, 2005

    Two bedraggled piers lining the southern end of the East River and a nearby city owned building might soon be put to temporary use, if only the city can find a way through the red tape.

    Last spring, the city unveiled a $150 million overhaul of the East River Waterfront that would transform the forsaken area into a recreational destination rivaling Hudson River Park. But the redevelopment funded by the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. is still a long way from a reality with work not expected to begin in earnest for at least two years.

    In the meantime, the city hopes to see Pier 35, north of the Manhattan Bridge, the northern portion of Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport and the New Market building at the Fulton Fish Market open for temporary recreation. Any uses would be for the summer season only, beginning next summer and perhaps continuing through summer 2007.

    The benefit of doing this is you get people familiar with using the waterfront in different ways,” said Michael Samuelian, director of Lower Manhattan special projects for the Department of City Planning, which is overseeing East River plans. “It’s just a place that people aren’t accustomed to actually going out on a pier and experiencing the waterfront recreationally.”

    But there are some major obstacles to the plan. First, the piers are not entirely at the city’s disposal. General Growth, the company that owns the Pier 17 building and the South Street Seaport mall, controls the portion of Pier 17 that the city hopes to transform into a temporary public space.

    “We’d entertain anything that supported our retailers and the community for up to a two-year period,” wrote Michael Piazzola, a senior general manager at General Growth and vice president of the Seaport Market Place, in an e-mail to Downtown Express. “One of the benefits of the location is that it may allow us to do many different things during this period and therefore keep it ‘fresh.’”

    The northern portion of the pier has piqued the interest of promoters from “extreme bicycle” events, auto dealers wanting to hold car shows on the waterfront, boat shows and restaurateurs eager to transform the jetty into a “rooftop environment,” said Piazzola. The Pier 17 mall currently occupies the southern portion of the berth.

    But any plans are a long way off. The Fulton Fish Market currently uses the north side of the pier at night for its market. Until the market leaves, “any interim uses of any magnitude — those that can’t be set up and torn down in one night — will need to wait,” wrote Piazzola.

    The market’s move to a new facility in the South Bronx has been delayed five times since the beginning of the year. The move is now stalled indefinitely because of a lawsuit lobbed against the city by the company that unloads the fish, Laro Service Systems. “We have been hampered in our efforts to utilize the north side of 17 due to the need for the Fish Market to use it overnight,” wrote Piazzola.

    The New Market building, which is currently occupied by the fish market, is facing a similar plight. Controlled by the city, the building cannot be opened up to outside vendors until the Fish Market lawsuit against the city is resolved.

    “We can’t do anything with the building when the Fish Market’s still in it,” said Janel Patterson, a spokesperson for the E.D.C., the agency that oversees the Fish Market.

    Pier 35, an 80 ft. by about 400 ft. structure located north of the Manhattan Bridge, is the only site with any immediate possibilities for temporary use. But it has glitches of its own. The relieving platform has fallen into the river, cutting the berth off from the land. It can only be accessed via neighboring Pier 36, which is currently used by the Sanitation Department.

    City Planning and the E.D.C. are in discussions with the Sanitation Dept. to create a dedicated pedestrian passageway so visitors can safely access the pier. Until an agreement is reached, the idea is on hold. “If we can come to an agreement with the Sanitation Department — and this is an ‘if’ — we will then be able to initiate a [Request for Proposals],” said Samuelian, referring to the formal request the E.D.C. would release to potential vendors for the site.

    Samuelian hopes the discussions will be resolved “in a few weeks.”

  8. #53
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown

    Default Pier A

    Nice rendering of the long dormant renovation of Pier A at the edge of Battery Park ...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #54
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown

    Default Castle Clinton Renovation

    Not necessarily new news, but the Phifer website has some amazing renderings showing the glass structure proposed to rise above Castle Clinton:
    Click the Phifer home page screen; this will take to you the "Projects" page.

    Click "Castle Clinton" for images.
    The Castle: Today

    The Battery Conservancy has taken the first steps toward realizing the rebuilding of Castle Clinton. Thomas Phifer & Partners and Beyer Blinder Belle won the international competition in 1999 and have completed the conceptual design to take the Castle into the 21st century.

    The rebuilt Castle will have three functions. It will act as a transportation hub for the growing heritage tourism and recreational use of New York Harbor and the lower Hudson Valley. It will become a venue for the performing arts, reviving the spirit of Castle Garden (1824-1855). And it will house a new interpretive center that will focus on the myriad layers of history at The Battery, encouraging visitors to explore their individual heritage as well as that of the city and the nation. Like the park that surrounds it, the revitalized Castle will welcome, orient, educate, entertain and nourish visitors.

  10. #55
    Banned Member
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    Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY


    It's a nice looking design, but I prefer restoring the fort and keeping it as a historic monument. The whole glass thing doesn't doesn't appeal to me as an extension of the fort. I was looking forward to seeing the fort return to a tourist destination in its own right - without the Statue of Liberty Ticket Booth inside.

    They ought to work on the eastern edge of the park for a new design by that catering hall/grille and the Maritime Center and Offices (?) between the restaurant and Ferry. I think the park should integrate right into the S.I. Ferry Terminal area.

  11. #56
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
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    City Settles Suit Over Use of Piers Intended as Park

    New York Times
    November 1, 2005

    The City of New York has settled a lawsuit involving the Sanitation Department's continued use of two West Side piers, which were to have been turned over to the Hudson River Park Trust in 2003.

    As part of the agreement, approved by a judge last week, the city will pay $21.5 million to the trust over the next seven years and set new deadlines to vacate both piers.

    The suit, filed earlier this year, was brought by Friends of Hudson River Park, a nonprofit organization, over the city's response to the 1998 Hudson River Park Act.

    It required the Sanitation Department to cease operations by the end of 2003 on Pier 97 at 57th Street and at the Gansevoort Peninsula pier, a scruffy facility at West 12th Street used by the department to store rock salt and park trucks.

    The two piers are to be remade as part of Hudson River Park, which stretches from 59th Street to Battery Park.

    But by last spring, neither pier had been vacated. And instead of showing signs of leaving, the Sanitation Department began erecting a garage at Gansevoort for its trucks.

    "There was no impetus for the Sanitation Department to move," said Daniel L. Alterman, a lawyer for the Friends. "They needed a push."

    Susan Amron, a lawyer for the city, said that the department had been searching for alternate locations.

    She added that "it's very difficult in Manhattan to find vacant space that is acceptable or appropriate for a sanitation garage."

    Under the settlement, the Sanitation Department will now leave Pier 97 by 2008 and Gansevoort by 2012, giving it time to move operations on the two piers to a garage being built on West 57th Street and a potential location on Spring Street and the West Side Highway.

    The city also pledged to clean up both sites before leaving. At Gansevoort, that means tearing down the buildings and removing the shell of the old marine transfer station.

  12. #57
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
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    Oct 2002
    Manhattan - South Village


    Set new deadlines, meaning, "deadlines" don't mean anything. Seven years is pathetic.

  13. #58


    Quote Originally Posted by NYatKNIGHT
    Set new deadlines, meaning, "deadlines" don't mean anything. Seven years is pathetic.
    Thank you for this post. It expains al lot about a recent incedent at the sanitation pier on 59th street. STORY - I walked about 10 yards off the greenway path into the sanitation yard parking lot (which was desolate on an early Sunday Morning) to take photos of the new boathoust in Clinton Cove Park.....So, A man in sanitation department uniform "yelled" at me; THIS IS DEPT. OF SANITATION PROPERTY, YOU DO NOT BELONG HERE, GET OFF!

    I guess he was still fuming about being evicted?

    Anyway, if you would like to see the photos I took that day - they are on my threads, under kayaking.

    And, about "deadling" lets see about when they actually leave - I like the Dept, and all they do for us.......but I would be nice to have more cooperation to make that park (compromise to Westway) happen.

  14. #59
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    October 31, 2005

    Ground broken on the West Harlem Piers

    Government officials, including Mayor Bloomberg and U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel, broke ground Monday on construction of the West Harlem Piers, an $18.7 million project that the city says will connect West Harlem to the rest of the Manhattan waterfront greenway. A new bicycle and pedestrian path, a docking pier, a recreational and fishing pier, and landscaped open space along the Hudson River waterfront are scheduled to be part of the project, which is being built on a city-owned parking lot between 125th and 135th streets. Construction, according to the city, is expected to start by the end of the year, and the piers should be completed by the spring of 2007.

    Copyright © 2003-2005 The Real Deal.

  15. #60


    [QUOTE=krulltime]October 31, 2005

    Government officials, including Mayor Bloomberg and U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel, broke ground Monday on construction of the West Harlem Piers, an $18.7 million project that the city says will connect West Harlem to the rest of the Manhattan waterfront greenway.

    This is great to know. This project has been in process of about eight years now. There will be a get-down dock for kayaks here too. Its all coming together on the Hudson River Waterfront.

    I go often to the fairway market next to the site: i will take photos of the construction process and post them on this thread.

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