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Thread: Piers 25 and 26 in Tribeca - Hudson River Park

  1. #31


    Trust hints Tribeca boathouse design could expand

    Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess
    Contractors were driving piles for Tribeca’s new Pier 25 Wednesday.

    By Skye H. McFarlane

    The murky waters surrounding the design of Tribeca’s Pier 26 are beginning to clear. After three meetings between Community Board 1 and staffers at the Hudson River Park Trust, Downtown waterfront advocates have a better idea of what is possible at the pier, which is currently under reconstruction.

    Over the winter, boaters and board members inspected the Trust’s plans for the Tribeca pier, which has long been slated to house a boathouse, a river study center and a food concession. The detailed plans, however, caused a furor among waterfront advocates, who objected to the size of the boathouse (too small) and the restaurant (too big). They were also angry that the river study center had been removed from the current construction plans because the Trust had decided to choose an operator before designing and building the facility, also known as an estuarium.

    Then, this spring, the Trust revealed that due to skyrocketing construction costs and a smaller-than-usual budget allotment from the state, there is no longer enough money to build out the park features in Segment 3. The segment runs from Chambers St. up to Pier 40 and includes Piers 25, 26 and 32. Mindful of the budget shortfall, C.B. 1 asked the Trust to attend a series of working meetings at which waterfront advocates brainstormed ways to fix the problems at Pier 26 without causing unacceptable delays and cost increases.

    On May 21, C.B. 1’s Waterfront Committee passed a resolution outlining a plan for changes to the pier. The resolution calls for widening the boathouse by 12 feet and turning the planned restaurant space into an estuarium facility. It also establishes fundraising for the pier amenities as a long-term goal for the community board. The Trust said it will not issue an official response to the resolution until it is passed by the full board. However, the Trust’s architects provided information on the time, money and effort it would take to implement each of the committee’s ideas.

    There was much debate among boaters and board members over how to best get an estuarium back on the pier — where the River Project ran a grassroots educational center for nearly two decades before the aging pier was demolished. The one point that everyone agreed upon was the need to have a boathouse wide enough to store and maneuver two rows of kayaks, which can reach 18 feet in length. The current boathouse design, at 42 feet wide, was based on 14-foot kayaks.

    “The 54-foot boathouse is a must,” said committee chairperson Julie Nadel at a Pier 26 Task Force meeting on May 17. “We have to have a boathouse that’s big enough to store the boats.”

    Of the ideas brainstormed by the task force, the 54-foot boathouse seemed to get the best reception from the Trust. While some ideas for putting the estuarium in the restaurant space elicited vocal objections, the state-city authority’s architects from Mathews Nielson piped up to say that they could probably widen the boathouse without delaying construction on the pier.

    Because the piers are already more than a year behind schedule and because construction costs industry-wide are rising at 1 to 2 percent a month, the Trust warned against making any changes that would halt the current pile driving. Major changes to the weight or location of the structures on the pier, the architects said, would require new engineering studies and new pile layouts. If the construction crews can’t finish driving piles before the Nov. 1 moratorium on in-water work, they will not be able to build the pier deck during the winter, thus putting the project another six months behind.

    “On a pier that’s this long, it’s all that you can do to finish all your piles before you have to stop working on November first,” said Connie Fishman, president of the Trust.

    Since the restaurant and the boathouse are designed as a joined structure, Trust architect Signe Neilson said that the boathouse could likely be widened without new piles, so long as the weight of the structure doesn’t change dramatically. The same could not be said about the Task Force’s idea to redesign the restaurant space as a permanent estuarium. Since a high-tech river center would have large water tanks for fish, it would weigh considerably more than a restaurant and thus need more piles.

    Some task force members said it would be worth it to lose another six months of construction time if it would mean getting a full-fledged estuarium back on the pier. But in the end, members asked the Trust to determine what sort of estuarium features could be added to the restaurant space without delaying construction. As a seasonal establishment with little access to parking or public transit, some members said, the restaurant would be unlikely to generate significant revenue anyway.

    Fishman said that the Trust does not have any estimates for how much income the restaurant is expected to generate, since revenue would depend on what type of restaurant occupied the spot. She did clarify that any revenue generated by the 3,400-square-foot restaurant would have to be spent in the Tribeca segment, as per a stipulation in the $70 million Lower Manhattan Development Corporation grant that is currently funding part of the Segment 3 construction.

    But in the end, members asked the Trust to determine what sort of estuarium features could be added to the restaurant space without delaying construction.
    Lobster dinners?

  2. #32
    Banned Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY


    CB 1 sure knows how to negotiate and navigate the political processes. Good for them. This segment of the park was one of the best before the construction began. It really had something for everyone AND it had a great snack stand (the current trailer set up isn't as fun and inviting.) I hope they prevail and find some big corporate donors to kick in to complete the segment as planned.

  3. #33
    The Dude Abides
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    NYC - Financial District


    Work Begins on New Tribeca Piers

    By Carl Glassman
    POSTED JUNE 1, 2007

    It was the simple pleasures that made Tribeca’s two piers special: the display tanks filled with living river creatures; the kayaks you could paddle for free; a hot dog at the water’s edge.

    Now, as a third season begins without Piers 25 and 26, there are signs of renewal among the forest of worn pilings, left standing when the piers were torn down to make way for two new ones, part of the five-mile-long Hudson River Park.

    Last month, barges, giant cranes and hardhats arrived to prepare the site for the driving of new, concrete pilings that will support the rebuilt structures, and whatever is to go on them.

    The clanking of heavy machinery and the pounding of piles on the local waterfront might seem like sweet music to those who miss those piers. But it was often the harsh sounds of dissatisfaction that could be heard in meeting rooms last month, where a task force of Community Board 1 members and users of the former piers told officials of the oversight agency, the Hudson River Park Trust, and their designers, the changes they wanted in the plans.

    At issue were the buildings planned for the future Pier 26. Before the original pier was torn down, the Downtown Boathouse and the River Project, a river research center or “estuarium,” had made their homes there, in makeshift quarters, for 20 years.

    But detailed construction drawings, first seen by community representatives in February, show a restaurant, a boathouse that kayakers determined to be too small for their needs, and no estuarium. With pile driving just days away, CB1’s Waterfront Committee passed a lengthy resolution on May 21 calling for dramatic changes to those plans.

    On June 19, the resolution will be voted on by the full board.

    During the many years of planning for the Tribeca segment of the park, the board had approved a restaurant on Pier 26, to be connected to the boathouse, and an estuarium as well. But with escalatingcosts and inflation, the $70 million that was to pay for the entire park segment, from Harrison to Houston Streets, now buys the unseen infrastructure along that stretch, but not much more.

    No pier buildings, plantings, minigolf or other planned amenities are funded as of now. The Waterfront Committee called on the Trust to reorder its priorities and put the river research center in the plans where the restaurant was meant to go. They contend that would give it a chance, at least, to get built.

    “I don’t think the restaurant would have been such an issue for this community if there had been a plan for the estuarium,” said Waterfront Committee chair Julie Nadel, who also is a member of the Trust’s board of directors. “But since we have the restaurant planned and the estuarium is out the window, that is a big no no for the community.”

    The current plan shows where a future estuarium, as yet undesigned, could go. (See rendering on page 4.) Trust officials explained it was positioned that far west so that large research vessels could dock beside it.

    With construction about to begin, there was an air of urgency in the committee’s ambitious efforts to hammer out a new plan.

    In response to complaints by kayakers that the boathouse plans showed space-wasting features, such as interior bathrooms and an office, the piers’ designer, Andrew Lavallee of Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects, came up with a stripped-down version.

    But the kayakers also said they wanted to expand the planned boathouse width by 12 feet. Lavallee warned that changes to the size of the boathouse, or putting an estuarium with heavy fish tanks where the restaurant was to go, might mean reconfiguring the pilings. That would require weeks of calculations and a year-long delay in construction. For environmental reasons, piles can only be driven from May 1 to Oct. 30.

    “A year’s time in the framework of building something [to last] 50 years is really not that much,” said Roland Gebhardt, a resident who lives near the waterfront.

    The piles and concrete platforms supported by them are due to be constructed by November of 2008, if pile driving is completed this season.

    While Trust officials listened intently to the community’s wishes, it is not clear that they will deliver on them. To reconfigure the piles in order to support heavier weight loads, or to call for other changes to the current construction contracts may be prohibitively expensive, said Connie Fishman, the HRPT president. Additional spending would need approval of the Trust’s board.

    “How many thousands or tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars in redesign money and then how many potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in change in construction contracts?” she told the Trib. “Once you’ve contracted people they have you over the barrel. They know you’re not going to go out and competitively bid the changes.”

    But Nadel, a frequent critic of the HRPT for its handling of the pier’s planning, forged ahead, as if the demands of her task force would surely be met.

    “Let’s redesign the boathouse, and then let’s make a plan for the estuarium and figure out how to pay for it,” she announced at the start of last month’s planning meetings. “Let’s do it now, and let’s get rolling.”

    $20 Million Gap in Park Funding

    The segment of Hudson River Park from Harrison Street to Houston Street was to be paid for with $70 million from the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. But that money doesn’t buy what it used to, back in 2003, when it was approved.

    Now, Hudson River Park Trust officials say, they are $20 million short of what they need to finish the job. That includes all the planned buildings and amenities on the piers (see drawing above) as well as the utilities and much of the landscaping in the plans.

    Last month work began on the pilings for Piers 25 and 26 which, when completed, will support a subdeck. But the actual deck, on which buildings will rest and people will walk, is not funded. Trench building for underground utilities also started last month on the land side of the park, from Houston to Laight Streets, though most of the above-ground park features also await funding.

    Connie Fishman, the HRPT president, expressed optimism that there will be money to finish the park segment, with the state providing funding, one phase of construction at a time. “We’ve been building every segment of the park with a gap as we build it,” she said.

    Copyright The Tribeca Trib

  4. #34
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    And how much of a tax break did we all give to Goldman Sachs so they'd build their HQ near this segment of the Park?

  5. #35


    Don't knock GS. We got a whopping 4 million bucks for a new library.

    Citicorp is right across the street. Don't hold your breath.

  6. #36


    Work was completed before the Oct 31-Apr 30 moratorium on pile driving.

    Pier decking now being installed.

  7. #37
    Banned Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY


    In general, I love watching the whole HRP get built. I thought the Village section was great for that area. I wasn't loving the 26th through 34th area at first, but, seeing it in full bloom and growing thick this summer, I think it is absolutely brilliant. I have the greatest hopes for the Tribeca section, probably because the community has fought so hard to guide the design. I'm really interested in the end product. I hope the Art Shack survives in some way.

  8. #38
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    A progress report from not too long ago over at CURBED ...

    More Dreams of Summer on the Piers of Tribeca

    From press reports one might think that waterfront park development
    along the southern edge of Manhattan is stuck in a smelly quagmire. Plans for
    Pier 40 have devolved into delays and mudslinging and potty talk. So it's
    nice to see some progress taking place on the Tribeca stretch of the
    Hudson River Park. Will it be ready for summer play? Only time will tell.

    · Stench of Rotting Trash Better Than 'Vegas on the Hudson'? [Curbed]
    · Dramatic Pier 40 Decision Day Results in ... More Delays [Curbed]
    · Pier 40 Mudslinging [Curbed]
    · Pier 40 Locker Room Talk [Curbed]

  9. #39
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    And some shots from this week (grey skies, lots of mist -- hence the poor quality of the images) ...

    They've constructed some heavy-duty boardwalks which meander about the berms & "dunes".

    This looks like it will be another great addition to HRP ...


  10. #40


    I've been checking this out regularly over the winter. It was a good decision to just go ahead and build without worrying about the elements on the piers.

    All the concrete work on pier 25 is complete, and they're now installing fendering around the perimeter. At pier 26, concrete slabs are being placed at the end of the pier.

    I think the entire length of bulkhead is complete.

    The southern section still looks like a mess, because it was used as a staging area. The northern section has a new hoops court, and a hilly planked walkway similar to Riverside Park South. Landscaping is already being done, and it looks to me like this section can be opened in a few months.

  11. #41
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Manhattan - South Village


    Good update. As I was previewing my post I saw that Zippy basically just said the same thing, so.....agreed!

    It's looking great and very much looking forward to enjoying this stretch of the park which I walk home from work on almost daily.

  12. #42



    As I was typing away, Lofter was posting pictures of what I was describing.

  13. #43


    Every once in a while, I'll walk over to Riverside Park from the UES, then down to Battery Park. There usually enough of an interval between these little walks that I get to see some changes each time.

  14. #44


    Tribeca Piers To Be Completed Thanks To New State Funding

    By Nick Pinto
    POSTED MAY 2, 2008

    Worries over funding for the completion of Tribeca’s Piers 25 and 26 were calmed last month with the announcement of a $42 million infusion of additional public funds, to be split between Tribeca and Chelsea portions of the park.

    Connie Fishman, the president of the Hudson River Park Trust, told Community Board 1’s Waterfront Committee that the money will be enough to complete the renovation of Pier 25 and to finish the underwater and structural elements of the new Pier 26 up to the level of the sub-deck.

    The remaining money necessary to complete the renovations, roughly $9 million, is expected to come next year from the city’s annual appropriation to the Trust.

    “It’s a very modest leftover,” Fishman said.

    Designs for the new Pier 25 include a field for active play, beach volleyball courts, a mini golf course, a skate park and a playground. It will also provide docking for historic ships, while a mooring field to the south will have space for more than 60 boats.

    A boathouse, where kayakers can again embark onto the river, is planned for Pier 26. Fishman said the new money will allow for a design change for the boathouse that was requested last spring, after community members argued that the initial design was too small.

    Asked if the redesign would include work on a new maritime research center, or “estuarium,” much like the River Project that also had been on Pier 26, Fishman said it would not.

    “There’s a redesign portion that would create a bigger boathouse, but it’s not money that would also design the estuarium,” she said.

    CB1 Waterfront Committee chairwoman Julie Nadel, who has long advocated for reestablishing an estuarium on the pier, called the center “a little bit of an orphan right now.”

    All but $1 million of the $21 million of state money appropriated to the Tribeca section of the park comes from the capital projects fund in the recently passed state budget. The balance will come from the city: $20 million in pledged matching funds with the last $1 million promised two years ago by Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

    Last year, the state budgeted only $5 million to the park.

    Fishman said she was grateful to Speaker Sheldon Silver for shepherding the state money through budget negotiations.

    Former Governor Spitzer had initially made the park funding dependent on the sale of land near the Javits Center.

    Fishman said the Trust doesn’t yet have completion dates for either pier, but that the abundance of funding this year guarantees both projects’ completion.

    Copyright The Tribeca Trib.

  15. #45
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    Section of Tribeca’s park section to open this month

    Downtown Express photos by Lorenzo Ciniglio
    Two sculptures by Mark Gibian, above, were brought
    into the Hudson River Park’s Tribeca section last month.
    Part of the section may open by July 23.

    July 11 - 17, 2008
    By Josh Rogers

    Bruce Springsteen was singing “these are better days” on the radio recently as contractors were putting some of the final touches on part of the Hudson River Park. The first part of the park’s Tribeca section is almost done and could open in two weeks.

    The Tribeca piers closed three years ago and are still at least two years away from reopening, but just to the north, the area between Laight St. and Pier 40 is almost done.

    The opening ceremony could be as soon as July 23, said Chris Martin, spokesperson for the Hudson River Park Trust, the state-city public authority building the riverside park.

    Martin said the most “intriguing and interesting” part of this section is the sloping nature walk, with its flowers, plants and trees common to the Hudson Valley. He said you have to go back centuries to when the Dutch ruled to find a time when the city had similar green space.

    The section will also feature two galvanized steel sculptures by Mark Gibian, an artist based in Williamsburg who also has work on display in the City Hall subway station. One of the park sculptures is a love seat. The other is a curvy piece inspired by a skeletal fish, an almost ladder-like structure. Gibian acknowledged his “son would probably try to climb on it,” but said he hoped park visitors will restrain themselves.

    He said he has discussed putting wire on it with the Trust but he hopes that won’t be necessary.

    Martin said “certainly we’ll not allow people to climb on it and we’ll take whatever precautions we need to take.”

    The pieces arrived last month, about seven years after Gibian was first contacted to design work for the section.

    “I didn’t think it was going to happen,” he said.

    The five mile long park has had many starts and stops along the way. In 2005, the Trust closed Piers 25 and 26 in Tribeca for what it thought would be three years that it would take to demolish and rebuild two stronger piers. But the $70 million of financing from the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. took longer to get, and by the time the money came through the section’s costs had risen. This year’s state budget had $21 million for the park, which freed up a matching allocation from the city.

    The Trust now believes it has enough to complete most of the Tribeca and Chelsea sections of the park but the openings have been pushed back to 2010.

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