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Thread: Pier 40 - Hudson River Park

  1. #436
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    HR Park Trust would have to get an OK from NYS Legislature to shut down what's offered in this part of the park. The Trust assumed the responsibility to maintain the pier, and if they aren't up to that then it would seem the Trust should readjust priorities and actions so that the agreed-to mission can be fulfilled.

  2. #437

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    The building at Pier 40 is such an eyesore, as is the huge pile of crap across the street. (I've heard that St. John's owns that.) It would be great to see them both razed.

  3. #438
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    St. John's Center building at 550 Washington Street stands little chance of being razed . It's one of the largest buildings in NYC, covering ~ 250,000 sf / per floor (~5 acres), and would be really expensive to tear down, seeing as how it's really robustly built (and houses huge steel for rail road tracks, serving as the southern terminus for the original High Line).

    The building has a website: http://550washingtonnyc.com/home.html

    It currently houses huge production studios: St. John's Center Studios

    It's constructed so that something big could rise on top (PHOTOS)

    There have been various proposals to enlarge the building (which holds 300,000 sf of unused air rights) including hotel or condos and, at one time, new studios for CBS Television. More at my 2007 post in this thread.

  4. #439

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    Thanks, Lofter. I vaguely remember posts about additions to 550 Washington. It needs windows and a new facade. It looks so horrible.

  5. #440
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Loft, they were thinking of making a huge studio on top of it about 8-10 years back. I forget which company I was working for, but we were doing a feasibility study on it for just that.

    I wonder if they are thinking of it again....

  6. #441
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    City Plans Competition to Help Fix Pier 40 and Downtown Waterfront

    By Jill Colvin



    MANHATTAN — The city is looking for new ways to fix the crumbling Pier 40 and repair rotting pilings along the Lower Manhattan shoreline — offering nearly $100,000 in prize money for the winning bids.

    The city’s Economic Development Corporation plans to launch a new construction competition called "Change the Course," asking entrants to come up with new ideas to shore up the city's decaying waterfront, which is the focus of several major redevelopment bids.

    “New York City Economic Development Corporation is seeking proposals for innovative and cost-saving solutions for completing marine construction projects in New York City,” the city wrote in a notice to potential bidders released Wednesday.

    Water quality in New York harbor has improved dramatically over the past 20 years. But one of the unintended consequences has been the resurgence of tiny micro-organisms called marine borers, who munch on submerged wood, including the pilings that support structures like piers.

    The hungry creatures have wreaked havoc on many of the city's underwater structures, causing dozens of piers to collapse — threatening the city with millions of dollars in repairs.

    The city has tried several tricks to try to make the pilings less tasty, including treating them with chemicals, wrapping them in plastic, and encasing them in concrete — but the ideas either haven't worked or have proven extremely expensive — leaving many piers in disarray.

    According to the full request released Thursday, the competition asks engineers and construction companies to come up with new, innovative ideas to keep the borers at bay.

    Companies have been asked to focus on two areas: the structures between the old Fulton Fish Market at the South Street Seaport, Pier 35 in Lower Manhattan and the Hudson River Park’s Pier 40. Both the Sea Port at Pier 40 are being eyed for potential development in the coming years, and finding cheaper ways to improve supporting infrastructure would give them a boost.
    A 2009 engineering report found that Pier 40 was in "poor condition," with many of its support piles exhibiting "severe" corrosion, limiting the weight that it can bear.

    Similar damage was reported at the pilings supporting the old Fulton Fish Market at the South Street Seaport, which exhibited "widespread advanced defects including heavy marine borer and fungal rot deterioration," a 2010 engineering report found.

    The borers also threaten other waterfront treasures across the city, including the East River's Andrew Haswell Green Park, which the city recently estimated would require $15 million in repairs to keep from crumbling into the river.

    EDC spokesman Ben Branham said the goal of the contest was to brainstorm new ideas for maintaining and building waterfront infrastructure along the city's 565 miles of shorefront.

    "In an era of limited resources, this innovative competition is aimed at uncovering new methodologies and techniques for addressing the challenges associated with our aging infrastructure, helping ensuring the long-term sustainability of and access to city's incredible waterfront," he said.

    According to the request, contest submissions will be screened by an advisory committee and the EDC, which will decide whether or not to move forward with the competition. If the city gives the green light, finalists will be given the chance to compete for prizes, including $50,000 for first place, $25,000 for second and $15,000 for third, awarded based on factors including potential money saved and feasibility.

    Submissions for the first phase of the competition are due Nov. 16.

    http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/2012...#ixzz276VYNXeP

  7. #442
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Sinking Pier 40: Durst Leaves Hudson River Park Amid Mutiny Over Its Future

    By Matt Chaban


    Adrift. (HRP Trust)

    Even before Hurricane Sandy buried it under more than a dozen feet of water, Hudson River Park was struggling to stay afloat.

    The past decade had seen substantial progress on the long-planned park, made possible by the demolition of the old West Side Highway (which provided some of the initial funding) and the realization New Yorkers actually wanted to return to the waterfront (which provided the drive). By last year, more than 70 percent of the park had been completed, including many of the piers, transformed from places of work into ones for play, and the generous esplanade connecting them all, running from the Battery all the way up to Riverside Park.

    But the grass is not always greener in a new park. Like so many other open spaces created in recent years, Hudson River Park receives limited public funding. Instead, it is expected to generate its own revenue through not only fundraising but also development within the bounds of the park, everything from floating restaurants to parking garages. Everything from rock climbers at Chelsea Piers to the tourists taking Circle Line cruises contributes in its own way.

    At one time, Pier 40 was the park’s biggest single source of funds, but increasingly, it has become a drag on the park, and a dispute over its future has led to the departure of one of its biggest backers.

    Built in 1958 as an air marine terminal for the Holland America Line, Pier 40 is actually one of the younger protrusions from the park, and also the biggest, at 14 acres. But unlike its predecessors, Pier 40 has not been substantially rebuilt to accommodate its new uses, chiefly as a parking garage but also as a popular downtown ballfield (one of the few) as well as being home to a few harbor cruisers (Affairs Afloat and the Hornblower), a dog run, a kayaking company and a trapeze school. The parking alone brought in $5 million a year.

    That was before the pier began to crumble. There has been growing concern over the piles holding up the pier, which have only been intermittently repaired over the years, and part of the roof has begun to collapse, closing one of the three ball fields. The Hudson River Park Trust, which runs the parks, pegs the cost of fixing the pier at $125 million, at least $80 million for just the piles. This is money the trust argues it can hardly afford to spend, and it wants to foster some new type of development, most likely housing, to help offset the cost.

    Pier 40, located between Spring and LeRoy streets in the Village, has gone from a buoy to a concrete boot dragging the park down.

    But Douglas Durst, chairman of Friends of Hudson River Park, a booster group affiliated with the trust, believes the cost of preserving the peer has been greatly exaggerated, and he has been pushing his own plans for the pier for months now, to shore up the piles and then adaptively reuse the structure, adding offices for tech firms to the mix of parking and sports, providing fresh funds and space for a booming Silicon Alley downtown. He has also proposed gallery space.

    Mr. Durst even went so far as to pay for a study of the costs of repairing the piles, which was revealed this week in The Villager, where the developer pegs the cost at only $30 million, or as much as $44 million if money is spent to raise the ball fields, which he believes should be the case following Hurricane Sandy. (Ironically, his study was completed just four days before the storm hit, and Mr. Durst had been poised to present it to the local community board on October 29, the day Sandy made landfall in New York.)

    Without support for his plan either at the trust or Friends of Hudson River Park, late last week, Mr. Durst left the group, stepping down as chairman. Already his name has been scrubbed from the Friends’ site, as has that Ben Korman, a vice-chair who also stepped down. Mr. Korman used to run the parking operation on the pier and supported Mr. Durst’s plan.

    “There was a difference of opinion of the direction that the park should go in,” Jordan Barowitz, a spokesman for Mr. Durst, told The Observer on Friday. “Douglas is still deeply committed to the park, but given his difference of opinion from the leadership of the park, it became impractical for him to continue with the trust and with Friends.”

    Jason Sadrian, a Friends board member and managing director at private equity outfit Warburg Pincus, was named acting chairman in the wake of Mr. Durst’s departure, a promotion already reflected online.

    Pier 40, flooded during Sandy. (HRPT/Flickr)

    Mr. Durst believed that his expertise in matters of development was being ignored, and he had openly questioned the desire to build housing on the pier, which he told The Villager “doesn’t work.” Part of the problem, Mr. Durst argued, was that additional development would add to the cost of shoring up the piers—the more built up top, the more that must go down below to hold it up. He wanted the trust to spend money now to protect it, but other board members insisted there was no funds for such work.

    “If it was up to me, not one more dime goes into Pier 40,” Diana Taylor declared at a recent board meeting. “Period.”

    One person close to the situation said this amounted to “a pissing match” between Mr. Durst and Madelyn Wils, who was appointed president and CEO of the trust in July 2011. “He’s taking his ball and going home,” said the source.

    In a statement, Ms. Wils and Friends executive director A.J. Pietrantone said: “The Friends of Hudson River Park and the Hudson River Park Trust are extremely grateful for the many contributions of Douglas Durst and the Durst Organization to Hudson River Park His philanthropy and advocacy for the waterfront and this distinct New York City amenity have had a profound effect on the quality of life for countless New Yorkers.”

    Mr. Barowitz said that Mr. Durst, who has not only provided his time to the Friends group but also his money as its biggest donor, would still continue to advocate for the park as a private citizen. Mr. Korman, who could not be reached by The Observer, will attempt the same, as he told Capital New York, which also reported the split.

    “With the recent organizational changes made to the Friends, and my growing discomfort with regards to the Trust’s management, I felt that my advocacy would be more effective outside the Friends framework,” Mr. Korman wrote in an email.

    Losing two well-to-do backers seems like it could cause a serious blow to the park at a time that it is already desperate for funding, but another Friends board member said it should not have a material impact on the day-to-day operations of the Trust.

    In many ways, this is a debate about the nature of how parks get built, maintained and funded in the city. New York has seen a number of public-private parks pop up in the past decade, from Brooklyn Bridge Park to the High Line. The city or state will help pay to build these grand edifices, but unlike Central Park or Prospect Park before them, the city takes little role in the new parks ongoing upkeep. Instead the parks are left to fend for themselves.

    (Granted, most ever major open space from Central Park to Bryant Park now has some sort of conservancy, friends group or business improvement district that helps pay a good chunk of the costs for running it, ever since the city began divesting itself of this responsibility in the bankrupt 1970s.)

    The argument over who should pay what is playing itself out here, as well. Mr. Durst and Mr. Korman believed the park should front the money to fix Pier 40, and then bring in new tenants to help cover those costs and add to the maintenance kitty going forward. But the bulk of the park’s leadership insists it cannot pay for these fixes up front, and instead wants a private developer to come in and cover them.

    In the past, there has been flirtations with everything from building schools here to an outpost for Circ de Soleil, all of which have been defeated for one reason or another, most usually through public outcry. Earlier this year the MLS had even considered it as a possible site for a soccer stadium, but transportation and crowding concerns from the surrounding community quickly stymied that idea.

    Among the options the trust would like to see on the table is housing development, currently forbidden by the Hudson River Park Act of 1998, and SHoP Architects was even hired to make a compelling case for such a model earlier this year. The trust insists it is agnostic on which approach would be most suitable, and while housing would probably be the most lucrative—this is housing on the Hudson River waterfront, after all—locals tend to hate residential development, particularly on waterfront plots within public parkland.

    The trust has been working for the past year with lawmakers in Albany to try and revise the park act to allow for more types of development. Beyond restricting housing, the legislation limits leases to 29 years, which is seen as too short a time frame to attract a developer who would shoulder the costs of fixing up the pier as part of a larger development package.

    But this may be the least of the park’s problems at the moment. It remains without power six weeks after the Sandy storm surge washed over much of the park, including totally flooding Pier 40. “Most of our plants are O.K.,” Ms. Wils said during a panel at a post-Sandy conference hosted by the Municipal Art Socity and Columbia on Thursday. “They’re made to survive underwater, well not underwater, but they can put up with some flooding. I think we lost only five trees and a few plants.”

    “The buildings, however, did not fare quite as well,” she said. “We’re still without power, because we are on our own grid, and we’ve had to work on our own to restore that.”
    Meanwhile, there is some positive development news, as Pier 57, a cultural and shopping hub also long in the works at 15th Street, won approval from the local community board earlier this month. It will offer activities and access to the pier, as well as desperately needed funds to the park.

    Whether something similar will get built at Pier 40, especially before the structure should deteriorate beyond repair, remains to be seen.

    “Despite these and other challenges, including the recent impact of Superstorm Sandy, the Friends and the Trust remain wholly committed to working together to secure resources for the Park and sustaining its future,” Ms. Wils and Mr. Pietrantone concluded their statement.

    “Now with Douglas out of the way, the trust can start to work cohesively on fixing this pier,” said the park source. The trust just has to convince Albany, and its angry neighbors, of the same thing.

    http://observer.com/2012/12/sinking-...ture/?show=all
    Last edited by Merry; December 17th, 2012 at 05:07 AM.

  8. #443
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Douglas Durst Floats Plan for Tech Offices and Galleries to Save Pier 40

    By Matt Chaban

    Development Concept for Pier 40


    Play ball, write some code, sip a cappuccino. (Dattner Architects)


    Let’s take this plan for a spin. (Dattner Architects)

    Last month, Douglas Durst walked away from the Friends of Hudson River Park advocacy group over a disagreement with the trust that runs the Manhattan watefront park. The key dispute had been over what to do with Pier 40, the libertarian park‘s former cash cow that has become a drain as its pilings deteriorate and the parking garage cum ball fields ever so slowly sinks into the river.

    The trust believes that housing should be among the options considered for shoring up the pier’s finances, and by extension its pilings, a move that would likely require a major overhaul of the pier. Meanwhile, Mr. Durst insists housing is undesirable and unnecessarily expensive, and the better option is to keep the pier largely as is, adaptively reusing the space to more efficiently house the roughly 1,400 cars that park on the pier, freeing up room to create commercial space, likely occupied by tech firms, art galleries and other decidely downtown tenants.

    Last night, Mr. Durst presented his plan at a public meeting, where it was warmly if cautiously received. The plans were prepared by Dattner Architects, a response of sorts to similar schematics for housing drawn up by SHoP Architects for the Trust. They show tight little stacks of cars, cubicles, lawns and ballfields, a scheme that is not markedly different from what is there already, just with a few things moved around to make room for the offices. (The Observer could not attend the meeting but was provided with a copy of the proposal along with Mr. Durst’s remarks.)

    “We think this concept is compelling because the space available at Pier 40 for office use is exactly what is in greatest demand today by the fastest growing sector of New York’s Economy,” Mr. Durst told the audience. “Tech firms want large floor plates, high ceilings, large windows and unconventional and interesting space.”

    The plan calls for consolidating parking in the middle of the ground floor, using car stackers, which would eliminate the need for parking at the edges of the building and on the upper floors. The plan would also boost the number of spaces to 2,000, increasing income as a result. Even with more cars, this move frees up the perimeter of the ground floor and the entire mezzanine level for some 415,000 square feet of office space and an additional 99,000 square feet of retail—an impressive spread about as big as a mid-size office tower.

    The middle of the mezzanine level would still be occupied by two large ball fields while the entire roof would be turned into public open space. Currently half of it is given over to parking, with a mix of fields on top, but now, there could be vibrant plantings and six different tennis and basketball courts along the roof.

    “Our concept is a relatively simple way to preserve the current uses of the pier and also provide the additional revenue to help the entire park,” Mr. Durst said.

    Another benefit, he argues, is that it will be easier to get changes to the act governing the park’s operations to allow for commercial development than for residential. The whole reason the pier has any money making uses, rather than just being public open space like the rest of Hudson River Park, is that when the park was first created, it was mandated that its ongoing operations be funded by the park, rather than the city or state, and three piers were set aside for development, this being one of them.

    The Durst proposal projects a net annual profit for the park of $10 million a year, almost twice what the pier has historically made for the park.

    Mr. Durst stressed that he and Ben Korman, a fellow board member who could not attend the meeting but also supports the plan, were offering this as a proposal for the public, not for themselves. “We are presenting this concept today as interested citizens who care about Hudson River Park and its future, not as developers interested in building out this project,” Mr. Durst said.

    David Gruber, chair of Community Board 2, said the room was packed and many were genuinely interested in the idea, if still non-committal. “I don’t have a horse in this race, housing or no housing, but what I liked about this reuse is, the idea of housing on the pier after Sandy—I don’t know if anyone’s thinking of that anymore,” Mr. Gruber said.

    Mr. Gruber said that it was important to have options for the community to consider, including housing, and the board would be convening a forum in February to debate them all.

    “What I do know is, we’ve tried big box stores and Circ de Soleil, we’ve tried everything, and people are tired of waiting,” Mr. Gruber said. “There’s a real sense in the community that something has to happen and people just want to make sure they do the right thing.”

    http://observer.com/2013/01/douglas-...-save-pier-40/

  9. #444
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Main problem with turning it into a living space is that your requirements go way up for safety and viability (as well as services).

    It is one thing to have aparking lot/athletic field on a pier that might fail, but people living/sleeping makes it more likely to have someone there when something happens.

    I was not aware anyone was hurt at the pier failures in Hoboken (walkway), but if that was a condo "on the water"........ (and those piers failed).

  10. #445

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    Main problem with NOT turning it into a living space is that so much money would be lost to the developers. They won't live there so why worry about pier failures? If safety was a concern, the"Park Your Car in Your Living Room" building at 24th and 11th would never have gotten approval from CB4, DOB etc over objections of the Fire Department. That place is a catastrophe waiting to happen.
    Last edited by ladder12; January 12th, 2013 at 04:04 PM.

  11. #446

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    Cant believe these selfish Village hypocrites would prefer 600 units of luxury housing to keep their beloved soccer fields over an entertainment use that would attract a broader audience of the city. Yes, I understand that congestion might be an issue, but the streets in this area are among the most deserted in Manhattan and a bus line can easily run from the pier to the 1 train. Some well-off parents obviously have kids playing on these fields.

    WSJ
    Sports Groups Aim at Pier 40

    NY REAL ESTATE COMMERCIAL
    January 29, 2013, 11:40 p.m. ET

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...googlenews_wsj

  12. #447
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    At a Pier 40 Forum, One Plan Emerges as the Public Favorite

    by Hana Alberts

    It was standing room only—not at some hit Broadway show, but at last night's community board meeting on the future of Pier 40. A couple hundred people packed into a room at Saatchi & Saatchi, just blocks from the plot of land in question, which juts out into the Hudson River near the westernmost ends of Clarkson and West Houston streets. Currently surrounded by a parking lot and home to playing fields used and beloved by local sports leagues (see photo, above right), it's completely rundown—requiring new stairwells, repairs to the sanitary system and the roof, and running on generators since the electricity doesn't work—and losing the Hudson River Park Trust $2 million a year, according to executive director Madelyn Wils. Oh, and it's also sinking into the river.

    Two groups, the Durst Organization, led by former Friends of the Hudson River Park chairman Douglas Durst, and the Pier 40 Champions, presented competing visions for the land; the former advocates adding retail and commercial space to keep the pier financially sustainable; the latter would rather build two residential towers along the river, which would bankroll their goal to keep the pier exclusively devoted to recreation. Based on applause levels and general attendee murmuring, it was easy to determine which plan emerged victorious—even though Community Board 2 chair David Gruber emphasized throughout the forum that this is just the first of a series, and that neither plan is ready to or is even permitted (according to various city planning rules and park restrictions) to be executed right away.


    [Renderings by Dattner Architects.]

    Guided by a philosophy of "adaptive reuse," Durst plans to keep the structure on the pier virtually as is, renovating it to create three tiers. The first level would be a parking garage, which is what takes up the perimeter of the existing playing fields, with space for retail and other revenue-generating outlets facing east, towards the park's esplanade and the Hudson River Greenway. The mezzanine level would house the playing fields, surrounded by offices (see above, with the office windows to the right of the steps down to the fields). A rooftop area would allow extra recreational space, the Durst team said.


    [Renderings by Dattner Architects.]

    Dotted throughout the audience were square lime-green buttons emblazoned with "Save Pier 40." It was unclear to whom the button-wearers had allegiance (since presumably both parties are trying to save the thing) until the Pier 40 Champions headed to the podium to take their turn. Headed by Tobi Bergman, the group is made up of eight sports leagues; their main agenda is securing well-maintained playing fields for guaranteed use, well, forever. In plain terms, the organization opposes the hundreds of thousands of square feet of retail and office space put forth by the Durst Organization, fearing a repeat of one of the many past failed proposals for the pier, which aimed to lure big-box stores and entertainment venues as tenants. Instead, the Pier 40 Champions want to renovate the fields, move them to the ground level, and add more fields where there are currently parking spaces now. Here's the catch: to finance the whole thing, they want to amend the Hudson River Park act to allow residential development along the riverfront, set back from the pier in the uplands (see rendering below).

    Constructing the two buildings with units for rental and purchase pictured would finance the work on the pier, which would also include an effort to make the waterfront accessible to Hudson River Park-goers by connecting the existing esplanade with a ground-level walkway that goes around the pier, in effect opening up a new riverside swath to the public that's previously been dangerous or off-limits. "We don't want cars there," Bergman said. "We want park there!" Then: "That's what I'm talking about right there," muttered a gentleman in the audience wearing a soccer jersey (and flanked by the rest of his team) during the Pier 40 Champions presentation. "What I want to know is, what's the fastest plan? When we're going to get our fields back."


    [Rendering of the two residential buildings Pier 40 Champions wants to build on the pier's uplands to finance the rest of the renovations.]

    So will commercial and office space or residential units ultimately keep Pier 40 in the black? The WSJ this morning sheds some light: one study recently found that the Pier 40 Champions' will likely be more profitable than Durst's. But at the entrance to the community board meeting, there were advocates urging attendees to sign a petition that would prevent residential development near the pier, and the Village Independent Democrats penned a resolution with the same sentiment. Despite that corner of opposition, the Pier 40 Champions' plan (see another rendering of the fields and a jogging track below) got the most applause, with whistles and hoots coming from the sports league members, which turned out in full force. Though the friendly debate was both packed and passionate, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer said it best when he explained what comes next in some introductory remarks: "Le's make sure this is not the last meeting." So onto the next forum we go.


    [Rendering by WXY Architects on behalf of the Pier 40 Champions.]

    Durst Organization and Pier 40 Champions [Official sites]
    Durst's Plan for Park's Pier 40 Faulted in Study [WSJ]

    http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/0...orite.php#more

  13. #448
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    The residential towers proposal for the uplands east of Pier 40 does not seem to adequately address any number of issues, including the now-apparent flood problem. Add to that access to the buildings; note that the renders show NO vehicles, just a park-y front yard, despite the fact that the Pier will accommodate 2,000 long term parking slots and all sorts of vehicles will need to access the residential towers. The claim that there is plenty of room in that upland area to build is questionable. And don't even get me started about shifting parkland to development, and the precedent that will set.

  14. #449

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    And another thing, while we're at it, regarding year-round usage....

    I recall parking my car on that pier years ago, and walking the length of the upper section at least 3 times a week: the outdoor areas are cold & windy (extra cold/windy being on the river) for about 8 months out of the year - the whole place needs to be enclosed so year round use will be viable.

    Here is an idea borrowed from Houuston TX; a Bucky ball - http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=xAXu1...%3DxAXu1VY1ofI
    Last edited by infoshare; March 4th, 2013 at 09:49 PM.

  15. #450
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Pier Support

    Schemes by Dattner and WXY compete to save Manhattan's Pier 40.

    by Aaron Seward


    WXY's plan includes space for two residential towers along the Hudson River Park. Courtesy WXY

    Since May 2012, when the Hudson River Park Trust began seeking suggestions for how to save the deteriorating Pier 40, two competing proposals have come to the fore: one backed by The Durst Organization and designed by Dattner Architects, the other designed by WXY Architecture + Urban Design and backed by the Pier, Park and Playground Association (PPPA), a non-profit that represents seven youth sports leagues and promotes the construction of new ball fields in lower Manhattan.

    Originally designed as a passenger ship terminal, the pier is now a revenue generator for Hudson River Park. Home to a commercial parking garage, two athletic fields, and the offices of the Hudson River Park Trust, the pier has raised, on average, $6 million annually from parking fees and has been responsible for 40 percent of the park’s funding. Years of delayed maintenance, however, have severely compromised the pier’s structure. Many of its piles are corroding and the roof has degenerated to the point that several sections of the parking garage have had to be shut down. As a result, the pier is loosing operating revenue.

    Schematic diagram of Dattner's Plan (left) and WXY's plan (right). [Click to enlarge.].
    Courtesy Dattner; WXY

    In order to pay for the estimated $30 million it will take to replace the roof, not to mention the cost of repairing the 13 miles of rusting steel piles, the pier needs a new source of income. The two proposals, which are seeking to garner the interest of developers who will see them through, attempt to provide this funding, while preparing the pier for future Sandy-magnitude weather events.

    The Durst/Dattner proposal is the most straightforward of the two. “This is basically an enormous midtown skyscraper on its side,” said Daniel Heuberger, a design principal at Dattner. “In and of itself it’s a terrific project. So we’re minimizing the physical interventions in the existing building.” It involves consolidating the parking on one level with stackers and transforming 400,000 square feet of the interior to speculative office space and 90,000 square feet along the Hudson River Esplanade to retail. The scheme would also elevate electrical and mechanical equipment, as well as the playing fields, to above the Sandy storm surge level and add a green roof.


    Dattner's proposal preserved the existing structure, converting it into retail and office space. Courtesy Dattner

    Durst has determined that tech companies would be most interested in the pier. “Large floor plates, unconventional and quirky, close to public transportation—that’s what tech companies want,” said Jordan Barowitz, director of external affairs at Durst. “We think we can get 55 dollars a square foot and we’ve been approached by potential tenants.”

    Tobi Bergmann, president of PPPA, disagrees. “We sponsored a study that was done last year by Tishman to look at Pier 40 in terms of what uses can happen that are both high revenue and low impact,” he said. “It made it clear that the only one you could have confidence in is residential.” WXY’s scheme proposes constructing two residential towers at the landside of the pier and removing the existing head house to provide room for another playing field while also improving access to the fields and riverfront from the esplanade. “The new development would help finance the repairs of the pier,” said Claire Weisz, principal of WXY. “At the same time there would be an annual contribution from tenants that would help to generate income.”

    The viability of either proposal is contingent upon changes to the Hudson River Park Act. The state legislature would have to update the zoning of the pier to allow either commercial or residential uses and would also have to increase the lease terms to at least 49 years.

    WXY's scheme adds an additional playing field and improves access to the river. Courtesy WXY

    http://www.archpaper.com/news/articles.asp?id=6564

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