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Thread: Pier 40 - Hudson River Park

  1. #361

    Default why is cirque du soleil bad?

    What is the objection to it> Tickets for cirque du soleil are expensive and most of the time its couples who go. I could see people objecting to a nightclub, but this is just ridiculous - they are worried a bunch of couples, few of who will be in their rowdy early twenties given the ticket prices, will do what exactly?

    The garbage trucks would almost certainly be more noisy than the theater.

  2. #362


    Actually I live in the area and I know of many folks who are in favor of the related plan (vs the old people's plan) but are infuriated about the truck garage on spring. If given the choice they would put the garage on the pier (ie, they are more against the garage than they are for the related plan). If we were to assume the garage is going to be on spring no matter what, then there are many folks who support the related plan.

    Does anyone have an example of a waterfront development that would be a good comp for this? Is it the south street seaport or is it meant to be higher end?

  3. #363


    If people are opposed to the Related Plan, they favor the pier be developed as park. As pure development, there is nothing wrong with Related's proposal.

    So they're left explaining garbage trucks as a park asset. Good luck with that.

    Fortunately, the scope of this ridiculous idea goes beyond a narrow group of people who would do ANYTHING to keep the garage off the UPS site.

    Good luck changing the law.

  4. #364

    Default Related Economics

    The major problem with Related was that they tried to get the pier on the cheap, supposedly offering only the minimum of $5MM in annual rent that HRPT was getting now from the parking concession. I've heard of studies showing that at least $10-12MM is possible by updating the parking lay-out.

    Assuming that DSNY invests $50-$100MM to rebuild the Pier infrastructure for garage and office purposes, this will mesh well with HRPT using the pier as their operational headquarters (and requiring 100,000 sf for similar purposes).
    Using the northern head house makes the storage of these vehicles relatively transparent for park users. As I pointed out in an earlier post, entrance and egress is generally not in conflict with after-school and pre-bedtime hours.

    Finally, assuming some sort of Marine Transfer Station somewhere (Gansevoort Peninsula, Pier 76 or Block 675 by rail) it would be best to keep the DSNY trucks on Route 9A instead of city streets.

  5. #365


    Strangely enough garbage trucks can be an asset to the park if that generates an annual revenue source. One thing for certain is that the city is not going out of business soon (unlike the possibility of a private developer's tenants) and if the revenue generated by parking those trucks add to the general fund, along with the Pier 40 parking garage revenues, and helps fill the coffers of HRPT, I would say yes it is a plus for the Hudson River Park Trust.

    Perhaps not the best solution, but one that lowers the impact on the neighborhood.

    Again it's an alternate solution, not a final solution.

  6. #366


    Downtown Express
    December 14-20

    Honing Pier 40 plans as deadline nears

    By Josh Rogers

    There are new details about all three plans for Pier 40’s future.

    The Pier 40 Partnership, the newest group to enter the picture, will propose stacking cars in the existing garage to increase parking revenue on the 14-acre Houston St. pier, which has Downtown’s largest playing fields. The Partnership is made up of local parents who are raising money for the pier. The group is likely to propose several recommendations made at a recent meeting of block associations to discuss the pier — indoor recreation space, a school or an arts center, according to the Partnership’s Rich Caccappolo.

    CampGroup and Urban Dove, which submitted their “People’s Pier” plan to the Hudson River Park Trust a year ago, are no longer planning to charge non-profit organizations for the pier’s roof field, and this field may now be expanded from 110 feet to 130 feet wide. The firms are considering a small bridge to separate pedestrians from traffic. They have also provided additional financing documents to the Hudson River Park Trust in response to Trust concerns about the plan’s viability, and would add an additional $8 million to repair the pier.

    Related Companies has made relatively minor changes to their plan, according to Partnership members who met with the developer four times. The firm refused to consider eliminating any of five revenue-generating components of their plan – a Cirque du Soleil theater, a movie theater, banquet hall, concert hall or retail shops. Related did say they would add ivy wind protection to the pier’s proposed roof fields and remove a large sign at the front of the pier, according to the Partnership. Related, like the other plans, would retain the pier’s parking facilities.

    “We tried very hard to get Related to understand why the community opposed their plan and what we wanted changed,” said the Partnership’s Fred Wilson. “They just couldn’t do it. It’s not that they didn’t want to — it’s just the financial burdens of a $625 million plan.”

    In separate telephone interviews, Caccappolo and the Partnership’s Craig Balsam gave similar accounts of their talks with Related.

    Joanna Rose, Related’s spokesperson, did not confirm or deny the Partnership’s assertions. She did say Related made unspecified changes as a result of the meetings in a prepared statement last week. She said the Trust hopes to meet more with the Partnership, other local groups and the Trust, in a subsequent statement Wednesday.

    “We look forward to continued conversations with the Pier 40 Working Group, Pier 40 Partnership, H.R.P.T. and the community to secure Pier 40’s long-term future and ensure it remains a spectacular sports location for the city’s families with larger, high performance fields,” Rose wrote.

    In the spring, Trust staff said there were traffic problems with both the Related and People’s plan, and a Related executive acknowledged their traffic plan needed to be changed. Partnership members said Related did not mention any traffic changes, nor did Rose in her statements.

    Jai Nanda, founder and executive director of Urban Dove, said his team is now considering a pedestrian bridge or other safety improvements. They have already added landscaping and reduced the size of the car turnaround in front of the pier, which Nanda thought will also have some safety benefits. His team’s plan includes adding day camp and indoor recreation space to the pier’s parking and field space.

    The Partnership is likely to suggest indoor recreation too, although the group has not decided how much time would be free to local groups and how much would be for paid adult leagues. Wilson said they worked on their own plan because of widespread concern that CampGroup/Urban Dove did not have the money to proceed.

    “We have picked up on a lot of skepticism on the Trust’s staff, its board and community groups about the viability of the People’s Pier plan,” he said.

    Wilson said he likes the People plan and he thinks the Partnership would be willing to help them if the Trust thought a combined effort was the best solution.

    Nanda and Mark Benerofe of CampGroup said they had productive meetings with the Partnership and are open to entering into a formal agreement with them if the details can be worked out. “It makes sense, but how would it work,” Nanda said.

    In response to Trust concerns raised in the spring, the People team submitted documents showing they could raise “well in excess of the $160 million” needed to build its plan, Nanda said. CampGroup submitted documents showing it had $20 million of equity for the plan and Urban Dove had an additional $5 million. Nanda said he felt the group satisfied all of the Trust’s financial questions at a meeting about a month ago.

    “They asked pointed questions so it did seem like they were still considering us,” he said.

    The Partnership’s plan was due Sat., Dec. 15 but Caccappolo said they expect to get the entire weekend to finish it and plan to submit it on Mon., Dec. 17. The group has hired HR&A Advisors, an economic consulting firm that worked on the High Line park plan.

    The Trust board hopes to make a decision by the end of January. Related had seemed like the favored plan for quite some time, but two sources who speak often with the Trust decision makers said it now seems like the public authority is cooling to the plan.

    Caccappolo said the Partnership, which includes some wealthy members, would be able to cover short-term financial “holes” needed to repair the pier until the revenue plans were fully in place. The group wants to give the Trust a low-impact plan to continue the sports uses, rather than run the pier itself, he added.

    Members are still crunching the numbers, Caccappolo said, and they are not sure if an art center would generate enough money or if the city would be willing to pay some of the pier’s repair costs to build a school.

    The Partnership formed this year after community uproar over the Related plan, dubbed “Vegas on the Hudson” by critics. About 1,500 people showed up to a Trust meeting on the plans in the spring. Parents and children from Battery Park City and Tribeca took buses to the Village meeting, which also drew parents from all over Downtown.

    Assemblymember Deborah Glick said she had concerns about private individuals raising money to influence plans for a public park, but given the alternatives and the Partnership’s civic mindedness, the group may be the best option.

    “If I can work with private folks who want to keep public space for public use rather than sell it off to a developer, which is public space for private use,” Glick said, “I don’t really have the same problems.”

    © 2007 Community Media, LLC

  7. #367


    Gee, that article wasn't too biased.

    Do The Villager and Downtown Express actually exist as independent entities, or are they just mouthpieces for a few cranky NIMBY types?

    They recycle the same garbage week after week, with choice quotes from the same three people.

  8. #368

    Default well...

    Every newspaper is biased but they do seem to be more obvious about it. Actually the Brooklyn Eagle does a pretty good job at being balanced on the issues but they still have an editorial slant.

    Has anyone heard if the car garage will have to keep the same pricing or will they be allowed to raise the prices once the development is done?

  9. #369


    Downtown Express
    December 21, 2007

    Pier 40 group says non-profit operator is the only answer

    CampGroup and Urban Dove is now considering adding a pedestrian bridge to make it safer to get to the pier.

    By Josh Rogers
    With reporting by Sebastian Kahnert

    Creating a non-profit conservancy with access to tax-free bonds is the only feasible way to save the Pier 40 fields from big developers, a new report concludes.

    The Pier 40 Partnership study, released Dec. 19, estimates the pier is in need of at least $125 million worth of repairs — a figure far higher than the $30 million estimate of the Hudson River Park Trust or of the two development teams bidding to redevelop the pier.

    One of the bidders, Related Companies, also unveiled traffic and other changes to its $625 million plan for an entertainment center Wednesday, although it did not eliminate any of the major uses that have raised community objections.

    Chris McGinnis, a member of the Partnership, a high-powered parents group, said he pressed their engineering consultants to find possible Trust cost exaggerations, but he found just the opposite — that the pier’s repair needs were much higher than he feared.

    “I said you have to tone it down, don’t accept the Trust’s assumptions,” McGinnis said at a Pier 40 Working Group meeting Wednesday morning. “They said the Trust is right. They’re telling you the truth. The pier needs an overhaul.”

    Trust officials had previously warned that their estimates of the pier’s needs were based on engineering surveys done a few years ago and the actual costs could change. The two estimates are also not necessarily in complete contradiction since the Trust’s estimate is for repairs needed within the next three years, and the Partnership acknowledges that some of the repairs may not have to be done right away, or at all.

    The report was prepared by HR&A Advisors, an economic consulting firm, which worked with Langan Engineering, Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects and Denis Molner Design, a parking consultant.

    The Partnership’s $280 million plan (which the group prefers to call a study even though members occasionally slip and use the p-word) includes keeping the playing fields as is, expanding the park walkways and green space, increasing the parking to 2,800 spaces, adding a public school or university facility and an arts center with small, for-profit galleries.

    Daniel Fuchs, an HR&A analyst, said the Dept. of Education is “very enthusiastic” about a 100,000-square-foot school, and that both New York University and the New School University have expressed interest in as much as 300,000 square feet.

    A D.O.E. spokesperson said the city does not comment on school sites that may be under consideration, and N.Y.U. declined to comment. But Caroline Oyama, the New School’s spokesperson, confirmed that “we’ve had discussions and we are interested.”

    The Partnership, which includes millionaire members, has said previously that it could raise as much as $30 million to fix the pier and the report says a Pier 40 conservancy would need $30 million in private donations. The bulk of the needed money, $206 million, would come from tax-exempt financing that would be done through the city. The Trust, which was created out of the old Hudson River Park Conservancy, is legally prevented from issuing bonds. The rest of the $280 million — $8.5 million in equity and $34 million in taxable loans — would come from a private developer interested in either the arts center or additional university space.

    The group estimates it will cost about $130 million to build out the pier space once it is stabilized. Bob Townley, executive director of Manhattan Youth, which is currently building a recreation center in Tribeca, said the fit-out costs sounded too low. “I think you are looking at $100 a square foot,” he said. [$130 million] seems low.”

    After the meeting, McGinnis referred questions on the Partnership report to his fellow member, Rich Caccappolo, who declined to comment Wednesday.

    The Partnership estimates it will generate $24.5 million in gross revenue, with the most being $13 million from parking for an expanded 2,800 spaces, $4.8 million in rent for the non-school uses, and $4 million for the school. A source with one of the competing proposals suggested the parking revenue estimates — which are over double the current parking revenue — seemed to be too high. The Partnership estimates the conservancy would have $15.3 million a year in net operating income to pay off its debt after paying $4.2 million a year to operate the pier, and $5 million a year to the Trust to meet the agency’s minimum rent requirement.

    The Partnership argues that a private developer interested in the whole pier needs a 15 percent return on a risky investment in a decaying pier. McGinnis, without naming the developing teams, said Related overcompensated for the risks with too many large revenue sources and Urban Dove and CampGroup is underestimating the pier’s cost needs.

    Jai Nanda, Urban Dove’s founder, said the Partnership’s numbers sound way off. “If all of those numbers are correct, we’d have to go back and look at our financials…The Dept. of Buildings will judge it. Nobody knows for sure, but we’ve backed it up with some pretty good evidence from engineers.”

    He said the Partnership’s pile repair estimate of $51 million sounds to be extremely high, particularly since Related only plans to spend $35 million to make the pier stable enough to withstand the weight of large entertainment venues, restaurants, retail and 2,800 parking spaces. Nanda and the Partnership agree that $43.5 million for a “seismic upgrade” to secure the pier in for an earthquake or other disaster may not be necessary. The Partnership, which acknowledges using cautious estimates, says repairing the roof could cost $21.5 million and the deck and fender repairs would be $8 million.

    Urban Dove is a non-profit and Nanda said he spoke to the Partnership, the Trust and attorneys about using tax-free bonds. He thinks it’s a good last resort idea that Urban Dove could do if the skeptics prove to be right.

    “People think we can’t do it. Well, give us a chance and if it turns out we can’t do it, then go another way,” Nanda said.

    He said he’s confident his group can raise the $160 million needed to implement their plan to add day camps and indoor recreation to the pier’s existing uses. He said CampGroup and Urban Dove have provided the Trust with financial documents proving their case. If the Trust picks them on Jan. 31, the targeted selection date, Nanda said they would have six months to finalize the lease and if the effort failed, tax-free bonds could be pursued then.

    Related acknowledged its own financial uncertainties Wednesday in a presentation to the Working Group, made up of members of Downtown community boards, waterfront advocates, and representatives of local elected officials. When one member asked Related’s Anthony Fioravanti, if the firm was committed to going forward with its current plan with a 30-year lease, Fioravanti said they were still not sure.

    The Hudson River Park Act forbids leases longer than 30 years and Assemblymember Deborah Glick, whose district includes the pier, said in an interview several weeks ago, that she would do everything she could to block a change to the state law that would allow Related to get a 50-year lease.

    Arthur Schwartz, chairperson of the Working Group, noted that a year after Related submitted its proposal, it does not have a plan that can comply with the law, yet the Partnership was able to put together what appears to be a credible plan in just five weeks.

    He did acknowledge Related “improved the traffic flow issue,” but he and others at the meeting focused on the fact that the firm did not eliminate any of their revenue generators and was still looking to draw roughly 2.7 million visits to the pier a year.

    Related did make several changes in line with what their plan’s critics asked for and they were more substantial than the “cosmetic” changes that Partnership members, who had met with Related, described in interviews last week.

    Related increased the amount of interior space for community groups and art galleries by 440 percent (it identified many local groups it could accommodate); increased exterior community use space by 28 percent; increased parking space by 23 percent; while reducing the Cirque du Soleil space by 16 percent, the retail space by 17 percent and the restaurants’ space by 37 percent.

    The amount of field space would increase by 82,500 square feet under the plan. In response to community concerns about Little League players being overwhelmed by the entertainment crowds, Related has separated the uses more. They have moved the entertainment lobbies mostly to the second floor and their presence on the first floor has been reduced substantially. Youth league players would have several ground floor entrances to the roof top fields and if parents wanted, these could be made much more secure than the current situation where any stranger can easily get up to the fields without being noticed, said Jay Kriegel, a Related executive.

    Related proposes using the pier’s existing fenders to surround the field and grow ivy to protect it from the wind. Fioravanti, said they are open to using any number of materials the community may favor instead of ivy including metal or fabrics.

    Related has changed its plan to extend Houston St. into the pier by allowing car traffic and relieve the pedestrian-car competition that was in its original proposal. Under one option, Related could move the street extension to the south allowing the roof top fields to expand more. The firm is also considering replacing the 3,000-seat music hall with a museum to reduce the nighttime crowds.

    Kreigel, a Soho resident, said by knocking down the south end wall of the pier, it will open up great waterfront views of the Statue of Liberty and allow for plant life to make an industrial-looking parking garage look like it’s part of the park.

    Before the Partnership formed a few months ago, the Working Group and the local community boards recommended the Trust reject both plans and start again. Schwartz said the group has to meet more and look closely at the three proposals before coming to a new decision. But he said in his view, Related did not change its plan nearly enough and that it will be hard to evaluate the Urban Dove plan unless the Trust turns over its financial statements. He said if both plans are rejected, the Trust would be free to adopt the Partnership’s approach, which Schwartz thinks is financially sound.

    Connie Fishman, the Trust’s president, attended the Working Group meeting Wednesday and declined to comment on the plans. She did ask the Partnership a few questions including whether the Trust would be charged rent for its pier offices (no) and whether the group knew that a school was not “as of right” in the park as they asserted in their report.

    “It doesn’t mean you can’t do it, just that you have to go through some process” to get it approved, she said.

    The Partnership hopes to have its lengthy report in a downloadble form for the public soon and the Trust may soon post the latest changes to the two development plans on its site.

    © 2007 Community Media, LLC

  10. #370
    The Dude Abides
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    NYC - Financial District


    This will be whittled down to an afterthought.

  11. #371
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    The bridge as drawn looks too low for a West Side Hiway crossing.

  12. #372


    Endless discussions as construction prices rise.
    Does anything exceptional and not overly drawn out ever come from community involvement.
    Last edited by Derek2k3; December 22nd, 2007 at 01:11 AM.

  13. #373
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    Yes ^

    Hudson River Park, for one.

  14. #374
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    East Midtown


    I would like to see more pedestrian bridges leading over the highway into the park. I would also like to see cars banned from Chelsea Piers, they should have to drop those people off on the other side, at the entrance to a new ped bridge. The cars and driveways totally break up the biking,running,etc. and one of these days some children will be killed in an accident. Maybe then the city will say enough is enough with all of those cars driving right up to the facility.
    It is so STUPID the way it is set up. You're on your bike or blades and you have to stop to let a car enter/exit the driveways in the park so it can go right up to the doors of the CP facility. WHY?

  15. #375
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    in Limbo


    Related revises its plan for Pier 40 in Greenwich Village


    The Related Cos. have submitted a revised proposal for the redevelopment of Pier 40 on the Hudson River.

    In a letter January 7 to Noreen Doyle of the Hudson River Trust, Jeff Blau, the president of Related, wrote that Related has "significantly increased the size of the current sports fields, as well as the supporting amenities by 58 percent, with a comparable decrease of retail and restaurant uses," adding that "There is an increase to existing soccer/baseball fields, and an additional 85,000 square feet of basketball courts as requested by the community - representing 2 acres of completely new sports fields and court space over current usage."

    "In addition, there will be an expanded, broad, inviting open-air promenade, outdoor markets and a great new dog run," the letter continued, noting that the proposal, "responding to community concerns regarding nighttime activity and alcohol-focused venues," has now eliminated a night club and a private beach club and that "the current plan reflects an 18 percent reduction in size of the Cirque du Soleil program, a 57 % reduction in restaurants and a 21 % reduction in retail space."

    "A great indoor/outdoor sustainably produced food market," its submission stated, "will provide an attractive new local amenity - New York City is not home to a significant local and organic market, with permanent seasonal produce, regionally sourced farm products, cheese-mongers, purveyors and butchers - in the tradition of London's Borough Hall Market and San Francisco's Ferry Building Market."

    The new Related proposal will have 544,950 square feet of public space as compared to 425,030 in its November, 2006 proposal. It will increase community interior use space from 16,650 square feet to 73,550 and the number of parking spaces from 1,858 to 2,286. It will also reduce the restaurant square footage from 57,760 to 36,850.

    The 15-acre pier was built in 1964 for the Holland American Line and Related's new submission notes that "Today, it presents the waterfront and the Hudson River Park with four 800' facades that act as barriers to the waterfront and inhibit the mission of the Park itself - to engage the river."

    "We have advised the Trust and the community, we are prepared to reduce the scale of activities further by replacing the Music Hall, eliminating an 1,800-seat night-time live theater venue, to be replaced by an appropriate non-profit primarily day-time usage, such as a museum that would be compatible and complement the family and youth activities that go on during the day on the sports fields."

    Another proposal, known as the People's Pier, by Urban Cove and CampGroup Inc., would build a high school, three swimming pools and additional space for parks and athletic fields at an estimated cost of about $145 million. The People's Pier proposal has a construction budget of about $160 million including $31 million for infrastructure, pile and substructure work and it requires no public subsidies.

    A third proposal has been made by the Pier 40 Partnership. The Pier 40 Partnership plan calls the creation of a non-profit conservancy for the pier that would pay the trust an annual rent of $5 million. The plan would visually open the pier along West Street, widen a walkway around the pier, create a "Green Room" at its southwest corner for events that would contribute about $2 million annually, increase the number of parking spaces on the pier from 2,150 to 2,800, and create a 100,000-square-foot educational component and a 238,000-square-foot Visual Arts Market.

    The Hudson River Park Trust maintains it must develop the pier to create revenue for the upkeep of the five-mile park, which was chartered in 1998 and is still under construction.

    On January 16, a Community Board 2 committee recommended that the Hudson River Park Trust board vote down both Related's proposal and the Camp Group plan and the board is expected to make a decision by the end of this month.

    Copyright © 1994-2008 CITY REALTY.COM INC.

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