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Thread: Hudson River Park

  1. #76
    Forum Veteran
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    Jan 2003
    Garden City, LI


    Quote Originally Posted by krulltime

    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
    Taking the best of each makes sense, but why can't they pick one developer for this and combine 2 or 3 for Pier 40, which is much larger. I think they all have some merit, although the Cousteau one seems the least "exciting." I would go with the Chelsea Piers on for this pier and cobine elements of the rest for 40.

    As long as something good gets built soon, I guess we should all be happy.

  2. #77


    We have a separate thread for Pier 57.

  3. #78


    How the West Was Done

    At Greenwich Village, a preview of Manhattan's Hudson River Park.

    By Allen Freeman

    The first segment in the grand remaking of Manhattan's West Side waterfront is in place, and it offers a preview of New York City's largest landscape architecture project since Central Park. When fully finished, circa 2010 (depending on public funding), the $400 million Hudson River Park will radically transform Manhattan's lower West Side and midtown waterfront—once a gritty workplace of merchant ships and a port for the great ocean liners—into a linear parkland.

    Completed last year at the edge of Greenwich Village, the first segment offers three new park piers and 3,300 linear feet of esplanade bordered by a sequence of small inland parks. This summer, adults and children have flocked there—in big numbers on pleasant days—entering from the western edge of the village or coming up from Battery Park City or taking the subway from more distant parts of the city. They stroll or bike, play or sunbathe, catch a water taxi, or sit in the sun or shade and gaze downriver to the harbor and the Statue of Liberty, upriver toward the George Washington Bridge, or across to the rising skyline of Hoboken, New Jersey.

    The Hudson River Park, of which the new segment is a small part, will parallel the West Side Highway from Battery Park to 59th Street and encompass 13 new recreational piers. Negotiate the five-mile route today by foot or bicycle, and you'll see decrepit old piers with uses—a municipal tow pound, for instance—that are incompatible with recreation interspersed with construction sites where new piers are being built and upland park fragments are taking shape.

    Eventually the Hudson River Park's five miles will be a component piece of a 28-mile linear waterfront park system that will encircle Manhattan (see Landscape Architecture: "An Island unto Itself," July 1999, and "East Side Story," August 2003). The completed park will also anchor the southern end of the Hudson River Valley Greenway Trail System, a patchwork of waterfront and community trails extending from Battery Park up to the community of Waterford north of Albany.

    Overseeing the construction and maintenance of the Hudson River Park is the Hudson River Park Trust, a public benefit corporation housed in Pier 40 just south of the new Greenwich Village segment. Created in 1998 as a city-state partnership, the trust has selected three teams of landscape architects, marine engineers, and architects for four of the park's seven segments. Leading two of the teams are landscape architects: Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates at Chelsea and Sasaki Associates with Donna Walcavage Landscape Architecture + Urban Design at Tribeca. The trust hopes to have final construction documents for these segments next spring. Landscape architect Miceli Kulik Williams and Associates entered a joint venture partnership with architect Richard Dattner & Partners for two more segments adjacent to the Clinton and Hell's Kitchen neighborhoods. These segments are under construction.

    For the segment at Greenwich Village, the New York State Economic Development Corporation selected a team in early 1998, before the Hudson River Trust came into existence, and then the trust took over the $46 million project as the client and owner. Howard Abel, FASLA, of Abel Bainnson Butz led that team, negotiating with city agencies and community groups and refining the design with the trust. "The trust felt a responsibility to reanalyze what it had inherited," Abel says, referring to the work the Greenwich Village team had already completed. "We added some new program elements and facilities and looked closely at the design of the entrance, but the park's theory didn't change."

    To go into the park from the West Village, you cross the West Side Highway's six lanes at the Christopher Street light. A display fountain surrounded by ample places to sit marks the entrance into the north-south esplanade. Examples of the Hudson River Park's design vocabulary are immediately evident: bluestone and granite paving, art deco-inspired light standards, a stainless steel railing with an ipe hardwood handrail at the bulkhead, and the weathered old stone bulkhead itself.

    Several hundred feet upriver, the straight esplanade inflects inland in a shallow semicircle called a bow notch. This smooth bite out of the bulkhead was taken years ago to accommodate the largest ocean liners. A new pedestrian bridge suspended over the water at the line of the bulkhead now lets you walk across the notch. A couple of pleasantly understated freestanding pavilions rise on the upland side, one for restrooms and the other for concessions. The pavilions' shallow vaulted roofs, their profiles facing the water, echo the curve of the bow notch.

    You can walk out into the river on the largest of the new segment's three new piers, Pier 45, which extends 800 feet into the Hudson. (All three piers were built over the piles of historic piers.) Near its center is a long panel of grass that tilts very slightly toward the south. Along its northern edge, benches curve in a design suggestive of rolling waves. Surrounding the grass are areas of boardwalk and patterned pavement with ramps and short runs of stairs. Tensile fabric canopies and small bosks of honey locusts offer spots of shade. The park's lightweight, comfortable chairs are not affixed to the deck, and users looking for companionship or sun or shade frequently rearrange them. An open shower provides a place to cool off on hot days.

    To the north lie the new Piers 46 and 51. Extending about 400 feet into the river, Pier 46 offers picnic tables and synthetic turf for touch football or Frisbee. Pier 46 is more programmed and—so far—less frequented than the longer Pier 45 to its south. At the end of Pier 46, wooden piles protrude slightly above water level. The pile field marks the length of old Pier 46 and serves as a marine habitat. Farther upriver, another full-length pile field—all that is evident of old Pier 49—has been reserved for possible future development. Near the north end of Segment Four (also known as the Greenwich Village segment), stubby Pier 51 reaches only about 100 feet into the Hudson as a children's play area with a nautical theme and water features that have proved to be popular.

    The inland green strip between the esplanade and the Hudson River Bikeway (which runs next to the West Side Highway) is interrupted by entrances at Christopher Street and other intersecting east-west streets and by slight changes in grade and a variety of plantings, from evergreens to roses. To help keep some of the traffic noise out of the park, Abel Bainnson Butz sloped the ground up against the highway and densely planted the park's east ridge. The occasional breaks open views of the park and river for cyclists and motorists.

    "Our development pattern is first to demolish the old piers because they are falling apart," says Marc Boddewyn, ASLA, the Hudson River Trust's vice president for design and construction, in explaining the wholesale demolition and reconstruction of the waterfront. "That's because we have obligations to the state and federal governments not to let debris fall into the river. You can maintain the wooden piers if you have the money, but the structures were often built for a 30-year lifespan. They would rebuild these things every 10 to 20 years as uses changed or piers burned down or vessels crashed into them."

    Boddewyn and Connie Fishman, the trust's president, are giving a run-through tour of the park in late May, starting at its northern end at 59th Street: "Look over there at old Pier 97," he says. "The [pier's fenders are] in better shape than I would have thought, but the timber itself isn't. For anything in the splash zone, if marine borers and other organisms don't [destroy the wood], a good old case of rot will." A landscape architect, Boddewyn leads a trust staff of only two—a marine engineer and another landscape architect who works as a project manager—and oversees a battalion of engineering and construction consultants that expands and contracts according to the workload.

    Asked why the park's new piers are being constructed only where old ones stood, Fishman replies that the Army Corps of Engineers and the New York State Department of Environmental Construction—the agencies that regulate water construction in the Hudson—mandate it. "We can't add piers in places where there were none previously, and we can't increase the total amount of covered-over area from what it is today," she says. "In particular, the agencies that look at fish resources try to maintain continuity. The fish get used to their environment and interact with it in a certain way."

    The fish, or at least some of them, like sun. "In addition to not wanting to shade new areas, the agencies also don't want the pattern of water and the way it flows through the existing piers to be radically changed," she continues. "So when we rebuild a pier, we leave most of the timber piles in place, even though they no longer have any weight-bearing capacity." Reconstruction involves selective removal of old wooden piles, which are replaced with precast concrete versions, spaced about 25 feet apart in bents of six or seven across, to support new concrete decks.

    Look where the pile fields are sticking up, Fishman says. "There are always more birds and fish around the old piles than in the areas where the water flows freely. The wood attracts barnacles and worms and other things that attach themselves to the piles. The fish come and eat those, and the birds come and eat the fish. And so it goes."

    Fish habitat affects the progress at West 56th Street near the north end of Hudson River Park, where a public boathouse is being constructed as part of the new Clinton Cove project. Except for the plantings, Clinton Cove, which will include a floating public pier, is expected to be complete by summer's end. This brings up another ecological prohibition: a moratorium on pile driving in the river from the first of November to the first of May. "The juvenile striped bass like the winter here," Fishman says, "and then when the water warms up, they leave and go out in the ocean. Pile driving shakes up the sediment, and the fish don't like the vibration." The moratorium increases construction costs, she says, because fall shutdown and springtime remobilization add time to the job.

    Asked the trust's criteria for landscape architecture design, Fishman says the trust seeks a degree of consistency through design elements like the railing and light pole but believes that each area should be designed by different teams to express neighborhood character. The trust staff, together with its board of directors, makes the designer selections, she said. The 13-person board includes not only public officials like the governor, the mayor, and Manhattan's borough president but also Madelyn Wils, a community activist and member of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. Fishman mentions Wils as one of those important to the trust's approach to community involvement and reviews as well as designer selection.

    But it was Fishman, as executive director at the trust's inception five years ago and more recently as the trust's president, who set the policy of putting landscape architects in leading roles on each of the projects. Boddewyn says that Fishman did this because she fully understands the roles of landscape architects, marine engineers, and architects. Fishman herself says, "New York is really a building city, not a landscape city, and this is the biggest park project that has been going on here for years. Finding the firms with the capacity to do the job was part of the selection criteria because these jobs take a lot of work."

    Howard Abel, as leader of the Greenwich Village segment team, puts participation in building the park into a practitioner's perspective: "For us, as landscape architects, to get commissions like this, to [lead] a $46 million project, is really where all of us in the profession want to be. That, and the fact that New Yorkers love to visit the park."

  4. #79


    Some people dump on Hudson Park garbage idea

    By Albert Amateau

    The Gansevoort Peninsula, where the Department of Sanitation used to burn garbage and now keeps its trucks, is supposed to be transformed into a green seven-acre extension of the Hudson River Park sometime in the future.

    So the city proposal at a packed Community Board 2 waterfront committee meeting on Monday to build a new marine transfer station for recyclable waste at the end of the peninsula provoked conflicting responses.

    Some saw the proposal as a betrayal of the city promise to devote the peninsula to park use and keep garbage off the waterfront. Opponents also feared that diesel-fueled trucks and barges would pollute the air and the river.

    The peninsula, located in the angle between Little W. 12th and Gansevoort Sts., looks like a pier but is really the remnant of a block-wide landfill created in the mid 1800s that extended from W. 10th St. to the mid W. 20s.

    Kate Ascher, an executive with the city Economic Development Corp. told the meeting that the city has not yet decided on the location of the marine transfer station, but if it were on the Gansevoort Peninsula it could be built without altering the design of the proposed park extension.

    But the project would bring up to 60 trucks and two barges moved by tugs to the peninsula. Recycling trucks would arrive on Route 9A from Lower Manhattan and from neighborhoods to the north.

    Ascher said a new environmentally efficient “green” facility could enclose as many as 35 trucks at a time dumping recyclable metal, glass, plastic and paper into barges for transfer to a proposed new recycling processing center on the Sunset Park waterfront in Brooklyn.

    The transfer station, part of a citywide recycling system, would also be an education center that would allow school children and adults to see the process and learn about recycling and the environment, Ascher said.

    The current marine transfer station, unused for several years, would be rebuilt in a new position closer to the proposed service road for the existing fireboat pier extension on the north side of the peninsula. Ascher said there would be no outdoor queuing of trucks, the dumping into barges would be enclose and controlled to prevent recyclables from falling into the river.

    Several environmental advocates at the meeting said they welcomed the Bloomberg administration’s new commitment to recycling, announced on Tuesday. But the big plus for parks advocates was the likelihood that the city and state would come up with money to transform the peninsula to park use sooner if it also included the transfer station.

    “This is going to be an expensive part of the park to build – there’s a tremendous price tag on the Gansevoort part,” said Albert Butzel, president of Friends of Hudson River Park, adding that including a marine recycling transfer station “would have a significant effect on the government money for the park.”

    But Stu Waldman, a West Village resident, indicated that trading a fast-track park for an unacceptable use on the peninsula was a devil’s bargain.

    Ann Arlen, a former member of Community Board 2 who headed the environmental committee, said that air pollution from diesel fuel is a leading cause of asthma and that the tugs that move barges are the most polluting of all vehicles.

    Noting that recycling trucks would arrive at the proposed transfer station on Route 9A, Zack Winestine, a West Village activist, said the project would make air quality worse for joggers and bike riders in Hudson River Park.

    “The presentation is disingenuous at best,” added Winestine, “Would it be an education center for school children? How many school buses do you expect? West Side development is growing – what about the future?” he asked.

    Ellen Peterson Lewis, another West Village activist, remarked that the transfer station would move raw recyclable material. “None of it will be sanitized. There is some inevitable putrescible material and it stinks,” she said.

    Ascher acknowledged that there would have to be a system of odor control. The project, which she stressed was not a certainty, would also require state legislature amendment to the Hudson River Park Act.

    “The only way this can get built is if there are answers to hard questions about pollution levels,” said Jim Tripp, an environmentalist and solid waste management advocate. “Just because this is a park, we’re going to have to be careful about this project.”

    Don MacPherson, chairperson of the community board waterfront committee who conducted the Monday meeting, noted that the board had previously taken a position that no municipal services should be located on the peninsula. “That doesn’t mean that we refuse to discuss the issue,” he said.

    But the committee declined to make a recommendation to the full board which meets Sept 23.

    Connie Fishman, president of the Hudson River Park Trust, reminded people at the Monday meeting that the Department of Sanitation has frequently failed to meet its timetable to remove facilities like the salt pile from the peninsula. The marine transfer could help speed the process, she said, but it would require an amendment by the state legislature to the Hudson River Act that created the Trust and the five-mile park being built from The Battery to 59th St.

    A final decision on the project could be as far as seven years in the future. The proposed Gansevoort project or an alternative somewhere else in Manhattan would be connected to the mayor’s plan to build a $45 million plant in Sunset Park Brooklyn. The city would be joined in the project by the Hugo Neu Corporation, one of the largest recycling companies in the nation, in a 20-year contract to handle all of the city’s recyclables. The plant would receive metal glass and plastic from marine transfer stations in the five boroughs and process it for ultimate sale to manufacturers.

    Currently, sanitation collection trucks take recycled paper to the 59th St. Marine Transfer Station to be taken by barge to a commercial paper firm in Staten Island. Recycled metal, glass and plastic goes by truck via the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels to a Hugo Neu plant in New Jersey. All Manhattan garbage goes by truck to American Refuel, in Montvale, N.J. for incineration.

    Downtown Express is published by
    Community Media LLC.


  5. #80


    L.M.D.C. park money is coming, Trust says

    By Albert Amateau and Josh Rogers

    The head of the Hudson River Park Trust says she expects by November the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. will authorize the money to build the Downtown section of the Hudson River Park.

    “We anticipate development of that segment of the park with money from the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. — we’ll know by November,” Connie Fishman, the Trust’s president, said at a committee meeting of Community Board 2.

    The Trust has applied to the L.M.D.C. for $70 million to build the park from Houston to Chambers St. The plans for this section include rebuilding two piers, adding boat and kayak docks, children’s play areas, a place to study river life, a dog run, tennis courts, a bird sanctuary off the water. The existing skateboard park and beach volleyball courts are likely to be in the park as well.

    An L.M.D.C. spokesperson said the agency does not comment on what its board may do in the future. The board’s next two meetings are tentatively scheduled for Oct. 14 and Nov. 10.

    Al Butzel, president of the Friends of Hudson River Park, said he was happy when he heard Fishman’s comment and that it coincided with what he has been hearing up until now. “They have told us that something is coming,” he said.

    Over the last year, he has had many discussions with aides to Gov. George Pataki and with Dep. Mayor Dan Doctoroff about the park. Both the Trust and the L.M.D.C. are joint state-city agencies.

    Butzel said the Trust is proceeding as if it will have the money to build the Tribeca section of the park and should be ready with the government applications once the money is approved. He thinks construction could begin a few months later.

    In the spring, Butzel began hearing $46 million of L.M.D.C. money would be authorized for the park. In June, Mayor Mike Bloomberg and the City Council agreed to put $31 million more into the park, but Butzel said that was dependent on matching money from the state. He said a likely scenario to get the Downtown section built would be $46 million from the L.M.D.C., and $12 million each from the city and state.

    The L.M.D.C. was created with federal money to help Lower Manhattan rebuild after 9/11 and it has about $860 million left to spend on a competing group of Downtown projects. Officials at the September board meeting would not say if it would take more or less than a year to make decisions on the rest of the money, but Dep. Mayor Doctoroff indicated it would likely be less.

    “It’s important we provide clarity what the future of Lower Manhattan will look like and I think we’re getting very close to doing that,” he said at a press conference after the development corporation’s board meeting.

    Butzel, in a telephone interview, said he is hopeful there will be enough park money to rebuild Pier 25 1,000 feet into the water and adjacent Pier 26 by 800 feet, providing new waterfront views to park visitors. The Trust has been considering building only a small piece of Pier 26 to accommodate the Downtown Boathouse and The River Project, if it did not get enough money. The piers will deteriorate over time if they are not rebuilt.

    Fishman told C.B. 2 waterfront committee members that she anticipated getting L.M.D.C. money at a meeting to explain a plan to move the park’s trapeze school from Tribeca to Pier 40, near Houston St.

    “We’re trying not to evict [them] and we’ve located a place on the east side of the roof of Pier 40,” Fishman said.

    Others will also have to move during Tribeca construction: Manhattan Youth, which runs after-school programs, the historic Yankee Ferry, the Boathouse and River Project, which studies marine life.

    Jonathan Conant, director of Trapeze School New York, told the C.B. 2 waterfront committee on Sept. 13 that he wants to move the trapeze to the roof of Pier 40. where the school could operate all year round under a specially-design 120 by 66-ft. tent.

    The move has the support of the Trust, whose headquarters are on Pier 40 at Houston St.

    The waterfront committee also likes the idea and voted unanimously at the meeting to recommend the new permanent location be approved by the full board at the end of this month.

    Fishman described Trapeze School’s summer seasons in the park as “hugely successful,” but said it would be necessary soon to move the trapeze from its present location.

    In its present location in the open, at ground level, the trapeze school has the added benefit of providing entertainment for passersby and frequently attracts crowds of park visitors watching students go through their paces.

    “The only disadvantage of the Pier 40 rooftop will be that people can’t watch it,” said Tobi Bergman, a waterfront committee member.

    The roof of the 14-acre three-story pier has a small soccer field but is used mostly as a for-profit parking facility. However, the entire pier is to be redeveloped at some point in the future with at least half of its total space devoted to park use and the remainder commercial. Meanwhile, the pier courtyard, formerly leased for truck parking, is being converted to interim use as a playing field.

    The proposed new location of the Trapeze School New York tent currently accommodates 40 cars that could be moved to other space on the roof, Fishman said.

    The proposed trapeze tent, designed by FTL Design Engineering Studio, would be as light and transparent as possible. “The fabric is like Saran wrap with white dots on it,” Nicholas Goldsmith, principal in FTL, told waterfront committee members.

    The school has a 30-day renewable lease for its present location, which may be cancelled when the Trust begins to build the Downtown segment of the park. The school would have the same kind of 30-day renewable lease for the Pier 40 roof location, which the Trust could also cancel when the redevelopment of the entire pier begins, Fishman said.

    Downtown Express is published by
    Community Media LLC.


  6. #81


    Last week I noticed rolls of chain-link fence and a backhoe at the area between the Chelsea Piers and the westside heliport. They may be starting construction there soon.

    Clinton Cove, at the north end of the park, is almost complete.

    Work is continuing at the pier south of the Intrepid.

  7. #82


    Green light for Hudson Park green, Pataki says

    By Josh Rogers

    Gov. George Pataki said Monday during his semi-annual report on Downtown’s post-9/11 progress that the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation will fund the Tribeca section of the Hudson River Park.

    Officials have been saying for months that $70 million from the L.M.D.C. was likely, but the Hudson River Park Trust’s president, Connie Fishman, said she did not hear for sure that some money was coming until just before Pataki’s Nov. 22 speech at the Ritz-Carlton in Battery Park City, site of all four of the governor’s Lower Manhattan progress speeches.

    Fishman said more discussions with the L.M.D.C. are needed as to what and how much the Pataki-created agency is funding, but the governor’s announcement means construction on the delayed project could begin by the middle of next year under the most optimistic schedule.

    She said as Downtown’s residential population continues to increase, better park spaces for families are needed.

    “They need a place to play as well as a place to work and the riverfront is the best and most easily accessible place available,” Fishman said in a telephone interview.

    The project has the support of Community Board 1, Councilmember Alan Gerson and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who asked the L.M.D.C. to fund the park at the agency’s board meeting two weeks ago.

    At his speech before the Association for a Better New York (abny), Pataki said: “Through funding from the L.M.D.C., we will be able to complete the Tribeca section of the five-mile, 550-acre [park] and provide the community with even more recreational space and access to the river.”

    He also announced that he and Mayor Mike Bloomberg had signed executive orders setting up the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center to manage and coordinate all of the Downtown construction projects planned over the next six years; that all four of the living ex-presidents had agreed to serve as honorary members of the foundation to raise money for the World Trade Center memorial; and that the dismantling of the contaminated Deutsche Bank building across from the W.T.C. site would begin in December.

    As for the Tribeca section of the Hudson River Park, the plan includes rebuilding all 1,000 or so feet of Pier 25 for a children’s play area, volleyball courts and a mini-golf course, and about 900 feet of Pier 26 with a marine study center, kayak center, large plants, and a green lawn. The piers already host many of those uses, but they are deteriorating and permanent structures need to be built to replace them.

    Fishman said about half the park’s costs are to rebuild the piers. The plan also includes trees and plants off of the piers and a bird sanctuary viewing area near Canal St. The recently opened tennis courts will remain near Spring St., but the skateboard park may be moved to a nearby location, Fishman said.

    After the L.M.D.C. board approves funds for the park, she said it will likely take between four and six months to get the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development to issue final environmental and funding approval. HUD has final say on all development corporation money, which was approved by Congress after the Sept. 11 attacks.

    It will take about 2 1/2 years to build the Tribeca section. Fishman said the Trust will work out a construction phasing plan and that some of the existing uses on the piers may be able to temporarily relocate. Those uses include Manhattan Youth, which runs afterschool and summer day camp activities on Pier 25, the River Project, which studies marine life at Pier 26 near the Downtown Boathouse, which has kayaking programs.

    Bob Townley, executive director of Manhattan Youth, said he is happy to hear the park will be built, but he hopes construction starts after the summer. “We stand ready to vacate the pier this season or next,” he said. “We prefer next season.”

    He said that would give him more time to find other places for outdoor programs such as on Governors Island. Manhattan Youth holds the lease for the pier and during construction will lose space for its programs and about $60,000 in sublease revenues from other groups, Townley said, although he added it is a positive development.

    “I’ve always viewed it as no choice because the pilings on the piers are disintegrating,” he said. “Some people will miss the old funkiness of the pier, but probably more people will like the new pier. I think the crowds will increase.”

    L.M.D.C. money

    The park money will leave less than $800 million in L.M.D.C. funds left over. Pataki said he would work with Mayor Mike Bloomberg to come up with a plan by March on the best way to use the rest of the remaining funds.

    “As we develop the allocation plan, we must engage the public so all voices are heard,” Pataki said.

    This line is not likely to mollify advocates who have criticized Pataki and the L.M.D.C. for not spending more money on affordable housing and job training programs.

    “If the governor at this point does not have a grasp of what the needs of Lower Manhattan are, he’s living in a hole,” said Bettina Damiani of Good Jobs New York, which has tracked L.M.D.C. expenditures closely.

    Damiani said the L.M.D.C. should follow the same public hearing laws required of other Community Development Block Grant allocations. The 9/11-related C.D.B.G. funds do not have the same restrictions as other grants. Typically the L.M.D.C. board votes on spending plans at its public meetings and then solicits comments on the plans on its Web sites and in public notice ads in local papers.

    Pataki did not say if there would be more extensive outreach before the final spending plan is unveiled in March and Kevin Rampe, L.M.D.C. president, said that has not yet been decided.

    After the 2001 attacks, the agency was granted $2.8 billion of federal money and the largest expenditures to date include $750 million to repair utilities damaged on Sept. 11, 2001, $300 million for a housing subsidy program to encourage residents to move and stay in Lower Manhattan, $225 million to buy the Deutsche Bank building and develop site plans for the complex’s redevelopment, and $200 million for business retention programs.

    Damiani said in some cases, the L.M.D.C. and other moneys spent on corporate retention went to companies whose executives were later quoted as saying they were not planning to move out of Downtown.

    “We’re giving money away to corporations that say they would have stayed in Lower Manhattan anyway, when the needs of low and moderate income families are being ignored,” she said.

    Pataki released a report Monday prepared by Appleseed estimating that L.M.D.C. investments have led to $2.1 billion of economic impact in the short run and will contribute $1.3 billion each year.

    The governor said the biggest priority for the remaining L.M.D.C. money was to help pay for the $350 million memorial construction costs, followed by the undetermined W.T.C. cultural building costs. He announced that next week, he, Bloomberg and John Whitehead, L.M.D.C. chairperson, would announce at least 20 members of the memorial foundation to join former Presidents Bush, Clinton, Ford and Carter in the efforts to raise money to build and maintain the memorial.

    Other big projects under consideration are improvements to the East River waterfront, along Fulton St., near Chinatown and south of the W.T.C. site.

    Construction center

    The Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center will coordinate the projects planned south of Canal St. or southwest of Rutgers St. Pataki and Bloomberg will pick an executive director to head the center.

    Carl Weisbrod, president of the Downtown Alliance and a L.M.D.C. board member said it’s “critical” for the businesses he represents and for residents to have one place keeping track of all of the government agencies and developers with billions of dollars worth of projects underway.

    “It’s absolutely essential to have a full coordination of these various construction projects,” Weisbrod said.

    The center is to remain open through 2010 and will oversee all projects in the geographic area that are valued over $25 million and any that require work on Downtown’s streets or highways.

    One of the projects the command center will manage is the deconstruction of the Deutsche building. Pataki toured the damaged building after his speech with Amy Peterson, a L.M.D.C. vice president, and George Cavallo, regional director of the Gilbane Building Company, which will oversee the deconstruction.

    The governor said that the building will be taken down safely. “It’s not going to be one of these mass explosions,” he said, according to a pool press report. “It’s going to be piece by piece from the inside.”

    Pataki also announced:

    • His support for rebuilding the Borough of Manhattan Community College’s Fiterman Hall, which was damaged in the attacks. Antonio Pérez, the school’s president, told Downtown Express that the school has about $127 million in insurance and Federal Emergency Management Agency money and needs $60 million more for the demolition and reconstruction costs. The college’s board is expected to vote to hire Pei Cobb Freed & Partners to design the new Fiterman.

    • Memorial architects Michael Arad, Peter Walker and Max Bond in December will unveil the final model for Arad’s “Reflecting Absence” design for two sunken reflecting pools where the Twin Towers once stood. Arad and Bond walked with Pataki in the memorial area Monday. Arad said later that the access to the memorial from Liberty St. will be decided soon, once a decision is made on where to place the ramp for delivery trucks and tour buses.

    • Subway construction on the $750 million Fulton Transit Center and $400 million South Ferry station will begin in December. The Fulton project will begin with the 2,3 lines at Fulton and Nassau Sts. and the south entrance to the 4,5 stop at Maiden Lane and Broadway.

    • The environmental study on the $6 billion rail link connecting Lower Manhattan to J.F.K. Airport and the Long Island Rail Road would begin with a week. He said he expected Congress to approve a $2 billion tax transfer to the project sometime next year.

    • In his earliest ABNY speeches, Pataki spoke enthusiastically about the plan to build a vehicular tunnel near the W.T.C. and under West St., but the project is opposed by many residents and on Monday the governor only mentioned “a revitalized West St.” which could or could not include a tunnel.

    • Pataki made several mentions of the Freedom Tower but unlike in other speeches, he did not say anything about the height of the first tower that will be rebuilt at the site. W.T.C. site architect Daniel Libeskind had proposed a symbolic height of 1,776 feet back in 2002 and Pataki later named it the Freedom Tower. When the building’s cornerstone was laid July 4, 2004, aides to Larry Silverstein, the tower’s developer, said the building may not be precisely 1,776 feet. Asked after Monday’s speech whether it would be 1,776 feet, Silverstein had a simple answer: “Yes.”

  8. #83


    January 9, 2005


    Trouble in Parkland

    In 1998, with great expectations and after years of citizen lobbying, the New York State Legislature gave formal approval to one of the most important civic projects in 100 years - the creation of the Hudson River Park. As envisioned by its planners, the park would replace five miles of industrial hulks, parking lots and rotting piers on Manhattan's Far West Side with an inviting mix of open space (some of it on brand-new piers), gardens, pedestrian walkways and tasteful commercial development. It would run from 59th Street to Battery Park City and, when finished, would give New Yorkers ready access to one of the world's great rivers.

    One section of the park, adjacent to Greenwich Village, has been completed. It is a magnificent realization, with gardens and lawns and three new park piers for fishing, strolling and sunbathing that could well redefine, nationwide, what waterfront parks can be.

    But there is trouble in parkland, and as usual it involves money. Including the Greenwich Village section, only half of the park has been built or assured - some sections between 42nd Street and 59th Street are nearing completion and some financing is in place for a stretch in Chelsea. But the original $200 million pledged by the city and state is nearly exhausted. Unless new money is provided expeditiously, valuable momentum will be lost and large stretches of riverfront will remain in their decayed state for years.

    There are two obvious sources of new financing. The City Council has approved $31 million that the Hudson River Park Trust, the agency in charge of design and construction, plans to spend on the Chelsea section. But Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said that he will not release the money until the state matches it - a reasonable enough position, since this has always been a 50-50 deal. Surely Gov. George Pataki - who publicly recommitted himself to the project in a speech last November - can find $31 million, or a chunk of it, in a budget that is likely to exceed $100 billion.

    The other source is the roughly $850 million that remains of the federal funds made available for the reconstruction of Lower Manhattan in the wake of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Two years ago, the park trust applied to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation for $70 million of that money to build a mile-long section of the park south from Houston Street to Battery Park City at the tip of the island.

    That would be an entirely appropriate use of the money because the proposed parklands are adjacent to the neighborhoods most affected by 9/11 and would provide downtown residents with open space at a time when they will be buffeted by new construction on all sides.

    On this score, Mr. Pataki has been strongly supportive, although he has not specifically committed himself to the $70 million. Mr. Bloomberg has been coy. His aides keep saying privately that the Trust will get the money, but the Mayor has been silent. For its part, the corporation supports the concept and John C. Whitehead, its chairman, is an enthusiast. But the corporation is also being lobbied by other claimants and will not act without the joint consent of the governor and the mayor.

    This worthy and remarkably cost-effective project deserves their unambiguous support and the modest financing it needs to see it through.

    Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

  9. #84
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    Jan 2003
    Garden City, LI


    Pataki pledges P.A. park dough

    Governor George Pataki announced last week he would match the city’s $15 million investment in the Hudson River Park in order to build the riverside park’s Chelsea section.

    Pataki said the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey would kick in $10 million to go with the previously announced $5 million from the state’s Environmental Protection Fund and $15 million from the city.

    The park’s Chelsea section includes Piers 62, leased by Chelsea Piers for its roller rink, and Pier 63, home to Basketball City. Pier 63 would be converted into park space as part of the plan developed by the Hudson River Park Trust, a state-city agency.

    The state and city long ago set aside $100 million a piece to design the park and build the first section in Greenwich Village. An estimated $200 million more is needed to build the rest of the park, which stretches from the Battery up to W. 57 St.

    “This new, additional funding will build on our commitment to fulfill the vision of Hudson River Park and ensure a lasting legacy for our children and generations to come,” Pataki said in a prepared statement Feb. 9.

    The governor said in the fall that the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation would invest the money needed to build the Tribeca section of the park, estimated at $70 million. The L.M.D.C., also a state-city agency, has about $820 million left in post-9/11 funds.

  10. #85
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    Garden City, LI


    Farmers’ market floated on Pier 40

    The Waterfront Committee of Community Board 2 heard a preliminary report this week on the marketing study commissioned by the Hudson River Park Trust on ways to develop Pier 40 as an economically viable and community-friendly part of the Hudson River Park.

    The Bay Area Economics Consultants executives who came to the Feb. 7 waterfront meeting with Connie Fishman, Trust president, and Noreen Doyle, Trust vice president, acknowledged that a “big box” retail outlet on the 14-acre pier off Houston St. was not compatible with a park, despite its revenue potential

    But one of the possibilities involved the idea of a permanent farmers’ market. The Ford Foundation has been working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop public markets in several cities, the consultants said. Similar markets have been established on waterfronts in Seattle and the San Francisco area, they noted.

    Another possibility involved a company on the West Coast that leases small unprogrammed spaces to artists, craftsmen and hobbyists who lack their own studios.

    Don MacPherson, committee chairperson, said committee members were interested in the possibility that public parking could remain as a commercial use of the pier along with the active and passive recreation space now on the pier.

    A written report on the B.A.E. study will be made public soon, according to Chris Martin, Trust spokesperson. The study is intended to help the Trust draft a new request for proposals for potential developers. Under the Hudson River Park legislation, at least 50 percent of Pier 40 must be noncommercial park space.

  11. #86
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    I wonder why the city is not planning a Navy Pier-like structure/development for any of these waterfront plans?

  12. #87


    Quote Originally Posted by billyblancoNYC
    I wonder why the city is not planning a Navy Pier-like structure/development for any of these waterfront plans?
    That would be very cool. Perhaps they're not considering that because of nearby Coney Island? But something on Manhattan would still get business.

  13. #88
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    Garden City, LI


    Quote Originally Posted by bohemian rhapsody
    That would be very cool. Perhaps they're not considering that because of nearby Coney Island? But something on Manhattan would still get business.
    Then they should built it on Coney Island...that would be even better.

  14. #89


    City halts garage work in Hudson Park

    Downtown Express photo by Lincoln Anderson
    Construction workers were building the Gansevoort garage addition last Friday, but the city has now put a hold on the project.

    By Albert Amateau

    In a deal brokered last week by State Supreme Court Justice Michael Stallman, the Department of Sanitation has agreed to voluntarily cease construction of the temporary garage that it began in January on the Gansevoort Peninsula.
    The agreement, pending further hearings on the lawsuit by Friends of Hudson River Park seeking to get the Sanitation Department off Pier 97 as well as the Gansevoort Peninsula, could be the first step in the broader long-sought goal of freeing the full 5 miles of the Hudson River waterfront park for park use.

    “This is something that cries out for a reasonable solution,” Stallman said to Daniel Alterman, attorney for Friends, and Susan E. Amron, representing the city, at the April 29 hearing on the Friends’ application for a temporary restraining order against further work on the two-story garage. Sanitation has said the “temporary” two-story structure could serve until 2012 or beyond.

    “It seems to me that eight years is somewhat long,” said Stallman. “But it also seems fair to everybody to have a finite term of [Sanitation] use, known to everybody and legally enforceable,” he added.

    “We also want to make sure we don’t create a short-term problem by precipitously forcing these uses onto other communities,” Stallman said. He set Thursday May 7 for more discussion on the issue, and asked Amron for Sanitation’s voluntary agreement to cease work on the garage. The department agreed on Monday afternoon to cease work as of Wednesday.

    Alterman said on Tuesday that he was gratified that Sanitation has agreed to cease construction on the garage. “I’d be pleased if this leads to a more global agreement to make the Hudson waterfront free of Sanitation uses much earlier that 2012,” he added.

    Albert Butzel, president of Friends of Hudson River Park, a community group advocating for the 5-mile riverfront park being built between the Battery and 59th Sts., said, “It’s early in the action but it’s a step forward to get Sanitation off the waterfront and get some rent for the park in the meantime.”

    The suit also wants the court to set “a reasonable rent or use and occupancy payment” that the city must pay to the Hudson Park Trust for the continued occupancy of Pier 97 and most of the peninsula from the Dec. 31, 2003, deadline set in legislation until Sanitation leaves.

    The suit charges that the Sanitation Department’s continued use of the peninsula to park garbage trucks violates the 1998 Hudson River Park Act by not using its best efforts to get off the waterfront before the deadline. Sanitation’s response to the Friends’ complaint says the department has been diligently working to relocate the garbage truck parking. The effort involves six garages for Manhattan districts in Lower Manhattan, the Village, Chelsea, Midtown and the East Side and the Upper West Side.

    “The District 2 garage now at the Gansevoort Peninsula, the District 5 garage now at E. 73rd St. and the overflow from District 1 [Lower Manhattan] will eventually be relocated at a new site,” the reply says.

    One possibility for the new site, according to Sanitation Department spokesperson Kathy Dawkins, is the 800,000-square-foot U.P.S. parking lot between Washington and West Sts. stretching north of Spring St.

    Conjecture among real estate people is that U.P.S. has selected the Brodsky Organization to develop the site but the city is moving to take it for Sanitation under eminent domain. Bob Godlewski, U.P.S. spokesperson, said, “We’re continuing to try to maximize the value of our property there and we have to protect the facilities that we have there already. We have a staging area for tractor-trailers there.”

    However, the southern part of the Hudson Sq. neighborhood, formerly known as the Printing District, is increasingly becoming a high-end residential area, and was recently rezoned for residential use. Just north of the site and a block east on Greenwich St., more than 200 units of luxury housing have gone on the market with condos selling for more than $2 million. More luxury apartments are on the way, including one on Washington St. just south of Spring St., planned by Vendome Realty to be designed by the firm of the late Philip Johnson.

  15. #90


    Can you rent Jet Skis at Hudson River Park for a ride in the Hudson? If not, are there any areas where you can?

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