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Thread: Pier 40 - Hudson River Park

  1. #16

    Default Seven plans for Pier 40

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

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

  2. #17

    Default Seven plans for Pier 40

    http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_04/pierplan.html

    Pier plan endorsed

    C.B. 2 committee endorses plan for Pier 40

    By Lincoln Anderson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  3. #18
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    Default Seven plans for Pier 40

    So it's still up in the air I guess. All they did was "vent their spleens".

  4. #19
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    Default Seven plans for Pier 40

    Posted by NYguy in another thread

    (NY Times)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  5. #20
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    Default Seven plans for Pier 40

    Bastards...

    Trust delays Pier 40 decision indefinitely

    By Lincoln Anderson




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Trust officials could not be reached for comment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  6. #21

    Default Seven plans for Pier 40

    June 12, 2003

    Park Trust Favors More Playing Fields for Pier 40

    By DAVID W. DUNLAP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

  7. #22

    Default Seven plans for Pier 40

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

  8. #23
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    Default Seven plans for Pier 40

    I hope there are some restaurants with outdoor seating on Pier 40. Dining on the waterfront is so nice and almost non-existent in this city of islands.

  9. #24
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    Default Seven plans for Pier 40

    Didn't the article say that half of the site would be used for outdoor recreation? *I'm sure that there'd still be some space left to make a nice restaurant or whatnot.

  10. #25

    Default Seven plans for Pier 40

    Pier 40, AOL Time Warner Center on the left, ESB on the right. 8 July 2003.


  11. #26

    Default

    From The Villager http://www.thevillager.com/


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



    PIER PRESSURE: Activist files Pier 40 lawsuit

    by Albert Amateau

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    But Schwartz said the lawsuit is not half-hearted.

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


    The Villager is published by
    Community Media LLC.
    The Villager | 487 Greenwich St., Suite 6A | New York, NY 10013

  12. #27

    Default

    I admire this Schwartz guy. Unlike others in the community who are settling with the interim proposal that may last for a decade or more, he is making sure the grander proposal is built.

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


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

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    Default 7 proposals submitted for Pier 57

    I like these...


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


    By Albert Amateau


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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    From Downtown Express:



    Downtown Express photo by Jennifer Bodrow

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

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