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Thread: Pier 40 - Hudson River Park

  1. #466
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    Uh oh ...

    Or: The Specter of Unintended Consequences rears its ugly head:

    Electeds Say Deal To Transfer Unused Development Rights To Pay For Pier 40 Repairs Is News To Them

    A Walk in the Park blog
    May 16, 2014


    By Geoffrey Croft

    Pier 40, part of Hudson River Park, is deteriorating and the government has refused to pay for the repairs which has created a mess.
    Photos: Richard Perry/The New York Times

    Assemblymember Deborah Glick sent out a press release this afternoon titled, SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT ON PIER 40 AND THE HUDSON RIVER PARK after the NY Times revealed that the Cuomo administration and park officials struck a tentative agreement with a developer to transfer unused development rights from Pier 40 to the St. Johnís Terminal Building across the West Side Highway in return for more than $100 million that would be used to rehabilitate the deteriorating pier.

    The press release stated that the local elected officials were united in opposing a General Project Plan (GPP) that would silence the community's voice. Six officials - Congressman Jerry Nadler, Assemblymember Deborah Glick, State Senator Brad Hoylman, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and Councilmember Corey Johnson wrote to both Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio on May 1st, spelling out their strong opposition.

    "A GPP would completely usurp local zoning and local input from the community and is in no way condoned by the Hudson River Park Act," the release states.

    "It is the same land use procedure that brought the Barclays Center to the Atlantic Yards, despite widespread disapproval from that community."

    The release also included a letter (below) elected officials sent more than two weeks ago outlining their unified opposition to any such plan.

    "There was no response from the Cuomo Administration to this letter. Apparently, they felt a NY Times article would suffice in alerting the community and their elected representatives to what they should expect. Active engagement by the local community may not be preferable to the developer, but it is an important process, by which all voices are heard, and is the hallmark of democracy."

    A deal to develop the St. Johnís Terminal Building, left, could fund the repairs at Pier 40.


    May 1, 2014

    Governor Andrew Cuomo
    NYS State Capitol Building
    Albany, NY 12224

    Mayor Bill de Blasio

    City Hall
    New York, NY 10007

    Dear Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo,

    As elected officials who represent Manhattan's West Village neighborhood, we are becoming increasingly concerned about the possibility that the State and the City are working towards the adoption of a General Project Plan (GPP) to transfer air rights from Pier 40 in the Hudson River Park to the St. John's Building at 550 Washington Street. Such an action would enable air rights from the park/commercial pier to be transferred to a property across the West Side Highway without going through New York City's Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP). This would demonstrate a blatant disregard for our community, and deny the local community board and local elected officials a real voice on what will no doubt be a controversial proposal.

    The idea of a GPP has been a non-starter from the moment it was first introduced to local elected officials as a possibility in the fall of 2013. We are all strong advocates of increased funding for Hudson River Park. However, the state legislation that was enacted in 2013 and codifies the Hudson River Park Trust's ability to generate revenue through the transfer of air rights was predicated on the premise that local zoning laws would dictate the process. This was to ensure that resources would be made available to the Park but not at the expense of local input.

    A GPP would be in direct violation of this principle and would rightfully enrage the community, which would be effectively left powerless through this process. Any lip service paid to the needs of the community would only be that, as the local officials who have a formal role in the ULURP process, the City Council Member and Borough President, will have no binding authority when it comes to negotiating any agreement, or voting on whether to approve the proposal.

    Furthermore, if a GPP is being considered, it is difficult to understand why. This action would obviously create enormous benefit for the developers of the transfer site, and would provide the Park with a quick infusion of capital, but it is highly unlikely that the value of the air rights would decrease during the time needed for a transfer mechanism to be established and a proper ULURP process to take place. In fact, there is a great chance that time will only increase the value of these air rights leading to even more money for the Hudson River Park.

    Active engagement by the local community may not be preferable to the developer, but it is that sometimes messy process, in which all voices are heard, that is the hallmark of democracy. And most importantly, it ensures that government takes actions that accurately reflect the wants and needs of its citizens.

    If a GPP moves forward, we will actively oppose it. The public process must unfold in the way that it is designed to, and failure to do so is extremely bad precedent. Thank you for your attention to this matter and we look forward to discussing this issue further.

  2. #467
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    New York, NY (Manhattan)


    First, I want to say thanks to all the commentators who have kept me in touch with my city for so many years. I feel like I know your personalities by screen name at this point. You're bright and provocative and knowledgeable. Why does this post finally make me say something? No good reason, except that for 10 years in the 80s I lived on Perry St 1/2 block in from the river, when Washington St was still all tranny prostitutes late at night in a taxi going south, I seem to have a habit of moving out of areas just before they "get better". But these neighborhood fussbudgets have always annoyed me - wanting something for nothing, always expecting everyone else to pay for their "nothing must ever change for any reason whatsoever" Luddite (rich Luddite, right?) convenience. I don't want to see Pier 40 collapse into the Hudson either. But $$$, sweethearts? OK, I'll be quiet for the next 10 years.

  3. #468


    Hey Pd, I totally understand your POV on this: but there is also much that is valid about what the 'community' group is demanding - so I don't know exactly where I come down on this issue. I also lived in the area thru much of the 80s & 90s as well: parked my car at that pier 40 roof deck for a few years as well.

    Here is my conspiracy theory: the 'community' wants to hold on to the only accessible/affordable parking facility in the area, and will attempt to bloc any development as long as possible, and by any means necessary. LOL
    Hey, I personally have gone a NIMY for less.......

    Keep the posts coming PDitty, new voices are always welcome and much needed here on WiredNewYork.


  4. #469
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    Plan to Save Decaying Pier 40 Faces City Review

    By Charles V Bagli
    May 20, 2014

    A proposal to save a former cargo pier on the Lower West Side of Manhattan by selling air rights to the owner of a huge industrial building must go through the city’s land use review, a top official in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration said on Tuesday.

    The city’s position on a plan for Pier 40 puts the mayor’s office at odds with a plan developed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration, which had sought a speedy state review that would bypass input from the local community. But on Tuesday, Alicia Glen, the deputy mayor for economic development, told the board of the Hudson River Park Trust that the proposal, which could add new towers to the city’s skyline and generate tens of millions of dollars to rehabilitate the pier, would need to be examined by the local community board, the city’s planning department and the City Council.

    United States Representative Jerrold Nadler and State Senator Brad Hoylman, both Democrats, said on Tuesday that the city’s position was good news. The city’s land use review, Mr. Hoylman said, was the only way to “ensure robust community input, which is necessary for the success of this project.”

    Last December, state officials signed a secret but tentative agreement in which the owner of the four-story St. John’s Terminal Building agreed to pay about $100 million for unused development rights for Pier 40, a 14 1/2-acre property at the foot of West Houston Street.

    The proceeds from the sale would be used exclusively to rehabilitate the doughnut-shaped pier, which is deteriorating more rapidly than originally thought. Today, the two-story pier, which has a soccer field in the middle, is used for public parking.

    The developer would use the air rights, as well as a variety of zoning changes, to redevelop the St. John’s Building, which extends more than three blocks between West Houston and Spring Streets. The proposal would demolish at least portions of the building to create a luxury residential tower with retail space.

    The agreement would require approval by City Hall, but would be subject to state review, which is not as rigorous and does not require community input.

    The de Blasio administration and local officials were surprised last week when the agreement first surfaced publicly.

    Nearly three weeks ago, Assemblywoman Deborah J. Glick; Assemblyman Richard N. Gottfried; Mr. Hoylman; the Manhattan borough president, Gale Brewer; and other elected officials sent a letter to the city and state warning that any attempt to bypass city review “would demonstrate a blatant disregard for our community, and deny the local community board and local elected officials a real voice on what will no doubt be a controversial proposal.”

    The de Blasio administration agreed. A municipal review would also enable the city officials to bargain for what has become a hallmark of the administration — more affordable housing.

    “We believe the state’s proposal provides for a more timely and effective approach to meeting the imminent capital needs of the pier,” said Gerardo Russo, a spokesman for the state. “The sooner the pier is repaired, the less likely the community will lose its use of the pier.”

    There is no question that Pier 40 is in trouble. Sections have already been closed to the public because the roof is in such disrepair. A new report, soon to be released by the Hudson River Park Trust, indicates that 57 percent of the 3,500 steel pilings on which the pier sits are suffering severe deterioration, up from 38 percent five years ago.

  5. #470
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    Pier 40 Needs $104M, Decade-Long Overhaul To Begin Now

    March 31, 2015, by Zoe Rosenberg

    A newly released engineering report determines that it will cost over $104 million and take upwards of ten years to repair the west side's deeply compromised Pier 40. The report, commissioned by the Hudson River Park Trust and combed through by Crain's, claims that more than half of the 14-acre pier's pilings are damaged and that, to avoid something downright bad, work on shoring up the structure should begin immediately.

    The plan to finance the pier's overhaul with the sale of its air rights is still in place, but is moving forward glacially. In order to see the transfer to neighboring St. John's Terminal through, the city needs to create a special zoning district. The plans for St. John's Terminal still need to pass through the public review process.

    Hudson River Park's Pier 40 Needs $104M Rehab, Report Says [Crain's]

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