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Thread: Pier 40 - Hudson River Park

  1. #316


    Just because a park is linear doesn't mean it's homogeneous.

    With the battle at Gansevoort over the waste transfer station, pier 40 is the only non-linear section of the entire park.

    Would you feel differently about Related if the pier was a stand-alone park?

  2. #317


    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp View Post
    Just because a park is linear doesn't mean it's homogeneous.
    Not at all, I just don't think its program should be dictated by the community next to it. It should aspire to just be a great park.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp View Post
    With the battle at Gansevoort over the waste transfer station, pier 40 is the only non-linear section of the entire park.
    I'd think further reason to make it a destination.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp View Post
    Would you feel differently about Related if the pier was a stand-alone park?
    Actually I would.

  3. #318


    Quote Originally Posted by Derek2k3 View Post
    I'd think further reason to make it a destination.
    Why does it have to be a destination? Is this section of the city dead, and in need of density? Do we need something special to attract tourists here?

    I think that it being the only non-linear section is all the reason for park use. I don't consider movie-goers park users.

    Actually I would.
    A tenuous connection to Pier A and Pier 99 make all the difference? I just don't see it.

  4. #319


    But right now a valuable plot of highly desirable turf is being monopolized by a relatively small number of people. It is just not practical or reasonable to expect it to stay that way. Nor is it in the best interests of the rest of us.

    On one hand I sympathize but on the other I don't think the nearby residents have a right to claim this land as there own. I also did not appreciate the comments about child stealing. That stuff happens in the 'burbs too.. in fact probably more so than in the big bad city

  5. #320


    Read through the thread.

    The pier is already parkland. It is not a development parcel.

  6. #321
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    It appears that cbtwo's meds are all out of whack tonight.

    First aids baiting at the santitation garage thread and now ghetto baiting here.

    Why is this allowed?

  7. #322


    CBTwo's posts have been deleted, and he was advised that a further remark of that sort will get him banned.

  8. #323


    Would they rather be green than red?

    By Josh Rogers

    The color green has been at the center of many recent Hudson River Park debates — namely where to get the needed greenbacks to build the rest of the promised green space. But Henry Stern, a member of the park Trust’s board, splashed some red into the dispute last week, suggesting that some critics of the park’s plans are socialists.

    Stern’s remark criticizing a community report that is critical of the Trust’s Pier 40 development plans, provoked a brief cold war (but no shoe banging) last week at the normally staid board meeting — a venue where people are often addressed as “Mr.” and “Ms.” A newcomer to the group and a member of Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s administration, Suzanne Mattei, sought détente, pointing out that the report from the Pier 40 Working Group backed capitalist ventures on the 14-acre pier at W. Houston St.

    Indeed the report is not a call for workers of the park to unite, although it did oppose turning the pier over to a single “private developer whose principal motivation is profit” and knocked one plan because it “raises the specter of expensive pay-for-play and the use of park space for extremely profitable day camp uses.”

    Selected quotes aside, the report recommends developing the pier incrementally with private developers, which the Working Group believes would generate more money for the park than either the plan to add theaters, restaurants and retail or the one to add private day camp and indoor field space to the existing public ball fields and parking currently on the pier.

    The dustup began with Stern. “Some plans are conceived in a capitalist universe and some are prepared in a socialist universe,” he told Marc Ameruso, chairperson of the Trust’s Advisory Council, which set up the Working Group. Both the council and group are made up of representatives of the nearby community boards, local politicians and waterfront activists.

    Stern said the group did not consider the financial difficulty of getting the park built and was not interested in finding a way to make the park self-sustaining, as is the intent of the 1998 law creating the park and the Trust.

    “To act in complete disregard for the law will not get you very far,” he said. Stern, the Parks commissioner in the Giuliani and Koch administrations, went on to say the crowds of parents and children who turned up at a public hearing on the pier plans in May were focused on keeping the pier’s field space and were not thinking about the broader issues.

    Speaking softly, Ameruso challenged Stern without a hint of anger in his voice. “At the public event, there was not a shred of socialism — it was democracy in action,” Ameruso said. “I would take offense to that. It’s not true.”

    Stern backed off, saying he did not think the attendees at the hearing — estimated to be between 1,500 and 2,000 people — were socialists. After the board meeting last week, he said there was nothing explicitly leftwing in the report either, but he thought the subtext was “we don’t think this park should be self-sustaining.”

    Adrian Benepe, the current Parks commissioner and also a Trust member, said it would not be fair if general money was used for Pier 40 because it would come out of funds to help parks all around the city. Joe Rose said it was “distressing” that the local group did not factor in the financial pressures on the pier. Rose, Stern and Benepe are mayoral appointees to the Hudson River Park Trust, a state-city public authority.

    Julie Nadel, a board member and frequent Trust critic, said it was unfair for her colleagues to attack the Working Group when it was not given all of the financial information the Trust had about the Pier 40 plans. Later she said it appeared the Trust was trying to shift the park’s capital expenses to the pier when the pier is only supposed to generate some of the maintenance costs.

    Currently, the pier’s parking garage nets close to $6 million to cover about 40 percent of the riverside park’s maintenance. The Trust has not revealed how much money either Related Companies, which proposes the entertainment-retail center, or Camp Group/Urban Camp, the developer of the camp plan, is offering in annual maintenance but members of the Working Group concluded it is not likely to be more than $5 million, the minimum amount the Trust asked for in its request for proposals.

    “Our sense is neither one came in much above that,” said Arthur Schwartz, who wrote the Working Group report’s first draft and is chairperson of Community Board 2’s Waterfront Committee. “Why should they? Both are profit-making operations.”

    Tobi Bergman, president of the Pier Park and Playground Association, which operates a youth program on the pier, said he is confident that neither developer offered more operating money than the Trust is currently getting.

    No Trust board member disputed the Working Group’s conclusion on that point.

    Schwartz said it is also not clear how much money is needed to fix the pier and how imminent the repairs are needed. “It’s always been a range — a real thorough study has never been done,” he said.

    Noreen Doyle, the Trust’s executive vice president, said in a telephone interview, that between $20 million and $27 million will have to be spent within the next three years to fix the pier’s roof, piles and part of its façade and acknowledged there is a lot of uncertainty “because it’s not 100 percent black and white….

    “If you get a bad surprise on the piles, that number [$4 million - $7 million for the piles] could just grow exponentially.” The Trust’s last complete inspection on the pier was in 2004, but Doyle said the Trust checks annually to make sure the system in place to slow pile deterioration is working.

    Schwartz said if the Trust took his group’s incremental approach to private development, it would generate more money for the park and would be less disruptive than the two plans, which would draw more traffic. He said the pier is run “haphazardly” and the Trust should hire a business manager to maximize revenue.

    For instance, when the Trust let C & K Properties run the parking up until a few years ago, Schwartz said the company’s owners invested in repairs even though it only had a five-year lease. The Trust subsequently took over the parking, but Schwartz said it could probably find an operator willing to pay for repairs if it offered a long-term lease.

    “There are probably a lot of different options rather than giving away the whole pier,” Schwartz said.

    Doyle said the Trust is working with Standard Parking on a month-to-month basis and does make short-term changes to increase revenue, but longer-term plans on the pier are on hold because the Trust’s board is focused on a permanent plan.

    Most of the local elected officials signed on to the Working Group report except for City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, whose district includes the pier, and state Sen. Tom Duane. Quinn’s spokesperson did not explain her lack of support, but Duane said he agreed with the Working Group’s view but thought it was “prudent” not to vote for it.

    Duane thinks he will have more influence with Spitzer and the governor’s future Trust appointees if he leaves his options open.

    “One of those developers may be picked and if one is, I will work so the plan comes as close as it possibly can to the Working Group’s recommendation,” he said.

    Schwartz, chairperson of the Working Group, said Duane’s position will be of no help. “You can’t say ‘I don’t support it, but I’ll argue for it,’ ” he said. Schwartz would rather work with the report’s supporters including U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, state Sen. Martin Connor, and even his chief political foe, Assemblymember Deborah Glick.

    A decision on a pier developer will wait at least a month. Trip Dorkey, the Trust’s chairperson, said farewell to the Trust in May, but he was back running the meeting last week since Spitzer has not picked a successor. Connie Fishman, the Trust’s president, said things are a “bit delayed. Maybe we’ll pick up steam in September.”

    Spitzer’s two automatic selections to the Trust, state Parks Commissioner Carol Ash and Dept. of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis, have skipped the last two Trust meetings. Mattei, who runs D.E.C.’s city office, was sitting in for Grannis last week.

    Nadel, who was appointed to the Trust by Borough President Scott Stringer, hopes Mattei’s defense of the report is a sign things will change. “She is looking at it with an open and fresh eye and I find that very encouraging,” Nadel said.

    And incidentally, Schwartz said Stern was wrong about the report, but right about one of its authors. Yes, Schwartz, a union attorney active in Democratic politics, leans far to the left.

    “I am a socialist,” he said. “But the report doesn’t have anything to do with socialism.”

  9. #324

    Default It all gets back to money.

    Thanks for the cut and paste Zip.

    I have a simple question, "If the Hudson River Park can not afford to maintain what they have, how can they move forward and try to do future projects such as Gansevoort P. without sources that are not of a developmental nature?"

    Perhaps other areas of the Park should be explored to generate funds for the good of the Park, including leasing land to the city for Sanitation purposes and parking violations holding ponds and maybe since city employees enjoy free parking perks, have them coagulate at one pier and bus them to their offices via shuttle bus.
    Last edited by CBTwo; August 13th, 2007 at 08:13 PM.

  10. #325
    Banned Member
    Join Date
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    Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY


    The park is in existence and being built because of the persistence of activists. The politicians can always be relied on to make things rough.

  11. #326

    Post News: funding pier 40

    Quote Originally Posted by CBTwo View Post

    I have a simple question, "If the Hudson River Park can not afford to maintain what they have, how can they move forward and try to do future projects such as Gansevoort P. without sources that are not of a developmental nature?"
    Some news about funding options for rebuilding pier40.
    Last edited by infoshare; October 6th, 2007 at 09:58 PM.

  12. #327

    Default would be impressive

    ^^^if they can organize to raise $30MM for pier 40 from charitable donation s in a timely fashion, that would be really impressive.

    I guess Friends of the Highline were able to raise a ton of money so you never know

  13. #328


    Indeed the individuals just might raise the money to rescue Pier 40. Rich C. has been instrumental in getting support for GVLL and other organizations in the community, but my original question was regarding the rest of the HRP plans and how they would finance continuing expansion of facilities with a limited ability to raise funds for same.

    It appears the Pier 40 fund raising has to do with only that venue, not the rest of the park. Correct me if I am wrong.

  14. #329


    Downtown Express
    Volume 20, Issue 22 | October 12-18, 2007


    Trust should explore a new partnership

    The Pier 40 Partnership is offering a new approach to maintaining and redeveloping Pier 40, the W. Houston St. pier that is of critical importance to the community.

    Reflecting the reality of today’s Village, Tribeca and Chelsea, this new group’s 20 core members include very wealthy individuals in finance and dot.coms. Their children go to local schools — public and private — and play baseball and soccer on Pier 40.

    Like most of their neighbors, the Partnership parents vehemently oppose The Related Companies’ $626 million proposal to redevelop the 14-acre Hudson pier into a Downtown entertainment destination, with Cirque du Soleil, swank restaurants and more. They can’t fathom the traffic this plan would bring to the neighborhood and park — an estimated 7,400 visitors per day, 2.7 million per year. Even the Hudson River Park Trust and Related acknowledge that there are problems with the traffic plan.

    The Trust’s impetus in requesting private developers’ proposals for the pier is to have the developer fund the pier’s repair and ongoing maintenance. The Trust says the pier needs more than $20 million in work in the next three years. Related has offered to invest $35 million into Pier 40 — some of it for repairs but also to add reinforcement to support all the structures it would add to the pier.

    Whether Related would even pay any more rent to the Trust than what the pier’s current parking operation generates — $5 million to $6 million annually — is unclear.

    The Partnership would fund the pier’s renovation, too. They say they can raise $30 million. We hear they already have commitments of $12 million. If financial support at this level were indeed obtained for pier repair, it could change the Pier 40 equation and allow other more community-supported solutions to emerge.

    These concerned parents want to protect the environment for their children that has evolved in the last few years at Pier 40 since the interim courtyard sports field was built. They don’t want the field moved to the roof, thousands of tourists or Las Vegas-style attractions.

    The Trust should seriously investigate this opportunity — now — while these folks still have kids batting and booting balls on the pier.

    Perhaps Deputy Mayor Doctoroff, the Trust board’s vice chairperson — with a history of financial dealings with Related C.E.O. Steve Ross — supports Related’s plan, but the community resoundingly does not. The Trust’s new chairperson, Diana Taylor, exudes a new openness, so we’re hopeful that community-minded solutions, like the Partnership’s, will be taken seriously. She said she will consider all options before making a decision.

    But Taylor also told us it is a “big if” whether the Partnership can raise the money it claims it can and she is concerned about putting Pier 40 in jeopardy. A little skepticism about the Partnership’s fundraising capabilities is prudent, but the park’s long-term prospects would be in greater risk if the Trust pushed through a plan that is opposed by thousands of its users.

    Private citizens mobilized to save a treasured community asset, the Partnership offers an intriguing alternative to the Pier 40 massive-development dilemma.

    © 2007 Community Media, LLC

  15. #330


    Pier 40 is used by more than just children of parents that live in the community. One has only to go over there late in the day or early in the morning and see it's used by adults from all over the city. It's a citywide jewel box opened for the enjoyment of many that don't have access to playing fields.

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